Sharjah s hotels attract more than 2 million guests in 2014
ATP- arab tourism portal- BERLIN (WAM): Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, has underscored the Authority’s keenness to showcase the best of Sharjah at the ITB Berlin and make the most of the opportunity in its 18th year of participation in the exhibition. Al Noman emphasised that Sharjah’s presence at the ITB Berlin this year is all the more special in view of the emirate being crowned as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2015, stating that Sharjah richly deserved the title because of its historical cultural heritage and contemporary tourism product.
Al Noman said Sharjah remains a favorite holiday destination for European tourists, as revealed by the latest hotel industry statistics. In the first half of year 2014, Sharjah’s hotel establishments received 409,585 European guests, as against 349,670 guests in the same period in 2013, registering an increase of 17%. He said that the Germans hotel guests last year stood at more than 25,000, underlining the importance of participating in major European and international tourism exhibitions and events such as the ITB Berlin to attract more German and European tourists and strengthen the emirate’s position as a leading destination on the global tourism map.
Al Noman said this during high-profile meetings with Juma Mubarak Al Junaibi, the UAE Ambassador to Germany, and a number of dignitaries and representatives of international destinations at the Sharjah pavilion on the opening day of ITB Berlin exhibition, being held from March 4 to 8 in the German capital. More than 11,000 European and international travel and tourism industry stakeholders and destinations are taking part in the ITB Berlin this year.
Al Noman expressed his satisfaction over the fact that Sharjah’s hotels attracted more than two million guests during the year 2014. The number of hotel establishments in the emirate has touched 106, including 50 hotels and 56 hotel apartments. The number of hotel rooms in the emirate has risen to 10,000, said the SCTDA Chairman, stressing that the emirate is set to witness the opening of a number of new luxury hotels in 2015, notably Sheraton Hotel and Resort. A number of other world-class projects such as the Chedi Khorfakkan Luxury Resort are also in the process of being ready in the near future, keeping pace with the increasing number of tourists to the emirate every year, he added.
Al Noman said that Sharjah offers a distinct and diverse tourism experience to the European tourists that includes authentic culture and heritage, world-class museums and cultural centres. The emirate boasts internationally acclaimed educational centres equipped with the latest technology on the one hand and world-class tourism infrastructure and a diverse natural landscape that includes golden beaches and rugged mountains bordering majestic desert on the other.
The emirate also offers a wide range of leisure, fun and sports activities for the entire family including swimming, diving, snorkeling, in addition to a pleasant shopping experience in popular malls and traditional souks, not to mention the experience of a desert safari or a visit to the largest mangrove forests of its kind in the region.
The Sharjah delegation to ITB Berlin is headed by the SCTDA and includes Sharjah Airport Authority, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA), Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), Sharjah Environment & Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah National Hotels, Coral Beach Resort, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Ramada Sharjah, Radisson Blu Resort, Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, Sharjah Premiere Group, Al Shaab Village and Spark Hotel & Deluxe Apartments etc.
The Sharjah stand at the ITB Berlin this year covers an area of 403 sq yards and offers the exhibition visitors a genuine experience of the emirate’s culture, tourism and traditions. The Sharjah pavilion combines the best of Sharjah’s tourism and cultural experience celebrating its authentic heritage, culture, tourist attractions, and major upcoming tourism projects, festivals and events.
Visitors are introduced to Sharjah’s association with the art of calligraphy by providing them an opportunity to get their names written in beautiful Arabic calligraphy. Visitors to the exhibition will also get to savour the true flavours of Sharjah as the pavilion welcomes them in traditional Arabic style with coffee, dates and freshly made Luqaimat, an Emirati preparation featuring small dumplings. The Sharjah stand also features large interactive touch-screens offering the visitors a rare, first-hand experience of the emirate and its attractions, monuments, museums, educational institutions, tourist attractions, festivals and events. Visitors are also being offered promotional literature and leaflets and brochures in German and English about Sharjah and all that it has to offer.
The ITB Berlin, in its 49th year of existence, attracts more than 11,000 exhibitors every year. The exhibition is expected to receive more than 110,000 visitors this year. The premier exhibition in the German capital is an ideal platform for international tourism, travel and hospitality industry stakeholders to showcase their products and exchange experience and expertise, keeping themselves abreast of all the latest developments and trends in the industry.