The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), during its participation at ITB Berlin 2019, reviewed the emirate’s chief plans, strategies and tourism programmes whilst showcasing ecotourism and sustainable hospitality.
Sharjah strongly emphasised on promoting local culture and distinct leisure activities that it has to offer at ITB Berlin 2019 as it seeks to highlight the cultural identity of the emirate and promote the potential of the tourism sector. Commenting on the participation, H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “During this year’s event, we attracted thousands of German and European visitors to Sharjah’s pavilion to witness key activities, programmes and events designed for visitors. These efforts effectively highlighted the tourist attractions in the emirate. Visitors’ interest in our offerings will inspire us to create more innovative initiatives aimed at enhancing tourist experience and will make them want to return to the emirate. In line with Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, we at SCTDA, are keen to participate in the exhibition every year to enhance the emirate’s position on the world tourism map and increase tourism flow.”
The delegation at ITB Berlin 2019, headed by SCTDA, included a number of government and private bodies in the emirate such as Sharjah International Airport, Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Sharjah Museums Authority, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA), Al Bait Hotel, Sharjah Collection, Ramada Hotel and Suites Sharjah, Coral Beach Resort, The Act Hotel, Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, Orient Tours, Al Khalidiah Tourism and Cozmo Travel.
The participation of EPAA promoted Sharjah by offering a new product that supports ecotourism with 10 quality centres, while Shurooq promoted its most prestigious tourism, environmental and luxury hotel projects and signed a partnership agreement with Shaza Group to manage three luxury hospitality projects within Sharjah Collection. The Sharjah International Airport focused its efforts on seeking new partnerships to promote the growth of passenger and cargo traffic through Sharjah Airport, which has become a global link connecting different countries of the world, as well as introducing its latest and most important services, innovations and facilities. Meanwhile, Sharjah Museums Authority highlighted the emirate’s 16 museums which celebrate the culture, history, architecture, archeological remains and arts of the UAE, the Arab world and the Islamic civilisation.
Speaking on the participation of Shurooq at ITB Berlin, H E Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Shurooq, said, “The last few years have recorded a number of transformative progress for Shurooq, its destinations and Sharjah’s global tourism ranking. We are currently playing a leading role in fully transforming the emirate’s authentic and ecotourism vision into reality through destinations such as Mleiha Archaeological and Ecotourism Project, Heart of Sharjah, Al Noor Island and Al Bait Hotel. These destinations have allowed Shurooq to explore and achieve unique partnerships with top international brands and operators that both see the value behind what we are offering to the global travel and tourism market, and behind our study in ensuring that our partners deliver what we aspire to achieve behind experiencing Sharjah’s rich culture, heritage and leisure features.”
He explained, “Participating at ITB Berlin this year falls within our mission, vision and commitment in ensuring our continuous and historic involvement with leading travel and tourism trade fairs such as ITB Berlin, support SCTDA’s Sharjah Vision 2021 and use the platform as an opportunity to make an iconic announcement such as Shaza’s management of our three Sharjah Collection properties — Al Faya Lodge in Mleiha, Kingfisher Lodge in Kalba and Al Badayer Oasis at Al Badayer desert.”
In the future, the authority plans to develop more unique leisure and tourism activities and an exclusive range of tourism services to attract more visitors.
It is adopting several measures to enhance tourism facilities in a sustainable manner and promote awareness of environmental responsibilities aimed at intensifying sustainability efforts in the tourism sector, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. In addition, SCTDA held a series of fruitful meetings and discussions, including H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa’s meeting with Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of World Tourism Organization. On the sidelines of the event, a special session was organised for international media to enhance media ties and introduce them to new initiatives and tourism programmes that Sharjah has to offer. A press conference was also held to announce the latest developments and current projects of the sector. During the event, H E Ali Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah International Marine Club, announced the launch of the official Team of Sharjah who will be participating at UIM F1H2O World Championship, and will be touring the world in search of its first win while also promoting tourism in the emirate.