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14 April 2024

Sharjah developing green tourism in central region

By V M Sathish

The government of Sharjah is promoting the Central Region of the UAE around Al Dhaid as a hotspot on the regional green tourism map by trying to attract both domestic and international tourists looking for unexplored locations. 

Al Dhaid, a quiet place in the central region of the UAE, is part of Sharjah emirate. A new tour company, formed with the blessings of the Sharjah government,  hopes to attract visitors to the region’s coral reefs, history museums and farms.

What was once a private farm with many kinds of animals, birds and swimming pools and facilities for sports like cricket and basketball, is now being opened up for tourists, especially for those who want a quiet weekend.

“Not much is known to tourists about this place which has farms, archeological sites, museums, sand dunes and resting places. We have been authorised by the Sharjah government to promote Al Dhaid as a tourist spot,” said Emirati businessman Majid Abdul Rasak from Al Mantika Al Wista Tour, who owns the farm. “Now I have got the licence for a tour company. I hope to promote the region comprising Al Maleha, Madam and Al Dhaid as tourist destinations.”

“When people want a quiet weekend, they first think of Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah or Al Ain. We are trying to change that by opening the first theme farm for tourists. Many historically important places, archeological sites and museums are also located close to the theme farm near Al Dhaid town.

“The unexplored nature of the area can be gauged from the fact that there is no big hotel in the Central Region. The nearest five-star hotel is in Sharjah,” he said, adding that there are private farms in the area which are used as private meeting places by businessmen from other parts of Sharjah and other emirates.

“I bought this farm 35 years ago and I have been gradually developing the facilities. Now, with the help of Sharjah government, we are trying to promote the farm as a tourist destination,” he added.

There is also a falcon breeding centre, a place of interest for tourists, in the Central Region.

“We have opened a 35,000 square metre theme farm for tourists where they can enjoy some stress-free time,” Majid said.

“The region has many native plants, birds and animals. Visitors can relax in an atmosphere of shady trees, wood houses, lakes and a Tivoli-type garden. Kids can take part in feeding animals,” he said.

“On the farm, there are about 1,000 pigeons of different colours and breeds, rabbits, peacocks, sheep, cows, ostriches, horses, camels and exotic birds. Children will definitely enjoy a visit to the theme farm,” Majid said. “There is also an aqua area with fish and tortoise. There are sporting attractions too for both adults and kids.  Activities for kids include ridge cars and lake boats.”

Adults can enjoy an 18-hole mini golf course, basketball, football, cricket and indoor games. They can also test their skill at shooting.

The farm also has a display of traditional UAE handicrafts.   There are other farms in area but they are tailor-made for tourists.

“My intention is to provide visitors a place for rest and recreation and a quiet weekend. Visitors can also have meals prepared in the area with traditional and local ingredients. Tea, coffee and local snacks will also be served,” he said.

Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, this theme farm seems to have the potential to attract both companies and families seeking new places for quiet get-togethers.