If there’s no place like home, then it must also be true there’s no place like The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah, especially now that the GHM hotel is introducing a brace of long stay experiences as part of its Chedi Connect initiative.
Designed for business travellers, for students and for leisure travellers, the two, new monthlong Maraheb offers include an expansive curation of home-away-from-home enablers, from procurement of visa to laundry, car-service and myriad administrative functions, and access to exclusive workspaces within the hotel.
Each of the two Maraheb (Hello in Arabic) experiences launch the day with a choice of English, Arabic, Indian or a Healthy breakfast at The Restaurant and include a 20-percent discount on food & beverage, spa, transportation and international calls. The offer provides a weekly shuttle to Dubai, handles two pieces of laundry per day and serves up administrative support from printing to meeting room set-up.
The impetus for Chedi Connect is a matter of bridge-building. Nearly 80 percent of the 9.5 million people living in the United Araba Emirates are expats. No one expects any seismic shift to that demographic make-up in the near future, and if anything, the allure of the Emirates is all the greater now that many businesses allow work from home.
“We’re seeing more and more digital nomads all over the globe, especially in the UAE, and especially in Sharjah,” said GHM CEO, Tommy Lai. “Oftentimes, the greatest hurdle to relocation is that first big jump. Where do I land? How do I hit the ground running? Chedi Connect is an answer to that.”
Maraheb A rolls out a daily refreshment while Maraheb B delivers a half-board arrangement, as well as an open-door on a 60-minute Balinese massage.
“We like living up to our name,” Nezha Aanou, The Chedi Al Bait’s Hotel Manager, shared. “The name of this place, Al Bait, literally means ‘home’ in Arabic. The four heritage buildings at the heart of the hotel were once family homes and so we feel an extra special obligation to create an ambiance that is more familiar and accommodating.”
Once a sleepy port town of 2,000 on the Arabian Gulf, Sharjah, in a single lifetime, has grown into a city of 1.7 million people. However dramatic the growth, Sharjah is still a lowslung antidote to nearby Dubai, which is renowned as an international business hub and for being home to the tallest building in the world. “Not everyone wants to be engaged in that world 24/7,” said Aanou. “Sharjah gives you a break from all that, and Maraheb helps make all that possible.”
At the same time, Sharjah is emerging with a reputation all its own as a more mindful destination. The House of Wisdom opened to widespread acclaim in 2019. The Sharjah International Book Fair attracts more than two million visitors annually. The WHO has hailed the destination as a Healthy City.