sharjah-german-famtripHE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority welcomed a German delegation representing ten leading travel and tour operators who are on a private visit to the emirate this week.

The familiarisation trip included visits to a number of tourist attractions and landmarks in the Sharjah city and a visit to the port city of Khorfakkan on the East Coast.  The German visitors were briefed on the emirate’s tourism industry features, heritage and customs and traditions of the Emirati society.

The German delegation also got a taste of the authentic Emirati food and fabled Arabian hospitality at a traditional Emirati home and kitchen besides a peek into the Emirati sartorial traditions and customs like henna painting etc. It was a wholesome and authentic experience derived from the collective heritage and identity of the Emirati people.

Al Midfa said that by inviting the German travel and tourism operators, the Authority is looking to more proactively promote Sharjah’s distinct cultural tourism experience in the German market, attracting more German tourists to the emirate and strengthening the bonds of cooperation between the two tourism destinations.

The Director General drew attention to the remarkable development witnessed in recent years in the Eastern region in general and the city of Khorfakkan in particular, which is rightly called the Bride of the East Coast because of its rich natural landscape that includes stunning beaches and majestic mountains. All this makes Khorfakkan an ideal destination for a number of major international cruise-liners bringing thousands of visitors every cruise season, he added.

In addition to the availability of a number of water and adventure sports and beach activities, Khorfakkan has lately been the focus of high-end investments and infrastructure development including the construction of excellent, new roads.  Besides the recently reopened landmark Oceanic Hotel, several new projects are coming up in the city.

Among the various tourist attractions that the German delegation visited in Sharjah, the trip to the celebrated Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization was truly special.  The museum is home to more than 5,000 pieces of Islamic history and artefacts from all over the Islamic world.

On this occasion, the German visitors were briefed on Sharjah’s ancient civilizational heritage and the preparations for celebrating the emirate as the Capital of Islamic Culture for Year 2014 by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation nations. The German guests also paid a visit to the Heritage Area and Souk Al Arsa, one of the oldest traditional markets in the UAE, and the ambitious Heart of Sharjah project.

It is worth noting that the SCTDA has in recent times organised a number of orientation tours and educational and training workshops for the travel and tourism professionals and industry partners in and outside the country.  ‘Explore your Destination’ and ‘Treasures of Sharjah–Oil and Natural Gas’ are some of the most recent training and orientation programs.