Sharjah announces projects worth Dh1bn

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) announced the commencement of development works in the Eastern region of the emirate of Sharjah, with the announcement of Al Hisn Island in Dibba Al Hisn in Sharjah, after the approval of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

This brings the total number of announced projects in the Eastern Region to three, following the recently announced Dh420 million The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort. Over Dh500 million has been allocated for investment in both Kalba Eco-tourism project and Al Hisn Island in Dibba Al Hisn.

The announcement was made by CEO of Shurooq Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, who stated during an interview with Live Broadcast on Sharjah Radio yesterday (Wednesday) that the new project in Dibba Al Hisn is a leisure and tourism project that will be a new unique destination for Dibba Al Hisn's residents, as well as visitors and tourists from the neighboring areas.

Al Sarkal clarified that the new project will include a big water canal and a number of cafes and restaurants with stunning views on the canal, parks, children areas, as well as a number of various other facilities. He said the project would raise the level of services offered in this regard in Dibba Al Hisn, remarking that all details will be announced in a press conference that will be held by the authority soon.

Sharjah Ruler's directives for developing the Eastern Region Al Sarkal added, "This project is being developed according to the directives of H.H the Ruler of Sharjah in developing the Eastern Region, the Jewels of Eastern Coast and his order to deliver projects that serve the interests of citizens in these areas, drive economic growth, and attract investments that help create jobs and create added economic value to the city, in particular, and the Emirate, in general."

Development of the commercial complex of the Kalba Eco-tourism project Al Sarkal highlighted the current developments and efforts being exerted by Shurooq in The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort and Kalba Eco-tourism Project.

He said that HH Ruler of Sharjah has approved the commercial complex master plan of Kalba Eco-tourism, which will be located alongside Kalba Lake and will be comprised of a number of restaurants, retail outlets, children games, parks, and places to monitor animals and birds in the reserves. Last Tuesday H.H has also issued an Amiri Decree on the establishment of mangroves and Hafiya trees reserves in Kalba city, as part of the project.

Al Sarkal said: "Work is underway in collaboration with the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah and a number of experts to prepare the area environmentally for the animals and plants which will be in the project. Engineers and environmental specialists are conducting the necessary studies and research to carry out the project to the highest international environmental standards and develop the project to help protect the area and its various environmental components".

HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah, recently released 18 gazelles of the endangered species known as 'Damani' in the Al Hafiya natural reserve in Kalba.

The gazelles release marked the inauguration of the first phase of the 'Kalba Eco-tourism project'. The project is being implemented in three phases, the first of which will see the redevelopment of natural reserves in Kalba (Hafiya and Al Qurm natural reserves), release of rare animals and birds and the establishment of a centre within the reserve for visitors, as well as the restoration of archaeological sites within the project." The second phase of the project will involve the development of Kalba Lake and the construction of a commercial complex featuring shops and restaurants overlooking the Lake. It will include the development of recreational spaces that will enable holidaymakers to enjoy the area's natural biodiversity without causing harm or negatively affecting its wildlife, in addition to the development of the Kalba Fountain in the middle of the Lake.

Phase 2 of the project will also comprise the development of a number of islands in the creek, as well as rehabilitation to revive their natural marine and bird life.

Phase 3 has been designated for the tourism part of the project, which will see the setting up of a number of hotels and fantastically designed chalets overlooking the Gulf of Oman. More than 300 rooms spanning hotels and chalets would be built in line with eco-friendly standards.

= A destination of choice Regarding the progress of work on The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort project, Al Sarkal announced the commencement of excavation and soil test studies. He added that the planned hotel, at a cost of Dh420 million, would be one of the most important destinations in the country and region.

The project includes state of the art amenities including the city hill, beach area and hotel suites which include the hill, front, and health resort (Spa), gymnasium, and outdoor restaurants and cafes with stunning beach views, as well as a Beach Club. The 106 hotel suites boast beach views and are located alongside the natural resources of the hill. The hotel will open in 2015.

Khorfakkan Corniche Development Speaking about Khorfakkan, the CEO of Shurooq said that the Authority is conducting studies to develop the Khorfakkan Corniche and to add new amenities such as family areas, youth areas, public utilities, changing rooms, showers, bathrooms, a children's fun area, services area and a number of cafes and restaurants opposite the sea. Other areas will be designated for marine sports, walking, jogging and cycling.

Leisure project in the Central Region As part of the authority's strategy of developing projects in all parts of the Emirate, Shurooq's CEO announced that the authority intends to develop a new leisure project in Al Badayer in the Central Region and that the project's preliminary studies have been completed.

He clarified that the project will be developed in the Central Region's desert, specifically in Al Badayer, which is considered as one of the most important desert areas in the UAE and is well known for its amazing sand dunes which attract a large number of the UAE's residents and tourists who enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

The project will be comprised of an integrated and self-sustained tourism complex that will include a number of restaurants and cafes, in addition to a tourist information centre, outdoor theatre, camel and horse riding areas, cycling areas, Bedouin style seating areas, walking, resting, and barbecue areas, as well as tourist reception stations.

Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah's distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and the world.

Shurooq's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the emirate, evaluate tourism-related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.