The developers behind the Middle East’s first hunting lodge set to open in Al Ain in September have been “overwhelmed” by global interest in the project and are already considering expanding the concept in other parts of the Gulf.
Mourouj Hotels and Resorts will open the Telal Hunting Resort – previously known as the Barari Hunting Resort when it was announced last month – near Al Ain in September, when guests will be able to hunt, cook and eat a variety of UAE wildlife.
Consisting of around 15 villas, each of which will have a private swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, the resort will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and a stay will cost around AED10,000 ($3,673) per day.
“I was overwhelmed,” Tarek Elsherif, managing director of Mourouj Hotels and Resorts, said of the feedback he received when the project was unveiled last month.
“The feedback has been very encouraging... We got feedback from Australia, from South Africa, feedback from the States. Some have even asked when we are opening and if they can make bookings,” he added.
As a result of the positive interest in the first resort, Elsherif said he is hoping to develop the concept across the region.
“We are waiting for this hunting resort to take off and then we can talk about other ideas. We are hoping that this will attract some other developers and owners who might think of developing something similar in other destinations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or Qatar or wherever and we are happy to offer our services.”
The management of the onsite animals is being taken care of by Mourouj’s sister company, Barari Forest Management, which has vast experience in animal breeding programmes.
“They deal with wildlife breeding programmes so we are not going to import animals from outside, they will be our own breeding programmes... We are not causing any damage to the wildlife and it will be within the guidelines and rules and regulations,” Elsherif said.
“[The hunted animals] will be used for feeding for the meat. We are helping the balance of the population of certain animals. Our breeding programme was so successful we generated an extremely big number of males which are no longer required for the breeding programme so we are releasing some of the extra males and keeping the population balanced,” he added.
The Al Ain property will be open on a seasonal basis, from September to around April.
Abu Dhabi-based Mourouj Hotels and Resorts also manages the Mourouj Hotel Apartments and Executive Suites by Mourouj in Abu Dhabi, the Khalidia Hotel Apartments in Dubai and the Concorde by Mourouj Hotels and Resorts in Fujairah.
The group is also aiming to open its first hotel in Egypt, the Wadi Samala Mourouj Resort, on the north coast in Mersa Matruh, this summer In addition, it will also open a property in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, later in the year.