Sharjah’s tourism strengths highlighted at 42nd World Travel Market in London

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority leads a delegation of 18 public and private sector entities from the emirate

The Sharjah pavilion at the World Travel Market in London. - Supplied photo
The Sharjah pavilion at the World Travel Market in London. - Supplied photo

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 9 Nov 2022, 5:29 PM

Last updated: Wed 9 Nov 2022, 5:58 PM

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has led a series of discussions and meetings at the 42nd World Travel Market (WTM) that concluded today in London, UK, where it showcased the diversity of attractions and competitive world-class experiences in the emirate and spotlighted the unique opportunities in Sharjah’s travel industry.

The Sharjah entity led a delegation of 18 public and private bodies to promote the emirate as an international tourist destination at the three-day event, which brought together industry professionals from across the global travel and tourism industry in the British capital.

At a press conference in London, the entity highlighted the role of tourism in supporting economies and emphasised the importance of seizing opportunities to shape the future of the global travel and tourism sectors.

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, underscored that the entity’s participation in the international event aimed at showcasing the power and diversity of Sharjah’s tourism industry and introducing the advanced development and ongoing infrastructure projects in the emirate.

Al Midfa pointed out that Sharjah has both unique and diverse tourism offerings and that with a wide spectrum of competitive opportunities, it is a frontrunner in the industry and one of the leading tourist destinations in the region. From leisure, culture, sun and beach, sports, desert, mountain, heritage, and business, Sharjah provides a wide range of choices for guests and visitors from around the world, in addition to its robust agenda of year-round events.

The SCTDA delegation at WTM in London. - Supplied photo
The SCTDA delegation at WTM in London. - Supplied photo

“The global travel and tourism sector is vibrant and growing and transforming rapidly, and this requires SCTDA to keep pace with its novelties in partnership with our partners in the private and public sectors,” he said.

“Through SCTDA's participation, Sharjah provided valuable insights into the emirate’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, and its array of tourism projects spanning eco and adventure tourism, entertainment activities and events targeting all segments. The emirate’s residential and key integrated development projects will also enrich European and global tourists during their visit to the emirate.”

During the press conference, a number of Sharjah officials highlighted several tourism related projects and services that are boosting the emirate’s tourism and economic sectors.

Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA), said: "The emirate of Sharjah has successfully translated the visions and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, in enhancing our competitive position among the cities of the world.”

Highlighting the growing popularity of outdoor wilderness trips that enables visitors to experience the splendour of wildlife in the tranquillity of nature, the EPAA Chairperson elaborated on the entity’s

Sharjah Safari project, considered the largest safari of its kind outside of Africa. The Safari hosts more than 120 species of animals and birds in live environments that mimic their natural African environments and terrain.

Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah International Airport Authority, said: “At the World Travel Market we sought to foster further collaborations and establish resilient relations with various industry leaders in the travel and tourism sector through exchange of knowledge and expertise as well as networking sessions with a wide range of stakeholders in the sector.”

Al Midfa added: “At The 2022 WTM, we highlighted the numerous milestones we have achieved in the previous years, especially our capability in recuperating from the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and launching our operations in record time and achieving our growth goals. Sharjah International Airport has recorded an exponential positive growth in both passenger and cargo traffic, with the number of travellers crossing 9.5 million in the first, second, and third quarters of this year. We are expecting to receive over 12.5 million passengers by the end of 2022 and aim to boost the airport’s capacity to receive 20 million passengers in the near future.”

Saif Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah, stressed that the centre’s participation in WTM 2022 helped spotlight Sharjah’s strengths in the exhibitions and conferences industry and reinforced the emirate’s reputation as a preferred destination for business tourism.

A virtual reality presentation at WTM.  - Supplied photo
A virtual reality presentation at WTM. - Supplied photo

Al Midfa emphasised that the centre held fruitful discussions with key representatives of some of the biggest firms participating at the global industry event and highlighted the services, facilities, and incentives the Expo Centre provides round the year.

“At WTM 2022, we also highlighted the expanding calendar of events hosted by Expo Centre Sharjah comprising more than 40 regional and international exhibitions and events including the Sharjah International Book Fair, Watch & Jewellery Middle East Show, International Education Show and Steelfab exhibition, amongst many others," he concluded.

Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Acting CEO of Shurooq, said:“At WTM 2022, we showcased our latest projects across diverse sectors and unveiled our future plans in line with Sharjah’s vision to establish itself as a leading city in the Arab region for travel, work and leisure.

We also held several exciting discussions with global players and investors who are keen on collaborating with Shurooq to fulfil their regional interests by leveraging Sharjah’s business-friendly economy.”

“Overall, we’ve had a very successful and fruitful engagement at WTM 2022. We are delighted with the global interest generated in Sharjah’s and Shurooq's ambitious vision for a sustainable future,” added Al Qaseer.

Entities at the Sharjah pavilion included the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Sharjah International Airport Authority, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF), Expo Centre Sharjah, Sharjah Institute for Heritage, Sharjah Sports Council, Sharjah Old Cars Club, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA), Sharjah National Hotels, Golden Sands Hotel, The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah, Al Badayer Retreat by Mysk, Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, COSMO Travel, Orient Travel, and TravTalk.

This year, WTM hosted 75 panel discussions, meetings and conferences that brought together 51,000 industry professionals from the travel and tourism industry.

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