HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has lauded the efforts of UAE Government for rapid development of infrastructure in the country, keeping pace with the fast growing population of residents and influx of international tourists.

In this regard, he stressed Sharjah’s own initiatives for development and progress in the emirate and constant efforts to improve services and tourism infrastructure in the emirate offering best of facilities to tourists in accordance with international standards.

This came during a meeting with the visiting Consul General of the Kyrgyz Republic HE Kuban Omuraliev accompanied with a delegation of media at the Authority’s offices in Sharjah on Sunday.  Al Noman briefed the Kyrgyz media delegation about the objectives, role and responsibilities of the SCTDA and on the latest developments in Sharjah’s tourism sector and various upcoming projects. The visiting journalists and officials were also briefed about Sharjah’s history and the traditions and customs of the people of the UAE known for their warm hospitality, friendliness and rich heritage attracting tourists from all around the world.

Al Noman said that while the richness and diversity of Sharjah’s tourism landscape has been attracting tourists from across the region and around the world, the establishment of the SCTDA 15 years ago has helped reinforce the emirate’s position on the world tourism map and successfully promote it locally, regionally and globally and contributing to the remarkable development of the tourism industry.

Since its inception in 1996, the Authority has been striving to develop tourism industry infrastructure in the emirate in collaboration with other stake holders besides showcasing Sharjah in the region and around the world at various international exhibitions and events and family festivals at home, emphasized Al Noman.

Al Noman expressed his pleasure over the Kyrgyz media’s visit saying Sharjah has been keen to strengthen cooperation with other international tourism destinations and promote exchange of expertise and experiences in culture, tourism, travel and hospitality sectors contributing to upgrading the tourism sector in the emirate.

He said the Authority has been encouraging greater investments in the emirate’s tourism industry, especially hotel facilities and infrastructure, especially in view of growing number of tourists to the emirate which exceeded 1.7 million last year.  Hotel occupancy touched 80 per cent during first quarter of this year.

Al Noman said the tourism sector in Sharjah has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years which is reflected in a number of awards and accolades that have come the emirate’s way, notably the UNESCO’s declaration of Sharjah as the Capital of Arab Culture in1998 and the OIC’s selection of the emirate as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014. Last year the Arab tourism ministers nominated the emirate as the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015.