In its ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the tourism sector and services in the emirate and build better communication and coordination with all tourism sector players, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority held day-long meetings on November 19 with prominent representatives of hospitality sector in the emirate.

The meeting held at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry was chaired by SCTDA Chairman HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman in the presence of Director General HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa and was attended by more than 40 representatives of three, four and five star hotels and hotel apartments in the emirate.  This comes close on the heels of a similar recent meeting with more than 30 representatives of one and two-star hotels and hotel apartments.

Welcoming the industry leaders, Al Noman said that direct communication and constant cooperation with all tourism players was essential to boost and support the hotel industry which in turn stimulated tourism.  The SCTDA Chairman said that hospitality sector plays a crucial role in the development and promotion of tourism.  The quality of services it offers directly contributes to and determines the flow of tourists and visitors to the emirate, emphasised Al Noman.

Referring to the recent honour of Sharjah being chosen as the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015, Al Noman said the emirate deserved the accolade because of its immense potential in tourism and world-class tourism infrastructure.  “This places additional responsibility on all of us to further excel and work even more to improve the services and facilities offered by the tourism sector in the emirate,” he said.

Al Noman said that the number of hotels with three, four, and five-star in the emirate has reached 26 hotels totaling 4,063 rooms while the number of hotel establishments and tourist-rated luxury facilities to 17 with a total number of 2,162 rooms.  The total number of hotel and hotel apartment rooms in the three categories now stands at 6,225.  The occupancy rate for these three categories during October was registered at 80 per cent.

He welcomed the recent directives of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to develop new service facilities at Expo Centre Sharjah with a hotel for the benefit of exhibitors.  “This will create more hotel rooms and enhances services for visitors to the emirate, especially for MICE sector visitors,” he added.

The SCTDA Chairman also called for increasing the presence of the emirate’s hotel industry in Sharjah’s participation in local and international events, exhibitions and road shows organised by the Authority in major capitals and cities in the Gulf, Europe and around the world.

For their part, the hotel industry leaders and delegates underscored the importance of cooperation between the public and private sectors in order to enhance the level of tourist services including the development of transport sector and development of tourist attractions in the emirate by organising various events and activities throughout the year, in line with the construction boom witnessed by the emirate.

During the extremely productive and candid discussions, various general issues and concerns like hotel classification and licensing mechanism, promotional activities of the emirate locally and internationally and various ways of cooperation between the government and private sectors for collective growth also came up for discussion.  Many delegates also called for the need for more publications, literature and promotion material to guide the visitors to Sharjah.

Hotels

Number of Hotels

Rooms

5 star

4 hotels

829

4star

12hotels

1708

3star

10hotels

1526

Hotel Apartments

Number of Hotel Apartments

Apartments

Standard

12

1375

deluxe

5

787