Heritage meets modernity

Heritage meets modernity

A Dh480-million traditional mountain village is fast rising up from a difficult terrain, taking the shape of a beautiful top-end resort in the peaceful city of Khorfakkan.



By Lily B. Libo-on (About Sharjah)

Published: Fri 29 Mar 2013, 11:12 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:32 AM

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) CEO Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal said the development, which was long overdue, would definitely put Khorfakkan on the tourist map, making the city one of the leading tourist cities on the UAE’s East Coast.

Al Sarkal said that with the three-quarters finished Chedi Khorfakkan Resort, as with every project undertaken by Shurooq, the goal was the development of Sharjah. “Khorfakkan is an area rich in history and heritage that has been too long overlooked. We envision development putting Khorfakkan on the map, so when you visit the resort, you will know you are in Khorfakkan.”

What ultimately will make the resort stand out is its highly original and intelligent design, which merges the natural surrounding elements of the desert with modern-day amenities. The project has already garnered widespread international acclaim, having been awarded the Hospitality and Leisure Destination of the Year Award at the prestigious annual Middle East Architect Awards 2012.

“We are very pleased with the way it is unfolding. The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort is progressing right on schedule. At this point in time the overall scheme design is at 75 per cent. We are also working on the tender documents for the initial construction phases,” Al Sarkal said.

The project design was a challenge, with the designated architects making full use of all the technology available, to turn the highly complex site into one with a traditional feel.

Once completed, Chedi Khorfakkan Resort will feature two interlinked sections comprising a fort, to be open to the public, and a resort consisting of 106 suites and one royal villa. The main reception, lobby and all-day dining restaurant are located in the grand fort, inspired by nearby Khorfakkan fort. Additionally, the Chedi Khorfakkan Resort will also offer a spa, gym, tennis courts, adult pool, family pool, kids club, water activities and restaurant.

The resort is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2015. “The site and design brief, which calls for as small an environmental impact as possible, has made this a highly intricate development,” Al Sarkal said.

Families and couples from the GCC and international visitors from across the world are expected to patronise, while the suites are designed to function individually or as clusters, allowing the resort to cater to large family groups, something greatly lacking and needed in the region, Al Sarkal said.

“We believe this development as well as our corniche project will contribute greatly to the city and its residents, as they will attract tourists, improve the economy and provide jobs for the community.”

The ongoing project has stirred the hearts of many holiday seekers. Emirati Ali Al Suwaidi said that his family would stay for days in Khorfakkan once the traditional mountain villa was open. “My family has been spending a day or two in Khorfakkan on Eid, but this time, we can now plan for a longer family holiday on school vacation. I look forward to be among the first Emiratis to spend time there during the first hundred days of Chedi Khorfakkan Resort.”

Italian couple Pasquale and Abele Adduci, who have been in Sharjah for over a week undertaking marine research, said that exploring the East Coast would be more extensive if researchers have a place to stay for weeks in the protected area.

lily@khaleejtimes.com


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