Sharjah added yet another feather to its cap by winning the prestigious Most Outstanding Tourism Pavilion Award for its distinct participation in the Beijing International Tourism Expo 2013 with the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority hosting a number of meetings and interactions with leading figures of the Chinese and Asian tourism industry, investors and visiting media delegations.

This is the seventh such award in Sharjah’s eight years of successful association with the Beijing exhibition, held from June 21 to 23 at the China National Convention Center.

The SCTDA Chairman held similar productive meetings with prominent business leaders, media and representatives of the region’s travel and tourism industry. They discussed ways of developing future cooperation between China and Sharjah and promote tourism and economic relations between the two destinations.

The Chinese investments in Sharjah crossed Dh100 million in 2012 with more than 120 Chinese companies specialising in building materials, furniture, clothes and fabrics, electronic and chemical industries now operating in the emirate.  Pointing out that China is the largest and fastest growing tourism and economic market in the world today, Al Noman said it is important for both the public and private sector stake holders of the emirate to exploit and build on this massive potential and opportunity.

With more than 20 million tourists a year, a figure that is projected to cross 100 million by 2020, the Chinese market offers immense potential, emphasised the SCTDA Chairman.

Sharjah and the UAE are home to a vibrant Chinese business community and there are strong trade, economic and tourism relations between China and the emirate. Besides hosting a dedicated exhibition for Chinese products and companies, Sharjah recently opened an attractive China market. The China Town Center development includes over 200 stores stocking products from 300 Chinese companies and factories. Last year the number of Asian and Chinese visitors to Sharjah stood at 227,554 representing 13 per cent of the emirate’s total tourist population. In the first quarter of 2013, this has gone up slightly and constitutes 14 per cent of Sharjah’s total share of tourists.