Ecotourism has emerged as one of the most popular forms of tourism around the world and is playing a crucial role in promoting cultural awareness about the environment and is directly contributing to the economy, said HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority. “Sharjah is ideally suited for ecotourism as it has a diverse ecological profile that includes a long coastline, rich marine life, mountains, valleys, deserts and natural reserves,” he emphasised.

This came in his speech on the occasion of the 13th edition of Sir Bu Nair Environment Festival, organised at the island from May 24 to 26 by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in collaboration with the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and a number of Sharjah government departments.

The 3-day festival celebrating the ecological paradise known for its rare marine life and a delicate ecological equilibrium saw a number of events and activities celebrating the environment, heritage and leisure opportunities on the island.

Al Noman underscored the role the Sir Bu Nair Festival has been playing in highlighting Sharjah as a world-class ecotourism destination with a rich heritage and culture in accordance with the vision of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, the Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. It is aimed at promoting greater public awareness about the environment and preserving the ecology, especially coastal areas and marine life, said the SCTDA Chairman.

Al Noman said that the Authority is keen to support the events and activities that enhance Sharjah’s profile on the world tourism map pointing out that festivals hosted by the emirate have brought it international recognition.

Emphasising the need to protect the environment and safeguarding of the precious natural resources and wealth, he said: “Ecological resources around the world are becoming scarcer by the day and it is important to protect our own limited and precious natural resources and environment.” He said that Sir Bu Nair Island is blessed with a wealth of natural resources and ecosystem that are ideal for ecotourism.

Al Noman commended Sir Bu Nair festival, praising the constant cooperation and concerted efforts among various government agencies and individuals who have contributed to the success of the event.