Sharjah culminated on an upbeat note by winning the “Most Active Destination” award at the Leisure Moscow 2012, held in the Russian capital from 19 to 22 September.

Sharjah pavilion attracted considerable attention of the tourism industry where several dignitaries, business leaders and representatives of international media visited the emirate’s pavilion and were briefed about the emirate and its tourism projects.

Speaking on the occasion, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority Chairman HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman said Sharjah attaches highest importance to the participation, attributing the success of Sharjah’s participation to the combined efforts of the public and private sectors and all players of the tourism and hospitality sector.

He stressed the significance of the meetings held with travel and tourism agencies and tourism players from CIS countries. “There’s no doubt that this participation in the Russian travel and tourism market will have a huge impact on the cooperation and communication process in this sector,” he said.

Al Noman referred to the increasing number of CIS tourists during the past years. “Last year, the number of CIS tourists recorded 15pc increase with 390,860 tourists visiting the emirate, compared to 340,532 in 2010. This is a result of Sharjah’s participations in Leisure Moscow during the last 11 years”, he said.

“Sharjah has become a favourite destination for Russians tourists.The Russian companies listed Sharjah on top of their tourism destination list because of the emirate’s rich culture and heritage along with other touristic features and an agenda full of festivals all around the year , on top are the Sharjah Water Festival, sharjah Light Festival and the Sharjah heritage Days,” al Noman added.

Leisure Moscow is one of the most prominent leisure tourism exhibitions worldwide. The SCTDA was keen to showcase the best of emirate’s rare tourist attractions and rich heritage at a unique pavilion, where Russian and English publications were distributed to visitors promoting the emirates tourism product.

Sharjah delegation, headed by HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman Chairman of the SCTDA, included a number of senior government officials and representatives from public and private sector. The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, Sharjah Airport Authority, Air Arabia, Ramada Sharjah, Sharjah National Hotels (Hotel Holiday International, Marebella Resort, The Oceanic Hotel), Al Khalidiah Tourism, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Time Ruby Hotel Apartment, fair Mount Tourism.

The SCTDA is keen to target Russian tourists by launching its website in Russian (www.sharjahtourism.ae/ru) offering a peek into the emirate’s landmarks and calendar full world class events and entertainment taking place in the emirate all around the year.

Sharjah has received a number of awards during its participation in previous editions of Leisure Moscow, including for the ‘Best Promotional Campaign’ in 2004 and ‘Most Active Participant’ in 2009.