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152 tourist guides graduated since launching of the program

Date Published: Sunday, June 28, 2015 Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has organised its 11th Tourist Guide Licensing and Training Course as part of the Authority’s efforts to enhance tourism capabilities under Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021. A total of 152 tourist guides have been graduated since launching of the program. The first course in the sessions planned this year was held from June 7 to 21, 2015, with the participation of 18 guides capable of offering tourist guide services in diverse languages, including Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, Hungarian, Slovak, Czech, Armenian, French, Italian, German, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Marathi, English and Ukrainian. The course offered participants insights on the unique identity and diversity of Sharjah as a tourism destination, including its history, heritage, urban and economic development. The program includes field visits to major leisure landmarks, museums, cultural centres and family tourist attractions in Sharjah, highlighting the emirate’s diverse tourism capabilities which have made it one of the most favourite destinations in the region. Commenting on the course, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General of SCTDA, said: “Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority is committed to enhance skill levels in Sharjah’s tourism industry as we prepare to attract 10 million visitors by 2021 in line with the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021. The first Tourist Guide Licensing course for 2015 was part of SCTDA efforts to organise professional training opportunities every year to empower tourism industry professionals.” HE Al Midfa added: “The courses under the programme are designed on the highest international standards and in line with the latest trends and developments in the global tourism industry. Participants are offered the opportunity to learn new skills under the supervision of highly specialised experts in this field.” The first course of this year, organised at cultural centres in the emirate, included orientation lectures by experts and professors on a number of areas of importance to Sharjah’s tourism sector. During the field trips organised as part of the course, the guides were briefed on the latest tourism projects in the emirate. The tourist guide course this year assumes much significance in view of Sharjah’s recognition as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2015 by the Arab Tourism Organisation. Sharjah has emerged as a major global tourist destination in the region offering some of the most outstanding museums and cultural centres apart from a diverse range of leisure tourism offerings. SCTDA has been regularly conducting training and orientation courses for industry professionals in order to provide world-class services and expertise in the emirate. Aspiring tourist guides are updated on the latest trends and developments in the tourism sector before they are granted a licence to work as tourist guides in the emirate.