There’s a geological phenomenon in Sharjah right next to important archaeological sites, and soon there will be a boutique eco-lodge tucked right underneath it…

An hour from Dubai, deep in the Sharjah desert you’ll find ‘fossil rock’, a large natural rock structure jam-packed with marine fossils. Walk around it (or up it) and you’ll see many former sea creatures and flora immortalised into the rock.

Fossil Rock is in Mleiha, an area of Sharjah where there are many archaeological sites from the Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, Iron, pre-Islamic, Islamic and modern ages.

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And, by the end of this year, you’ll be able to sleep overnight under the shadow of Fossil Rock, in a new luxury eco-lodge, which will stand out from the UAE hospitality crowd thanks to its simplicity, boutique size and completely secluded location.

The Mleiha Fossil Rock Lodge will be part of a new collection of eco-friendly nature lodges in Sharjah called the ‘Sharjah Collection’. It will accommodate only 10 people at a time, and will also have a cafe where people can stop by to take in the views of Fossil Rock. Guests can stargaze or go dune bashing during their stay, or head to the spa for a treatment.

The area around Fossil Rock is being turned into a nature reserve that will be home to oryx, gazelle and mountain deer.

The hotel is mostly made up of two single-story, stone buildings from the 1960s (that were once a clinic and grocery store). These will be revamped rather than bulldozed to preserve the heritage of the area and keep the footprint to a minimum.

The hotel is 60% complete, construction wise, and it will apparently be welcoming guests by the end of the year.

There’s already a beautiful visitors and archaeological centre in Mleiha (with a Bystro Cafe for good coffee):

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There are quite a few other boutique hotels and eco-lodges being built in Sharjah that are all about showing off Sharjah’s distinct heritage while still preserving its sense of the historical. Here are the other places you’ll be able to stay in soon…


This will be a four-star B&B style villa in the heart of Sharjah in a converted heritage home (similar to Bastakiya). It will be a chance to glimpse into the past of the UAE.


Kalba is an area of Sharjah where you’ll find beautiful natural mangroves, the oldest in the region, and it will soon be home to a five-star, luxury tented lodge.

You’ll be able to spy rare Arabian kingfishers from one of the 20 tents (each with its own pool). Plus, the lodge will be built high off the ground so that turtle nesting isn’t affected.


Built in the deserts of the Al Badayer Oasis in Sharjah, this lodge will give guests a taste of Bedouin life (albeit a luxury version).


This high-end resort will be made up of 100 ocean-view suites on a natural hillside overlooking a white-sand beach. Khorfakkan is a Sharjah territory on the east coast of the UAE, close to Fujairah. The resort will be built on the hillside to preserve the oceanfront, where a 3km corniche will also be built.

Photos: Supplied/ 

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