Walking through the historic Al Bait Sharjah is like walking through time. The resort is part of an Emirati conservation project built upon the original foundations of old houses that belonged to leading families of the emirate in the 1950s.
Unlike most boutique resorts, Al Bait – ‘home’ in Arabic – also houses a library and a museum. Inside are dozens of signposts to the past. Glass display cases exhibit artifacts from Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Midfa, who once lived here. Meanwhile another exhibit memorialises the location of the post office that also once stood on this site.
The 53 rooms are compact but beautifully styled with traditional, hand-carved timber furniture, while polished concrete floors replicate traditional clay ones. It’s coupled with just the right amount of modernity in the form of a TV set and enormous cloud-like four-poster beds.
Located by the water in the heart of Sharjah, Al Bait is just 25km away from Dubai and brims with cultural offerings,including 17 museums. Its location makes Al Bait a natural starting point to discover the architecturally-acclaimed heritage buildings in the area
After a day of sightseeing, the courtyard lobby will welcome you with plump sofas, burning candles – and silence. Curl up here with a book and ‘galaxy’ mocktail and there is a roughly 95 per cent chance you’ll nod off. When you wake to the sounds of the call to prayer reverberating through the historic spherical wind tower, you might think you’ve travelled back in time. But no – that’s just how it is at the alluring Al Bait.
Now in its 14th edition, the Sharjah Biennial is the most prestigious showcase of art in the Middle East. Taking place every two years from March to June, the event brings together artists from all over the world.
Control the rain with this ultra sensory experience from the Sharjah Art Foundation.
Sharjah Heritage Museum
Set in a restored 18th-century pearl merchant’s house, Sharjah Heritage Museum explores all aspects of Emirati culture.