46 hotel industry professionals explore emirate’s attractions under ‘sharjah my destination’ program
Date Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 Al Midfa: Program part of strategy to promote professional excellence in tourism sector The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority continues to develop the skills and professional excellence of tourism industry professionals, arming them with the latest information about new projects and landmarks of the emirate by way of an orientation program titled ‘Sharjah My Destination.’ Forty six employees representing a number of leading hotels and agencies in the Emirate took part in the two-day program, the first of its kind this year, that included presentations by industry experts and visits and field trips to Sharjah’s numerous museums, art and cultural centres and tourist attractions. Speaking on the occasion, SCTDA Director General HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa underlined the Authority’s keenness to develop initiatives such as these that include meeting with industry partners, orientation tours, workshops and field trips etc. for their employees as part of its efforts for professional growth and excellence in the sector according to highest international standards. He said that the importance and role of tourism industry employees in promoting the destination is growing by the day as they are in direct contact with tourists and can enrich the visitors’ knowledge and understanding of the Emirate and its main tourist attractions and cultural and entertainment landmarks, especially with the tremendous growth registered by the sector in recent times attracting more than 1.9 million visitors last year. Al Midfa said that the recent statistics unveiled by the Authority prove the eminent position Sharjah has come to earn itself on the regional and international tourism map. It has become one of the most sought after destinations in the region because of its unique tourism profile, its cultural attractions and the modern hospitality and services it provides. This places greater responsibility on all stakeholders to do their best to enrich the experience of all visitors to the Emirate and make it truly memorable justifying Sharjah’s image. The 2-day orientation program began with a tour of Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization followed by a walking tour of the Heart of Sharjah and Heritage and Arts Area, all known for their rich history. Next on the itinerary were the legendary Central Souk, a prominent tourist destination, Al Noor Mosque, the architectural marvel, and Al Qasba and Al Majaz Waterfront, both prominent leisure destinations, and the latest to join the attractions, Al Montazah Park, which was recently inaugurated. The first water themed amusement park in the Emirate, Al Montazah, is spread over an area of over 126,000 square meters on Khalid Lagoon and includes the latest attractions and amenities in leisure and amusement. The guests also visited a number of museums, including Al Mahatta Aircraft Museum chronicling the history of aviation in the emirate including its first airport in 1932, and Sharjah Aquarium and Maritime Museum. The day two of the tour included a bus trip to a number of popular landmarks, government buildings and scientific and cultural centres including the University City of Sharjah and Dr Sultan Al Qassimi Centre of Gulf Studies, a treasure trove of history and heritage of life in the Arabian Gulf. The Centre contains rare exhibits and books that come directly from His Highness the Sharjah Ruler’s private collection. Other attractions on the itinerary included Cultural Palace Roundabout, Sharjah Discovery Center, Sharjah Equestrian Club, Sharjah Desert Park that includes Sharjah Wildlife Centre and Natural History and Botanical Museum, Sharjah Classic Car Museum, Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club and Sharjah Archaeological Museum and Sharjah Science Museum. It is worth noting that the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has organized a series of special training and orientation programs, workshops and tours in recent years for tourism and hotel industry partners in the Emirate under the themes of ‘Explore Your Destination’ and ‘Treasures of Sharjah, Oil and Natural Gas in Sharjah’ etc in order to familiarize them with the Emirate and the its economic, cultural and touristic diversity. In October, the SCTDA hosted a special presentation for the leaders of hotel industry and members of media in the Emirate to brief them on the performance, developments and growth prospects of the hospitality sector in Sharjah.