Two million Sharjah tourists expected to increase hotel revenues by 10% in 2014
Sharjah’s hotel revenue is expected to increase by at least 10 per cent this year, Khalid Al Midfa, Director General of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), told Gulf News on Monday. He was speaking on the sidelines of the 'Tourism Milestones-Preparing for Tomorrow’ conference.
Sharjah is likely to see 30 new hotels in the next three years, adding around 4,000 rooms to the existing 10,000 rooms.
The emirate expects to attract more than two million visitors this year, up by between 10 and 11 per cent compared to 2013, which saw 1.9 million visitors.
Al Midfa, however, did not divulge hotel revenues for 2013, except to say that revenue for the previous year reached Dh716 million. “Tourism brought in Dh7 billion in 2012,” he said.
Sharjah’s tourism sector has seen a steady growth over the last five years, according to Al Midfa.
“The cost of 21 projects that Sharjah is working on, as part of its celebration of the capital of Islamic culture, for 2014 is approximately Dh1.5 billion, distributed over universities, monuments, traditional markets, museums and libraries, as well as scientific and architectural structures,” he said.
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has launched several projects to promote tourism in Sharjah.
Established in 2009, Shurooq was created to oversee the emirate’s social, cultural, environmental and economic development.
Among its projects are Al Qasba and Al Majaz Waterfront park.
Covering an area of 10,000 acres, Al Qasba is expected to be the emirate’s tourism, cultural and entertainment destination. It features a one kilometre-long canal and a 60-metre high observation wheel, called the Eye of the Emirates Wheel.
Al Majaz Waterfront, which covers an area of 231,000 square metres, features restaurants, cafes and the Sharjah Fountain.
Also, the Kalba eco-tourism project, which is being developed in phases, will feature natural reserves and a range of tourist and commercial facilities.
Sharjah’s strategies to develop its tourism sector include promoting Sharjah regionally and internationally.
“Participating in overseas exhibitions, promoting Sharjah internationally with our stakeholders, partners, both the government and private sectors [and international] marketing and promotional campaigns,” Al Midfa said.
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