Sharjah has now turned its attention to the massive and ever booming Gulf tourism market as the region gets ready for the long holiday season. The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has unveiled a series of road shows in cooperation with Air Arabia across the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, beginning April 17 to woo the massive and constantly growing population of GCC and Arab tourists. The countries on the SCTDA’s itinerary will include Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, according to SCTDA Director General HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa.
The first leg of Sharjah’s road show campaign led by the SCTDA will begin with a presentation in Muscat, Oman and conclude with the Riyadh Travel Fair and presentations in major Saudi cities of Jeddah, Riyadh and Al Khobar. Sharjah’s popular airline Air Arabia has joined hands with the SCTDA in the GCC campaign.
Al Midfa said that the GCC road shows over the years have helped the emirate in reaching out to the fast burgeoning regional tourism market and are part of the strategy to expand its regional presence and strengthen cooperation with the Gulf neighbours.
“Sharjah’s economic and tourism relations with our Gulf neighbours have historically been robust and have grown dramatically in recent years. In fact, the Gulf is our biggest tourism market along with Europe and the emirate every year receives hundreds of thousands of visitors from the neighbouring GCC states. The emirate received an estimated 618,487 GCC tourists last year, which is 36 per cent of the total number of 1,739,240 visitors Sharjah received during 2012,” said Al Midfa underscoring the importance of tapping the regional tourism market.
The first stop on the road map is Oman on April 17 (Wednesday) where leading players of the country’s travel and tourism industry will come together at a workshop and dinner in Muscat hosted by the Authority. The guests will be briefed about Sharjah’s tourist attractions and numerous options and opportunities offered by the emirate for the Omani and GCC visitors.
The next stop is the Gulf emirate of Kuwait where the SCTDA will host a workshop and presentation in the Kuwait city before a select audience representing the tourism and hospitality industry on April 21, Sunday.
Next on the itinerary is Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s largest and region’s most influential city, on April 22 (Monday) where the SCTDA will once again be making a strong pitch to woo the Saudi tourism industry and tourists at a workshop and dinner. The Jeddah road show is followed by the crucial Riyadh Travel Fair, being held in the Saudi capital from April 23 to 26, in which Sharjah has been regularly participating since its inception.
The final stop on this leg of the GCC road show will be the Northern city of Al Khobar, which is the hub of the kingdom’s oil producing region. The Sharjah road show here will be held from April 27 to 29 with dinner meetings and presentations.
As part of the GCC road shows, the Authority will conduct workshops and presentations on Sharjah’s tourist attractions and its colourful calendar of various family festivals and events before select gatherings of representatives of the tourism industry, hospitality sector and airlines.