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Al Midfa: Sharjah is rapidly developing its reputation as the top family destination in the region following its 2021 vision.

Date Published: Sunday, November 6, 2016 Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCDTA) will continue to build stronger ties in the European markets through its participation in the World Travel Market 2016. Being held in London from November 7 to 9, the World Travel Market is the leading event for the travel and tourism industry globally. The UK remains a key opportunity for business and tourism, with a long history and great communication links to the UAE it will continue to expand. This is the 14th year that Sharjah has participated and the Authority is delighted to welcome a strong delegation which include representatives from Sharjah International Airport Authority, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority “Shurooq”, Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Air Arabia, Sharjah Museums Department, Cozmo Travel, Ramada Hotel, Grand Excelsior Sharjah, and Sharjah National Hotels. Every year Sharjah finds itself with increased visitor interest. Along with the growth of Middle East representatives at WTM there is definitely a greater interest in the region as a whole and in particular in the Emirate. Sharjah’s presence will include a “must-visit” stand in the exhibition hall, providing visitors with information on the emirate’s tourism sector, naturally the Emirates many key events will be featured including the F1h20 Powerboat World Championship, the Sharjah Light Festival as well as the art biennial and the book fair. Shurooq is bringing a unique element to the stand with its showcase of Mleiha, which is supported by the traditional Arabic Café and will ensure Sharjah is the flagship stand at this years event. SCTDA has a number of new-to-market products ready for this year and is excited about its launch of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events), publication to enable MICE industry planners in their choice of Sharjah. A further key addition to this year is the introduction of the new destination toolkit which profiles the many activities and places the Emirate has to offer visitors. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said that “last year we launched our vision for 2021, this year we build on the solid foundation of the past 12 months and demonstrate the growth of our offering with the exciting and new leisure and destination products. Overseas promotion is a key strategic business priority of SCTDAs future strategy aiming to bring in 10 million visitors by 2021. This managed approach to growth holds substantial opportunity to the travel trade and the hospitality investors who are looking to play a role in the advancement of Sharjah into an internationally renowned business and leisure destination. SCTDA continues to move forward with its promotional strategies focusing on Sharjah as a family destination for the more culturally aware, besides year round sunshine, international and boutique hotels, excellent facilities for leisure, sport, shopping and dining the emirate offers an authentic traditional Arabic destination with outstanding natural beauty, unspoiled desert dunes and miles of pristine sands on both the East and the West coasts”. The SCTDA delegation will meet with key players in the British and European tourism market to discuss opportunities for partnerships and co-operation. Held annually in London, the World Travel is a vibrant business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to international travel professionals. It provides a unique opportunity for the global travel trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business. More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press visit every November to discover the latest industry opinion and trends. The event, now in its 37th year, generates more than £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts each year. “WTM is a perfect platform for us to build on our successes and ensure we meet our target of 16% increase in European guests across our 100+ hotels and hotel apartments and to increase their length of stay. The key to achieving our ambitious target is building on our existing relationships with agents and tour operators and establishing an even wider business network. We are confident of meeting these expectations by working with our stakeholders in highlighting our fabulous destination”.