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Sharjah’s strong tourism growth underpins new hotel investment

UAE-based Hospitality Management Holdings (HMH) is the latest hotel management group to announce a major investment in Sharjah, unveiling a US$4 million (AED 15m) project to refurbish Sharjah’s popular Coral Beach Resort. A number of hotel projects have already been announced this year, including new properties from Accor, Hues and Starwoods, plus several planned hotels as part of tourism development projects being managed by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). Sharjah expects 30 new hotels to be constructed by the end of 2107, in order to increase the emirate’s capacity from 10,000 to 14,000 hotel rooms.

According to HMH CEO Laurent Voivenel, the refurbishment of Coral Beach Resort Sharjah is a three-phased project which will enhance the entire property. The project includes a complete revamp of guestrooms, bathrooms, corridors, the lobby and hotel entrance, banquet halls, the swimming pool, children’s club, tennis court, landscaped gardens, kitchens and other facilities.

Sharjah’s hotel industry expects a 10% growth in revenues during 2014, driven by strong growth in tourist visitors from overseas. Tourism has been given a boost after Sharjah was voted Islamic Culture Capital for 2014 and the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015, and more than two million tourists are expected to visit the emirate by the end of this year.

New 4-star, 5-star hotel and resort property projects are already in progress. Starwood Hotels & Resorts will open a 5-star Sheraton Sharjah in March 2015 with 347 guest rooms and suites and a 4-star 219 room Four Points hotel in September 2015, both in Al Rifaa area. Competitor Accor will open a new 4-star 200 room Novotel Sharjah Expo by the first quarter of 2017, adjacent to the international exhibition and conference centre. Meanwhile the new hotel management group, Hues Hotels & Resorts, opened its first boutique hotel in Sharjah, the 72 Hotel by Hues, earlier this year and now plans to open a second property (timing, as yet, undisclosed).

Sharjah’s urban redevelopment project, the Heart of Sharjah, managed by Shurooq, includes the AED100 million (US$27m) Al Bait Hotel, which is currently being constructed in the Souk Al Shanasiyah heritage site., whilst 65 kilometres off the UAE coastline on Sir Bu Nuair island, Shurooq is building a 70- to 100-room luxury hotel with 70 serviced apartments. The five-star hotel is part of a Dh500 million (AED 136m) eco-tourism project on Sir Bu Nuair and is due to be completed during the next three years. Shurooq also has other hotels projects in progress, including The Chedi Khorfakkan at Al Jabal Resort and a luxury 5-star hotel in its Kalba Eco-Tourism Project, both on Sharjah’s East Coast.

Source: Shurooq, news media

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