‘Discover Sharjah’ is the new mantra for the front office staff of the emirate’s growing tourism and hospitality sector.

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has wrapped up a two-day orientation tour, Discover Sharjah, for selected representatives of some of the leading hotels in the emirate.  Thirty-four industry representatives attended the orientation tour that included lectures about Sharjah’s history, culture and tourism sector, as well as visits to the prominent tourist attractions and landmarks across the emirate.

The orientation tour took the trainees to a number of museums, art galleries, cultural and historical landmarks and popular tourist attractions and entertainment spots in the emirate.  The group visited the Sharjah University City, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah Aquarium, Maritime Museum, Al Mahatta Museum, Classic Cars Museum, Archaeology Museum, Sharjah Discovery Center and others.

Some of the popular tourist attractions that were on the itinerary included Al Majaz Waterfront with its number of upscale restaurants, a musical fountain and children’s play areas and Dr Sultan Al Qassimi Center for Gulf Studies which also boasts a collection of unique maps, rare books and coins.

The participants went in a tour around the Heritage Area in the old quarters of the emirate, where they were briefed on the ambitious Heart of Sharjah project.  The group explored the Heritage area on foot, visiting the Sharjah Heritage Museum, Beit Al Naboodah, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, besides Al Eslah School, Souq Al Arsa and Majlis Al Midfa etc.

Underscoring the importance of the orientation tour, SCTDA Chairman HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman said that that the campaign was part of the Authority’s efforts to enhance the skills and services of the tourism sector staff updating them on the latest projects and developments in the emirate. Al Noman said that the Authority was committed to promoting Sharjah’s special tourism product locally, regionally and internationally.

The SCTDA Chairman added that the orientation tour has been timed to coincide with the summer when hotels in the emirate witness a sharp increase in occupancy rates, mostly from the GCC countries, especially after the recent SCTDA road shows in Gulf capitals. During the summer season, he pointed out, the emirate organises a number of promotional and entertainment events and exhibitions like Sharjah Summer Promotions and Ramadan and Eid Fair that includes an exhibition and celebrates the Holy month with greater fervour.  “We are counting on summer events and activities to increase tourism inflow into the emirate this season,” said Al Noman.

“Thanks to its natural diversity and cultural richness, Sharjah has emerged as one of the favourite tourism destinations in the region,” pointed out Al Noman. “Even as it remains true to its traditions, the emirate boasts modern infrastructure and international hotels and resorts attracting visitors from all over the world.”

Over the past year or so, the SCTDA has organised a number of campaigns introducing Sharjah’s tourism product and services, including Know Your Destination, Sharjah Treasures and Sharjah’s Petrol and Natural Gas Resources for the benefit of representatives of the leading hotels and tourism operators.