The five-star hospitability concept features a tented camp that offers unique experiences within the mangrove nature reserve in the heart of Kalba's natural beauty, adding to the authority’s strategy of promoting environmentally friendly tourism.
The Kingfisher Lodge is due to be completed by the end of the first half of this year.
It will house 20 luxury tents, each with a private swimming pool and accommodation designed to provide comfort and privacy as well as views overlooking the Indian Ocean and the forest of mangrove (Qurm) trees that surrounds the lodge. Guests will also share their temporary home with numerous kingfishers.
The completed project will include an outdoor yoga and wellness centre and a range of public facilities, such as an information desk, a reception lounge, restaurants and outdoor recreational areas.
"There are so many parts of Sharjah which qualify as outstanding areas of natural beauty and we have identified that there are numerous hospitality opportunities which could cater to that market,” he says.
“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 luxury environment. The Kalba Kingfisher Lodge is an ideal fit for that market.
"Shurooq has a long-term commitment to the implementation of sustainable and eco-friendly projects as well as tourist and leisure destinations, most notably the Mleiha Archeological and Ecotourism project and Kalba Eco-Tourism Project.”
In order to abide by its commitment to environmental sustainability and the protection of the surrounding environment, Shurooq decided that construction work should be completed outside the reserve and then ready-made structures and components transferred and installed at the project site to avoid the harmful impact of construction waste on the natural surroundings.
Mr Al Sarkal added: “We will adopt eco-friendly ways to dispose of construction waste and recycle everything that can be recycled in line with the highest standards of sustainability.”
“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 mangroves 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 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 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 His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
AL Qurm Nature reserve is geographically located on Khor Kalba, where the lowest point in the protected area is located two miles from the sea.
SPREAD over a total area of 4.997km, the ecosystem of mangrove Protected Area features the very high mangrove tree forests (about 8m).
THIS hard tree grows in areas with low-oxygen soil, and is known for its resistance to salinity. It also helps stabilise the coastline by reducing erosion from storm, surges, currents, waves and tides. It also features the artificial lake, which has massive algae concentration necessary for photosynthesis, to provide food resources for marine species.
THE Mangrove Protected Area - the oldest mangrove area in the UAE - was recognised by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) in 2013 since it is a suitable environment for endangered species. It also has a global significance of being an important habitat for breeding many rare birds, such as the local Arabian Collared Kingfisher.