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UAE: Shurooq to develop eco-tourism lodge in Kalba

Shurooq has started work on the Kalba Kingfisher Lodge, an eco-tourism project it is developing in collaboration with the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority

The Kingfisher Lodge will feature a tented camp within the Kalba mangrove nature reserve in Sharjah [Image: WAM].
The Kingfisher Lodge will feature a tented camp within the Kalba mangrove nature reserve in Sharjah [Image: WAM].

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has commenced work on the Kalba Kingfisher Lodge.

The eco-tourism project is being developed in collaboration with the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), according to UAE state news agency, WAM.

Due to be completed by the middle of 2017, the Kingfisher Lodge will house 20 luxury tents. With a private swimming pool for each tent, the accommodation is expected to provide guests with comfort, privacy, and views overlooking the Indian Ocean and a forest of mangrove (Qurm) trees surrounding the lodge.

Shurooq said that the five-star hospitability project will feature a tented camp within a mangrove nature reserve, in the heart of Kalba. The mangrove is said to be home to kingfishers, as well as a host of other flora and fauna.

The lodge will also include an outdoor yoga and wellness centre, plus a range of public facilities, including an information desk, a reception lounge, restaurants, and outdoor recreational areas.

In a statement, Shurooq said the tented lodge is being constructed in compliance with the highest global standards of green and sustainable building practices to ensure minimal impact on the surrounding environment.

Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, chief executive officer of Shurooq, said: "There are so many parts of Sharjah that qualify as outstanding areas of natural beauty.

“We understand that there are a growing number of eco-tourists, and a shift in trends towards visitors who want to enjoy incredible natural surroundings in a luxurious environment."

To avoid harming the environment with construction waste, Shurooq said that it is making sure that construction work is being completed outside the reserve, with ready-made structures and components transferred to – and installed at – the project site.

Hana Al Suwaidi, chairperson of the EPAA in Sharjah, said: "We will provide the authority with all the necessary support in managing the project's natural resources and protecting mangrove trees, which form the natural foundation of the Kingfisher Lodge.

“The mangrove nature reserve is home to a number of the oldest mangroves in the region. It is also the perfect location for the existing activity centre, where guests can enjoy some sports activities, including kayaking and mountain biking, in an eco-friendly environment."

She added: "We agreed with Shurooq that the lodge will be built high off the ground, so that the turtle nesting areas are not harmed in any way. The operator company will also provide the necessary protection and care for the turtles, ensuring that the project complies with the highest standards of protection and preservation of the unique ecosystem in Kalba."

Kalba’s mangrove nature reserve was declared a Protected Area by the Emiri Decree No 27 of 2012, issued by HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

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