Expansions & Renovations

Al Bait in Sharjah, Part of the Heart of Sharjar - a Restoration and Historical Preservation Project in UAE to Open Late 2017

SINGAPORE. March 8, 2017 — Al Bait Sharjah, the new luxury resort to be managed by General Hotel Management Ltd (GHM), is set to raise the bar for luxury hotel accommodation in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) cultural city while adding interest and vibrance to the historic inner-city precinct in which it is situated, when it opens at the end of this year.

Developed in partnership with Shurooq (the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), Al Bait in Sharjah is part of the Emirate’s largest and most ambitious historical preservation and restoration project known as Heart of Sharjah. The heritage project – planned over a 15-year period and targeted for completion by 2025 – seeks to revitalise the district and introduce travellers to its storied past. Al Bait is a distinctly unique development as its new structures, following traditional Sharjah architecture, are constructed from the restored foundations of old houses that once belonged to important families. Its name, Al Bait, is hence apt as it means ‘The House’: it will be a 10,000-square-metre area in the hub of the Heart of Sharjah, its 53 luxury guestrooms and suites, hotel facilities and amenities, coexisting harmoniously with the several heritage buildings in the district.

Said GHM President Hans R. Jenni, “The introduction of Al Bait Sharjah in the UAE will do what sister resort, The Chedi Muscat, has achieved for the Sultanate of Oman: redefine luxury resort accommodation, increase travellers’ aspiration to explore the destination, and ultimately raise the profile for the resort and destination. GHM is proud to be a part of this iconic moment when we can shape the luxury hospitality scene in Sharjah and deliver this wonderful tapestry of richness and diversity – a destination within a destination – through Al Bait. “

The architecture and design of Al Bait in Sharjah is undertaken by the UK architecture firm, GAJ. Given the scale and importance of this preservation project, the detailed efforts by GAJ’s UAE team will transport travellers to that bygone era and they can glimpse the true-to-life daily living experience while on-site. Conservation highlights that guests can look forward to experiencing while staying at Al Bait Sharjah include: a direct connectivity and access to Souk Al Arsah – a traditional bazaar and marketplace, in fact, the oldest in the UAE – from the hotel, witnessing the conservation of the last remaining round wind tower (a traditional method of ventilation that in recent times have gained scientists’ interest for its sustainability), and even the incorporation of handcrafted thatched roofs and distinct motifs into the ceilings of the hotels’ buildings.

Said Florian Leven, the General Manager of Al Bait Sharjah, “There is much fascinating history and heritage that can be gleaned from this quaint destination and Al Bait is The House where we want to welcome each guest to, for them to reside in and feel like they can be a part of this cultural oasis.”

Al Bait appeals to both the business and leisure traveller with three different categories of accommodation, of which the more generously sized suites (up to 103 square metres) are particularly indulgent. Arabic influences can be discerned in the Asian design elements for the unmistakable GHM elegance and style throughout the resort. Adequate meeting spaces makes this a perfect hotel for business discussions while various eateries offer choice options for dining and entertainment. Guests can choose to partake of an international fare at The Restaurant – Al Bait’s all-day dining venue – or experience authentic Arabic specialties in the traditional family sharing style. The Café is a casual setting for light pastries and tea, always a welcomed spot to people watch and relax. And for those looking to delve into a deeper state of relaxation, a luxury spa – the first in the GHM portfolio to feature a hammam as part of its treatment facilities – will be an integral part of the wellness offering.

About GHM

Established in 1992, GHM (General Hotel Management Ltd.) is known for conceptualising, developing and operating an exclusive group of hotels and resorts. With an expansive portfolio and more projects in the pipeline, GHM prides itself in providing guests with an unrivalled lifestyle experience. Each GHM property is an original. A symbiotic relationship between the hotel and the local culture enables GHM to provide guests with a genuine, close-up experience of the best each destination has to offer. The signature GHM style melds contemporary interpretations of Asian designs and distinctive local touches to create inspired, memorable spaces.

About Ahn Luh

Ahn Luh is a joint venture partnership forged among Duan Qiang, the co-founder and chairman of Beijing Tourism Group (BTG), Adrian Zecha, the visionary behind Amanresorts, along with Hans R. Jenni, President and Director of GHM and Duan Wei Hong, the founder of Great Ocean Group. It is a brand that combines the essence of Old World Chinese hospitality in today’s context of contemporary elegance, reflecting in its service, architectural design and interior décor, how tradition and modernity can intertwine to present an original, urban resort concept.

About Tin Hotels

Tin Hotels is a mid-scale hospitality brand providing accommodation that is tasteful as it is affordable. It understands and reflects the lifestyle needs of its customers – one that demands breathtaking designs, the partaking of wholesome foods for one’s holistic well-being, a consciousness and appreciation of local art and culture, an awareness of the larger eco-environment – so that its product offerings and services connect each guest to these same ethos, creating a sense of belonging to the Tin Hotels culture.

Contact:
pr@ghmhotels.com
(65) 6223 3755

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.