March’s – ‘The Wellness Issue’ – Download Now 

Mysk Al Faya Retreat is unique in beauty and design. Mr. Shafik Alaaeddine, General Manager of Sharjah collection on what it takes to create a haven this special.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

I am an early bird and reach the office by 7am after completing my morning workout. I start by looking into the previous day’s reports, online reviews received through the various channels, going through the arrivals of the three properties of Sharjah collection as well as getting an insight into any event that is taking place. I make a tour of the property I am present in, whether it is Kingfisher, Al Faya or Al Badayer Retreat, and then brief the team on the day ahead.

Mysk Al Faya Spa

What inspired the creation of this property?

When Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) decided to create Al Faya Retreat – history and heritage were two main points of consideration. The property is a complex of historical buildings, sitting on the red sands at the foot of Mount Alvaah in the Emirate of Sharjah, while it is also located in proximity of the Mleiha archeological center which displays the rich history of the region by being first inhabited by humans since around 130,000 years. The pair of stone buildings originally built half a century ago, which once housed a clinic and a grocery shop, has been renovated into a contemporary boutique retreat and restaurant, and on-premises of the property there is one of the UAE’s first petroleum pumps.

With your clients visiting from around the globe, how do you ensure a bespoke experience for each stay?

Guests can embark on a wellness journey as they venture through the herbal and Himalayan salt rooms, before heading to the tropical walk where a range of different shower pressures, lights and noises allow for a completely immersive experience. Promoting both physical and mental health, the rooms help in reducing inflammations, helping those with respiratory issues, and assists the improvement of overall well-being.

Al Faya also offers a variety of activities such as archery, trekking, cycling as well as cultural activities arranged by a visit to Mleiha Archeological Center, Jebel Buhais Archeological center and the 4×4 museum nearby.

How has the hospitality industry evolved in the last 12 months?

Although 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, it marked a significant shift in the behaviour of domestic and international tourists, who primarily focus on properties that offer social distancing, a smaller number of guest and sanitisation measures alongside unique experiences that allows them to try something new.

What are the design elements that allow the property to stand out?

With just five rooms, Al Faya Retreat’s contemporary feel masterfully combines aspects of originality, blended together with luxe modernity. Bedrooms feature a skylight for stargazing at night with a fire pit primed for recapping the day’s many adventures. Surrounded by the commanding presence of the desert and the nature that calls it home, Al Faya Retreat celebrates its location ensuring that its practices are eco-friendly and that its guests fully love this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Mlieha region was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, tell us about this?

Mleiha is home to a number of significant sites, including Bronze Age tombs, historical caves and pre-Islamic forts. A wealth of fascinating artefacts, from camel skeletons to pottery and iron tools have been discovered here, with many on display in the outstanding Mleiha Archaeological Centre.  The surrounding area is a beautiful location for a desert camp on soft dunes and the perfect haven to spend a night under the glittering stars.

You have a spa on location – how do you approach wellness?

Privately. The spa is a private sanctuary only available to in-house guests, the spa at Al Faya Retreat offers a distinct experience. Inspired by the landscape that surrounds it, its tranquil atmosphere allows for complete relaxation. Located in its own building, privacy is key with views gazing towards the desert while being unique to the region, the spa is based on the element of salt.

Mysk Al Faya

How do you approach client retention and client engagement?

Our aim is to always offer our guests a personalised service that starts from the reservation process, through the pre-arrival to stay and post departure. We do our best to capture all the preferences and details of our guests to provide them with a tailormade experience that makes their stay memorable and distinguished.

This is ‘The Wellness Issue’, what is wellness to you and how do you support achieving this personally?

From my perspective, wellness is being well from all aspects which mainly include the mind and body. I do encourage people to eat with balance and focus on activities that enhance their body and mind performance, which I constantly apply myself.

March’s – ‘The Wellness Issue’ – Download Now

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Images: Supplied