Wednesday 14, October 2015

Sharjah – MENA Herald: Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) introduced the latest developments and tourism activities in the emirate as it celebrated the World Tourism Day with key partners of Sharjah’s tourism industry. A special event under the theme ‘All Things New in Sharjah’ was held at the soon-to-open Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, the latest hospitality development in the emirate.

The event, organised in the presence of His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, was joined by representatives from Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah Museums Department, and a number of other key tourism stakeholders in the emirate.

In a keynote address on the occasion, H.E. Al Midfa said the World Tourism Day offers an opportunity to look at Sharjah’s new developments and destination products to ensure the sustained growth of the tourism sector in Sharjah.

“This is an occasion for us in Sharjah to celebrate the efforts of our strategic partners who have contributed to the development of tourism in the emirate and helped raise the quality and variety of Sharjah’s destination offering. Their prominent role has supported the emirate’s tourism strategies and enabled Sharjah to occupy a prominent (same word used twice in 1 sentence) position on the world tourism map,” H.E. Al Midfa stated.

Commenting on the ‘All Things New in Sharjah’ theme for the event, H.E. Al Midfa said SCTDA is working under the wise directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi to follow an innovative path towards the sustainable development of tourism.

H.E. Khalid Al Midfa added: “Today the tourism sector in the emirate of Sharjah operates under the new Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 which has activated main pillars as a focus to achieve the goal of attracting 10 million visitors to the emirate by 2021 to which all presented destination products and projects contribute.

We look towards achieving this goal with the active partnership of all organisations, government departments and private sector companies; working together to enhance the tourism experience in Sharjah.”

Following on from the event, SCTDA will organize a series of product launches during which the UAE’s travel trade will be able to experience the new Sharjah destination products first hand.

Highlighting the innovative initiatives for the development of the tourism sector in the emirate, His Excellency Khalid Al Midfa pointed to the launch of the ‘Marhabtain’ initiative aimed at raising efficiencies of workers in the tourism industry and related sectors such as transportation, hotels and museums.

He said that SCTDA has also adopted an innovative approach to the promotion of Sharjah’s tourism sector in the most important tourism export markets in the world by participating in major international exhibitions and specialised events to build better partnerships leading to increased tourist traffic to Emirate of Sharjah.

Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Chief Operating Officer of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shorooq), shed light on some of the latest projects in Sharjah’s tourism sector, including Al Noor Island, Al Montazah, Flag Island, Souq Al Shanasiyah and Kalba and Mleiha Ecotourism projects.

During the event, SCTDA invited many new tourism service providers to explain their products and their vision for supporting the Authority in meeting the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021.

Edwin Wijkhuijs, Complex General Manager at Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa highlighted the features and facilities available as the latest addition to Sharjah’s hospitality sector and all present were given a preview of the nearly finished hotel situated at the end of the Sharjah Corniche near to the existing Coral beach Hotel.

Alyah Alamiri, Head of Community & Academic Programmes at Sharjah Museums Department, gave an overview of the museums’ cultural programmes and re-opened Sharjah Hisn Museum, while Sherifa Madgwick, Manager of Communication and Development at Sharjah Centre for Cultural Communication, described the initiatives to promote the concept of communication and the role of culture in the development of tourism in Sharjah. Jamile M. Haikal, Founder of Makanny project, described the prospects of developing farm tourism in Sharjah, which has already proved hugely successful and viable in other countries across the world.

Remon Ramzy, Office CEO Manager at Al Shaab Village gave a comprehensive presentation on the indoor entertainment centre while Michael Camp, Sales Manager at Absolute Adventure, explained about the most important adventures activities in the Kalba area of Sharjah. Luis Morton Alvarez, Operations Manager at G20, spoke about the facilities and activities provided by the company at newly developed Al Khan Beach. Mari de Villiers, responsible of Marketing & Communications at Surf School Arabia highlighted the new trends in water sports within the coasts of Sharjah.

The Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 is focused on four main pillars: Promoting Sharjah as an Ideal Family Tourism Destination, adopting an Innovative Tourism Approach, developing World Class Tourism Facilities and Capabilities, and Strengthening Sharjah’s position as an International Cultural Hub.