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Date Published: Sunday, November 9, 2014 The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has wrapped up a hugely successful participation in the premier World Travel Market 2014 Exhibition, held from 3 to 6 November at ExCel London, asserting Sharjah’s eminence and special position in the league of major international tourism destinations. Speaking on the occasion, HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said that the WTM London presented the Authority with an opportunity and platform to strengthen its relations with international and European tourism markets, which have for years been the critical tourism exporting markets for the emirate. He reaffirmed the Authority’s keenness to showcase Sharjah’s tourism product in major travel and tourism sector exhibitions in Europe such as the ITB Berlin and the WTM London in view of the growing European tourism market interest in the emirate. Al Noman expressed the hope and confidence that the Emirate will continue its journey of success and excellence of the past few years in Year 2015. Talking about the agenda next year, the SCTDA Chairman said that 2015 will be a celebratory year, with world-class events and activities having been lined up to mark Sharjah’s coronation as the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015. The Sharjah Light Festival, to be held in February, will be a special feature of these celebrations as it will illuminate the emirate and bring out the beauty of its buildings, monuments, landmarks and tourist attractions. “The participation in the WTM 2014 has been special in many ways as it highlighted the growth and success of Sharjah’s tourism product and highlighted its recognition as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 and the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015,” said Al Noman, “in addition to showcasing the latest developments in the tourism and hospitality sectors and its various family, cultural and tourism festivals attracting considerable interest of the industry and visitors.” The SCTDA Chairman expressed his satisfaction at the number of highly fruitful meetings and talks held with leading tourism and travel industry stakeholders in Europe and from around the world. Among the distinguished guests who visited the Sharjah pavilion included the UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, HE Abdulrahman Al Mutaiwee, who was accompanied by senior UAE officials. Mr David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council, and Dr Steven Freudmann, Chairman, Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) were among those who met the SCTDA management to discuss tourism exchange and cooperation. Al Noman said the Authority attaches great importance to these meetings, they contribute to the strengthening of relations with tourist destinations and tourism stakeholders in Europe and around the world. This dialogue provides opportunities for the exchange of expertise and experiences with global players and leading destinations. They also open us to the latest developments and trends in tourism, travel and leisure markets, leading to cooperation and future agreements for cultural and tourism exchange helping to upgrade Sharjah’s tourism sector to the highest levels. Besides special interviews and appearances with European and international media, the SCTDA hosted a special presentation and press conference on the sidelines of the WTM to introduce the Capital of Arab Tourism Award. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, accompanied by members of Sharjah’s tourism industry delegation, addressed the press conference attended by more than 40 representatives of British and European media. Led by the SCTDA, the Sharjah delegation included Sharjah International Airport Authority, Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas (EPAA), Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, Sharjah Museums Department and Universal Travels & Tourism.