The Arabian Travel Market got off to a spectacular start today with Sharjah showcasing the best of its celebrated tourist attractions and heritage and attracting the attention of top tourism players, international media and other dignitaries at the region’s most prestigious travel and tourism summit in Dubai .

Earlier His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, formally inaugurated the high profile exhibition at the Dubai International Convention Centre. Sheikh Mohammed later visited the stands of various emirates and countries, inspecting their tourism promotion campaigns and upcoming projects.

Meanwhile SCTDA Chairman HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman received HE Dr. Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat, Chairman of the Jordan Tourism, and other top tourism players, visiting dignitaries and members of the media at the specially designed Sharjah pavilion. He discussed Sharjah’s regular year-on-year participation in the ATM, spelling out the strategies and plans to boost tourism and economic development in the emirate. During the meetings, the importance of tourism cooperation and exchange of experiences to take on the challenges and obstacles in promoting tourism sector in the region was emphasised.

The meeting also reviewed the importance of the Gulf market, particularly the UAE’s position in the Arab tourism market. Underscoring the importance of interacting with regional and international players and decision makers, Al Noman said this exchange of ideas and experiences was crucial to evolve new strategies and approaches to boost the tourism sector which significantly contributes to the economy and industry in Sharjah.

“It is essential to attract more international visitors and capital to Sharjah, which offers a most promising and rewarding investment environment,” he said. “As a result, Sharjah has emerged as one of the strongest and favourite tourism destination options for travellers from across the region and around the world.”

Al Noman said that the new strategies, plans and goals of the Authority reflect and match the size of the gains the tourism and economic sectors have achieved on the ground in the emirate over the past few years.

The SCTDA Chairman said Sharjah has several new tourism projects on the anvil. Besides, the SCTDA is working to boost special tourism or niche tourism with a view to attract more international visitors from diverse markets across the globe, he said. He pointed out that the interface tourism, which has seen a quantum leap in international tourism market in recent times, will be in the focus in the next phase of planning and development.

Al Noman said that the ATM Dubai presents a very good international platform and opportunity to promote and market a wide range of tourism products, projects and services. “I am confident that the participation of Sharjah will once again contribute significantly to tourism growth and help us expand horizons of cooperation and partnership with other leading players and stakeholders in the tourism sector,” he added.