Sharjah aspires to be family tourism hub

Sharjah aspires to be family tourism hub
Sharjah hosted the first edition of the Sharjah Summer Festival this year. The event was a big draw for families.

dubai - Emirate aims to attract 10 million tourists by 2021



by

Suchitra Steven Samuel

Published: Sat 1 Dec 2018, 6:03 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Dec 2018, 4:05 PM

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) was established in 1996 to promote Sharjah's commercial and tourism sectors. It continues to carry out critical work and activities to achieve its objectives at the local, regional and international levels. As a result, Sharjah has grown to become one of the most prestigious commercial and tourist destinations in the world today thanks to its distinctive offerings. Investments in the tourism industry are also pouring in as a result of partnerships with various government and private sectors. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman of SCTDA, shares his thoughts in an interview with Khaleej Times. Excerpts:

National Day and Vision 2021
This year's celebration of the UAE National Day is an opportunity to look back at the country's journey, from its small beginnings to the modern, peaceful and prosperous Arab state that it is today. Early in our young history, our leaders led by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan faced major challenges as they worked towards uniting all 7 emirates to form a strong nation that would reflect our identity and retain our cultural heritage and traditions. Driven by his love for the people and vision of a bright future for all, our founding father faced all issues head-on, leading to the establishment of the UAE Government. To continue the legacy of Sheikh Zayed, our leaders forged UAE Vision 2021 to guide the Emirates and give it a framework to fulfil its ambitious goal of becoming one of the world's most developed and globally competitive nations.

In line with UAE Vision 2021, major national policies and strategies have been implemented to achieve set objectives. The government's latest focus areas include innovation, creativity, excellence, research and development, housing, women and youth empowerment, people's well-being and investments. The UAE leads in the region in over 100 development indicators, including infrastructure, quality of roads, security and safety, women's education, government performance and confidence in government. All these accomplishments are made possible by the legacies of our forebears, which we commemorate every UAE National Day, and values espoused by UAE Vision 2021.

Major achievements in 2018
The year 2018 has been excellent for the SCTDA. We launched the first edition of the Sharjah Summer Festival in partnership with major establishments, including Air Arabia, Mega Mall, Sahara Center and Zero 6 Centre, offering discounts, in addition to hosting a range of fun activities for the whole family.

This year, we also staged our first independent roadshow in Germany. SCTDA, along with representatives from leading local tourism, service and hospitality providers, visited 3 German cities for the promotional event.

We have marked our entry into the Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean markets for the first time, through a joint roadshow in collaboration with Emirates airline, where we showcased tourism offers.

In terms of recognitions and our world-class standards and procedures, we received 3 ISO certificates this year, namely ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001, in addition to winning the 'Best Tourism Authority' at the Arabian Travel Awards 2018. Both were a testament to our commitment to implement the highest standards of excellence and quality across our operations.

Future plans
Following the wise leadership of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, our main strategy revolves around positioning Sharjah as the ideal global destination for family holidaymakers as well as an international cultural hub for historical and natural heritage. This is aligned with the objectives of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which aims to attract at least 10 million tourists by 2021 when the country celebrates its 50th year as a Union. As such, we will develop in the coming years distinctive family leisure and tourism activities with special packages to attract visitors. Additionally, we will utilise innovative solutions in collaboration with our partners to enhance the overall local tourism experience and shed light on Sharjah's natural and cultural heritage.

Year of Zayed
The Year of Zayed pushes us to aim higher in remembrance of the achievements as well as the principles and values instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed. Under the guidance of our present leadership, we will continue to contribute to the development of Sharjah and the UAE as we move together as a single unit towards becoming a global hub for innovation and leadership. Today's generation and the next should not forget about the sacrifices made by our founding father because it is through his vision that we are now enjoying stability and prosperity.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who provide us with their support to ensure the successful realisation of our duties and responsibilities.

- suchitra@khaleejtimes.com

HE Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Chairman at SCTDA
HE Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Chairman at SCTDA
Al Noor Mosque
Al Noor Mosque
Kitab
Kitab
Al Majaz Waterfront
Al Majaz Waterfront
Al Montazah
Al Montazah

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