Interview: Al Bait Sharjah’s general manager Patrick Moukarzel
Al Bait Sharjah’s general manager Patrick Moukarzel offers his perspective on the Sharjah hotel market and his outlook for the region.
What are the hotel trends in Sharjah?
In line with Sharjah’s 2021 vision, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) is on course to host international and regional travellers. Sharjah has been described as the cultural hub of the UAE and has promoted itself as an ideal tourist destination for families, especially from the Arab region.
As well with Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)’s latest ongoing efforts is to grow its position as one of the key global cities for leading eco-tourism and luxury hospitality projects and experiences. Travellers can expect a diverse variety of international hospitality brands looking to provide a unique cultural experience, eco-tourism, for travellers to enjoy the different heritage and cultural attraction across the emirate of Sharjah.
The government of UAE and SCTDA has taken several steps that produced positive results for the hospitality sector in the emirate. These include the opening of new tourist attractions, exemption of VAT for tourists, Expo 2020 preparations and its potential for boosting the tourism sector in the future to increase chances of growth of the hospitality sector in the UAE.
What is the hotel industry forecast for Sharjah?
The primary aim of travel continues to hinge on travellers to experience cultures not native to their own while enjoying modern amenities. They are also realising the essence of travelling - to enjoy authentic experiences that will educate them about the destination. Social media posts in the past would centre around images of shopping malls, group shots or pictures of their companions, whereas now there is a marked shift in perspective.
The current crop of sophisticated travellers are eager to explore the culture, scenic attractions of the destination, familiarise themselves with the region’s history and gain more insight into its culinary traditions and quirks.
Al Bait Sharjah has always been a champion of placing the region’s rich civilisation, heritage and arts on the global cultural map. The luxury heritage resort is home to 'the Library’ and ‘the Museum’ – a part of the Ibrahim Al Midfa Majlis that has been restored with a focus on preserving its traditional significance. Home to antiquarian and ancient literature, the Museum and the Library enable our guests to immerse into the region’s rich history and art, learn more about Emirati heritage, as well as be privy to the region’s progressive development.
Why did you decide to enter the Sharjah market?
Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority’s vision is to establish the emirate of Sharjah as the ideal family destination and emerge as a vital contributor to the region’s economic, social, cultural and environmental initiatives. Al Bait Sharjah is a dream project and a sentimental one too for both, GHM and Shurooq. By combining the history of the UAE and Sharjah specifically, whilst incorporating GHM standards, we have successfully delivered the culture and traditions of the region to our guests in the most unadulterated form.
Al Bait is located in Sharjah’s biggest restoration project known as ‘Heart of Sharjah’, and plays a key role in re-establishing Sharjah as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. The luxury resort brings to light Sharjah's legacy and thoughtful vision to revive the heritage and historic fabric of the region.
Paying homage to traditional Sharjah architecture, the heritage resort is constructed from the restored foundations of vintage homes that once belonged to noted Emirati families. Carefully designed to provide world-class hospitality, Al Bait is conveniently located near Souq Al Arsah and Souq Al Shanasiyah, a 5,872 sq m traditional market area within the Heart of Sharjah, delivering a unique cultural experience to our guests.