Mleiha Desert Resort, the first five-star desert resort to be developed in the heart of Mleiha, will come up by the end of 2019.

This was announced at the Arabian Travel Market today after Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Al Wanis, Qatari tourism company established in Sharjah, to develop the project.

Situated at the heart of the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism project between the area’s dunes and the famous Fossil Rock, the resort will offer a range of hotel services, restaurants, cafés, a health club, swimming pool and other world class hospitality facilities.

The Dh60m project will encompass a total area of 300,000 sqm, of which the resort and its facilities will encompass 60,000 sqm.

The resort will include 45 vacation villas, modelled on classical desert marquees, each with its own decking and private swimming pool. The Royal Suite, which is one four living options at the resort, will include two uniquely designed rooms and a private swimming pool.

While being entirely detached, with privacy guaranteed, guests can enjoy a sense of community, enhanced by a central communal area fashioned in the canopy style as well as a memorable Sahara-themed living experience.

Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Shurooq, described the move as a major boost to Sharjah’s ambitious eco-tourism projects, which are set to appeal to a global audience.

‘We aim to increase the reach and expand the scope of the emirate’s tourism sector and this new partnership is a highly significant indicator that we are having that impact.’

‘The new resort has marked a new milestone in our development efforts for the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism project. Our goals are not simply to encourage investment, but to sustain it.’

Abdulaziz Al Amadi, Board Member of Al Wanis tourism company, who co-signed the MoU with Al Sarkal, said: ‘The Mleiha Desert Resort is a unique opportunity that combines the luxury of a world-class destination with the history and heritage that is so important to all countries around the region, particularly those in the GCC.’

The number of hotel guests in Sharjah is growing at an annual rate of 13 per cent, while hotel revenues are up by 12.3 per cent. Revenues are expected to reach Dh687 million by the end of this year, and by the end of 2019, that figure is predicted to reach Dh830 million.

Four and five-star hotels accounted of 70 per cent of revenues last year, which suggests the majority of investments will focus on those two categories.