Look: 100-year-old house opens as tourist destination in Sharjah

Visitors can enjoy mountain views as well as a trail to the iconic 300-year-old Al Meqsar Fortress


Waheed Abbas

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Wed 12 Jun 2024, 4:58 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Jun 2024, 5:12 PM

An over 100-year-old house in Khorfakkan was restored and opened by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) on Wednesday, making it a luxury hospitality and heritage tourism destination.

Phase 1 of the 'Najd Al Meqsar' project includes 7 restored units within a house that is over 100 years old, each offering mountain views. Situated on 17,210 square metres, the facilities include a restaurant, reception area, and a trail to the iconic 300-year-old Al Meqsar Fortress. In addition, adventure seekers can explore walking trails while enjoying panoramic views of Khorfakkan, and can also access Al Rafisah Dam through a dedicated trail.

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The Najd Al Meqsar area stands as a living testament to a rich history dating back thousands of years. Located in the heart of Wadi Wishi, it is home to the historic Al Rafisah Fort, also known as the 'Sulailat Fort'. This land was once inhabited by the Al Hanateeb tribe, who settled near the abundant water source of Wadi Wishi, which nourished the Al Aflaj irrigation system and irrigated the land.

Near the island designated for deer breeding, submerged underwater, lie the ruins of the area once known as 'Al Hara'. This area thrived with life thanks to the waters from the Wadi Al Jinn spring and included over forty houses, in addition to the forts built on mountain tops to protect the inhabitants.

Najd Al Maqsar lies beneath the 'Al Bari' or 'Fort' area, which includes a mosque, a ghaf tree, and a historical rock still standing today known as Hussat Al Meqsar.

Inscribed on this rock is the phrase 'Kharab Al Rafisah 1288 Hijri' – which translates to Al Rafisah abandoned area – serving as a witness to the last prayer held in the mosque around the 1960s.

“The opening of Najd Al Meqsar marks an important moment in our pursuit to safeguard and celebrate Sharjah’s illustrious history. By meticulously preserving our heritage while crafting diverse, immersive and sustainable guest experiences, we showcase the diversity of offerings within our emirate and continue to reinforce Sharjah’s regional and global standing in the investment and tourism sector,” said Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, CEO of Shurooq.

The project is being built in a strategic 2-phased development approach to protect and preserve the original foundations. Upon completion, the heritage-inspired development will provide guests with trails, quick access to the Wadi Wishi archaeological site, and more.

Looking ahead, phase 2, which is scheduled for handover in the first quarter of 2026, will see additional units overlooking the valleys situated on 16,500 square metres.

“As we look towards phase 2 and beyond, we are inviting guests to experience a journey of discovery, connection, and enrichment amidst the natural beauty and cultural richness that defines Sharjah,” said Al Qaseer.


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