x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

First game hunting resort to open in UAE

As well as swimming pools, saunas and jacuzzis, new resort in Emirates offers chance to shoot, kill and eat what you hunt.

The UAE already offers holidaymakers a range of activities such as sunbathing, sightseeing and, of course, shopping.

And in September, there will be a new attraction. But it is unlikely to appeal to the average tourist.

Barari Hunting Resort, near Al Ain, will offer people the chance to hunt gazelle and deer.

"There is a possibility that there are certain kinds of birds as well," said Tarek Elsherif, the managing director of Mourouj Hotels and Resorts.

"It will be prearranged hunting in coordination with the UAE Environment [Agency] and it will of course take into account safety and security."

The resort is owned by the Abu Dhabi-based Mourouj Hotels and Resorts, which runs four properties in the capital, Dubai and in Fujairah.

"It's going to be a very boutique hotel," said Mr Elsherif.

There will be 15 "royal" villas, each of which will have a private swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna. Mourouj hopes that hunters who normally holiday in Africa or Asia will consider the UAE instead.

A one-night stay is expected to cost upwards of Dh10,000 (US$3,673), and will include the hunting excursion and use of the guns.

The property will be open on a seasonal basis, from September to about April.

"It's going to be an exclusive resort for people looking to hunt, so it is not going to be like a family resort," said Mr Elsherif.

"The idea will be that people will come to spend a few days hunting. We will be cooking whatever they hunt, so in the evening they will have a barbecue of whatever they hunted in the morning.

"They can just relax and enjoy time away from civilisation and the stress of work just practising their hobby."

The property is one of three upcoming hotels for Mourouj. It aims to open its first hotel in Egypt, Wadi Samala Mourouj Resort, on the north coast in Mersa Matruh. within months.

"It was supposed to open two years ago but then got delayed because of the situation there. We are probably going to open the first phase this summer," said Mr Elsherif

In addition, it will also open a property in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, later in the year.

"Saudi Arabia is a great market. There is a big boom in hotel business in Saudi Arabia and we are hoping Jeddah will be the first spark to expand in the kingdom," he added.

gduncan@thenational.ae

This story has been altered from the original which identified Oryx as one of the animals that might be hunted, which is not the case.