Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority today received the US Consul General to the UAE HE Rob Waller at the Authority’s offices in the presence of HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority. They discussed ways of boosting bilateral cooperation in trade and tourism sectors and ties between the two destinations.
Al Noman briefed the visiting Consul General on the new developments and investment and tourism opportunities in the emirate which is strategically located with access to both the Arabian Gulf on the Western side and the Gulf of Oman in the East attracting tourists and investors from across the region and from around the world.
The SCTDA Chairman drew attention to the fact that Sharjah is well connected globally with its own airline Air Arabia and other international airlines and a world-class international airport that has won many accolades and is considered one of the best in the world, offering global standard facilities and services. Besides, Al Noman pointed out, Sharjah offers state of the art facilities and services in its free trade zones allowing full foreign ownership and 100% exemption from taxes and duties in order to encourage international investments and development in the emirate to help the local economy.
Referring to the recent growth in Sharjah’s tourism and hospitality sectors, the Chairman said that the emirate received more than 1.7 million tourists last year with the European and Gulf tourists dominating the tourism market share. Sharjah is home to more than 100 hotels and hotel apartment facilities offering more than 9,000 rooms and with hotels registering more than 75 per cent occupancy throughout the year and up to 100% occupancy during the holiday season.
Under the leadership of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and with the support of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler and Crown Prince of Sharjah, the emirate has been constantly striving to enrich its tourism experience and earn itself a distinct position on the world tourism map, said Al Noman.
Sharjah is home to internationally acclaimed museums, tourist attractions and world-class hotels and tourism infrastructure and hosts popular international family festivals and tourism and cultural events throughout the year. The Authority’s role in promoting the Brand Sharjah and showcasing its tourism attractions in international trade exhibitions and special road shows in major European cities and the Gulf also came up as Al Noman said that the Authority is looking to host similar road shows and tours in the United States.
He also referred to the several massive tourism projects coming up in the emirate including the recently unveiled ecotourism initiative by Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority) on the Sir Bu Nair Island which is the first of its kind integrated tourism and hospitality project in the region.
Referring to the famous Al Islah School which was the first regular school founded in the middle of the last century, he said that today Sharjah is home to world-class universities, research centres and institutions. Sharjah was crowned the Capital of Arab Culture by UNESCO in 1998, recognizing the excellence and grandeur of its architectural style and heritage which is reflected in the Heart of Sharjah and ancient heritage buildings.
At the end of the meeting, both sides hailed the bilateral relations and interaction vowing to build greater economic and tourism exchange and cooperation between the two destinations. On this occasion, Al Noman presented a special memento shield to the US Consul General.