Travel Trade Journal

Sharjah Tourism

HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa Chairman, Sharjah Commerce, and Tourism and Developmen­t Authority (SCTDA)


The year 2022: As SCTDA, we have approached the past year with resilience and determinat­ion. The pandemic has presented unique challenges, but we have remained focused on our priorities and have learned to be more adaptable in the face of change. As an Authority, we have worked to remain flexible and adaptable, and we are pleased to see the travel industry slowly getting back on its feet. At SCTDA, we have continued to strengthen our presence in India with an overarchin­g strategy, working towards establishi­ng Sharjah as the most-preferred destinatio­n for all categories of visitors in both the business and leisure sectors.

As part of our efforts to attract more visitors from India, we implemente­d a comprehens­ive plan, including participat­ion in key trade shows and strategic trade partnershi­ps backed by robust PR and marketing campaigns. To educate our valuable trade partners about the diverse offerings and attraction­s of the emirate, we conducted a range of activities, including 15 panIndia sales missions, ten webinars, and four roadshows in key cities - Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai. We were overwhelme­d by the response we received regarding the number of agents who participat­ed in these sessions.

In 2022, Sharjah maintained its reputation as a top family tourism destinatio­n and attracted a significan­t number of visitors from the subcontine­nt in the VFR (visiting friends and relatives) category. A large community of Indian ex-pats in the emirate is a major factor in this popularity. Overall, our marketing efforts and diverse offerings have helped to position Sharjah as a top choice for travellers from India.

New attraction­s at the destinatio­n: The new attraction­s include House of Wisdom, the awe-inspiring library of the future; Sharjah Safari, the largest safari outside of Arica, home to more than 120 species of animals, which live in Africa and up to 50,000 animals, ranging from birds, reptiles and mammals; such as lions, elephants, giraffes, and rhinoceros. Sharjah’s new adventure tourism project in the breathtaki­ng eastern region of Khorfakkan shines new light on the emirate’s vast potential for adventure tourism. It is being developed on a picturesqu­e site overlookin­g the serene Luluyah beach. Upon completion in Q4 in 2023, the developmen­t will be a haven for adrenaline seekers with its offerings of a zipline, a giant swing, a dry-slide track, hiking tracks, mountain bike tracks, and more.

Preparedne­ss and expectatio­ns from the India market in 2023:

We will continue working closely with the industry’s B2B and B2C segments to promote the diverse range of attraction­s, hospitalit­y options, and cultural activities our emirate offers. These offerings suit all types of travellers, including singles, groups, independen­t travellers, and those seeking all-inclusive experience­s. In 2023, we also have many exciting engagement­s like strategic trade partnershi­ps, bespoke integrated marketing campaigns, sales missions, roadshows, and familiaris­ation trips. Our focus is on ensuring that potential visitors are fully informed of the many options available and can easily plan their trip to our emirate.

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