Sharjah to Put Spotlight on Top Local Tourist Attractions at World Travel Market 2019 in London
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has announced that it is joining the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, which will be held from 4 to 6 November, 2019, for the 17th consecutive year as part of its intensified campaign to promote Sharjah’s diverse and unique tourist offerings on the world stage.
During the event, SCTDA will showcase a range of attractions that make Sharjah one of the region’s favorite family destinations on the world map today. In cooperation with its partners from the public and private sectors, SCTDA will also promote tourism programs and initiatives designed to attract tourists to the emirate, cultural and eco-tourism products, a wide range of sports, recreational and artistic activities, and adventure packages capable of delivering an enhanced tourist experience.
Moreover, the Authority will highlight Sharjah’s entertainment, cultural, and heritage programs and activities organized by various organizations apart from exclusive tourist packages provided by major tourist facilities, resorts, and hotels. The number of hotel facilities in Sharjah has remarkably increased over the past few years alongside the growing tourist arrivals to the emirate. The Emirate has currently a total of 10,883 hotel rooms, with hotel establishments in the emirate offering world-class services that meet expectations. Additional 18 hotels and 16 hotel apartments are expected to be completed over the next five years, with a total of 5,679 rooms to be added to the current number in the coming years.
The event will also provide SCTDA with an international venue to promote Sharjah’s most prominent historical sites, museums, exhibitions, festivals, and technology-driven projects such as Smart Mirror, Sharjah Boat, and the Virtual Reality experience.
Known for its rich heritage, history, and unique cultural diversity, Sharjah is an ideal tourism destination that offers multiple tourist attractions, each of which has different characteristics and offerings. The central region, for instance, is known for its stunning desert, offering adventure lovers with an opportunity to enjoy its sand and towering dunes while riding on SUVs. The eastern region, on the other hand, has beautiful terrains, exciting mountain adventures, historical sites, and museums. Moreover, the Emirate hosts many popular events, festivals and exhibitions.
“WTM 2019 will allow us to raise awareness about Sharjah’s growing tourism sector. It will enable us at the Authority to help put Sharjah on the world tourism map and entice more tourists worldwide, including travelers from the UK, Ireland, and other parts of Europe - thus bringing us closer to our goal of attracting 10 million visitors by 2021. In 2018, more than 578,000 European visitors traveled to Sharjah, up 24 per cent from the previous year, which reached 468.034, and we hope and look forward to increasing the numbers further in the coming years,” H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said.
The Authority will also put the spotlight on its recently launched apps designed to boost the emirate’s hospitality and tourism industry. These include the AI Tour Guide Chatbot, Smart Hotel Licensing and Classification, Smart Vehicle Permit System, and the Hotel Statistics System- Business Intelligence (HSS – BI) solution.
H.E. Al Midfa concluded: “Our participation at the WTM is part of our response to the directive of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to make Sharjah a global touristic destination. The local tourism sector, one of the vital economic sectors, has witnessed steady growth and development. During the event, we will have an opportunity to see the latest trends in the global tourism sector, showcase Sharjah’s beauty and offerings such as events, festivals, and exhibitions, meet and exchange experiences with decision-makers, and learn about the latest practices in tourism, hospitality, and travel.”
SCTDA recently launched the SHJ AI Guide to enhance the experience of both residents and visitors. The unique easy-to-use application is designed to help visitors from around the world. The application acts as a comprehensive and interactive tourist guide, providing all users with the latest information and details about local destinations, leisure activities, restaurants, and hotel facilities. It is available in five languages, namely Arabic, English, German, Chinese, and Russian. SHJ AI Guide can be downloaded on Apple Store and Google Play.
SCTDA will head Sharjah’s delegation that will comprise leading entities from the government and private sectors. The government delegates are Sharjah International Airport Authority; Sharjah Museums Authority; Environment & Protected Areas Authority; Shurooq; Sharjah Expo Centre; and Sharjah Institute for Heritage. Participants from the private sector are Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA); Sheraton Sharjah Beach & Resort; Hilton Sharjah; Sharjah Collection; Trav Talk; Hotel Holiday International; Cozmo Travel LLC and Golden Sands Sharjah.
Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) was established in accordance with Emiri decree no. 5 for 1996, with the primary objective of promoting the emirate of Sharjah through planning and laying down strategies to promote tourism and commerce, undertaking activities to market and promote the emirate, and conducting appropriate market studies and surveys, including economic and social studies, and field studies and surveys.
As a public authority with a corporate body and independent budget, finance and administration systems, the SCTDA focuses on actively promoting the commerce and tourism activities within the emirate of Sharjah and increasing local, regional and international awareness of the emirate as a top tourism and commerce destination.
The SCTDA is committed to exploring and exploiting new and existing ways to promote the emirate, including participation in international exhibitions, conferences and other relevant events, and is also responsible for organising and hosting events taking place within Sharjah, including the annual Sharjah Water Festival and F1 Powerboat Grand Prix.