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SCTDA highlights emirate’s unique family and cultural tourism products that distinguishes it from other destinations

Date Published: Saturday, March 12, 2016 The Sharjah pavilion at the ITB Berlin exhibition has been attracting attention from visiting dignitaries and officials as well as generating interest from the tourism sector. ITB which is held annually from the 9th to 13th of March in the German capital is globally recognized as the premier travel and tourism trade show. At this year’s exhibition, His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), met the UAE Ambassador to Germany, HE Juma Mubarak Al Junaibi and Mr Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of World Tourism Organization, Al Midfa took time to highlight the many new tourism sector developments in Sharjah over the current year. Among other dignitaries that visited the stand were, HE Mohammed Muhairi, Director General of the National Council for Tourism and Antiquities, who expressed appreciation for the initiatives taken up the Authority. The Sharjah pavilion also welcomed HE Nayef Al-Fayez, Jordan's Minister of Tourism & Antiquities. During the meeting with the dignitaries, HE Al Midfa discussed the promotional strategies for tourism in Sharjah and exciting new tourism projects being undertaken in line with the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021which aims to attract 10 million tourists to the emirate in the coming years. There are so many developments in terms of that really support the tourism industry of the Emirate he said. HE Al Midfa stated that ITB Berlin offers an ideal platform to promote the diverse offerings of Sharjah’s tourism sector in the European market. ITB attracts over 180,000 visitors to the fair, and provides an ideal platform for developing partnerships with major tourism stakeholders across the continent. HE Al Midfa said the exhibition opens doors to meet and discuss with decision makers from the European market about prominent developments in the tourism industry globally. He said that ITB is an opportunity to showcase Sharjah to the world. HE Al Midfa explained that the European market remains important with the emirate's hotel establishments receiving nearly a fifth of all hotel guests from Europe during 2015, with record number of hotel guests coming from the German market. Sharjah has 106 hotel facilities, including 53 hotels and 53 hotel apartments, offering a total of 10,000 hotel rooms. HE Al Midfa said Sharjah has a distinctive presence at ITB Berlin during its participation in the exhibition for the 19th year in a row under SCTDA, although he noted that Sharjah’s history with ITB stretches back over 30 years. SCTDA is aiming to make use of the ITB platform to engage with key players through promoting its family tourism offerings, superior services, hotels and facilities that together create an unforgettable tourist experience for tourists. During the event, the Sharjah delegation attended the annual dinner hosted by the UAE Ambassador for members of the UAE delegation to the ITB Berlin exhibition. SCTDA is confident that this investment in the European market will continue to increase the number of tourists to the emirate. Sharjah offers an attractive destination for European tourists with its diverse portfolio of holiday experiences backed up with the traditional warm weather requirements of safe family friendly beaches and water sporting activities. The Sharjah delegation to ITB Berlin, led by SCTDA, includes for the first time Knowledge without Borders and Sharjah Institute of Heritage, as well as SATA, Cozmo; Shurooq, Sharjah Healthcare City, Sharjah Museums, Sharjah International Airport, EPAA, Hotel Holiday International, Marbella Resort, Oceanic Hotel, Copthorne Hotel, Al Shaab Village, Coral Beach, Sheraton Resort, Ramada, Lou Lou’a Beach Resort, Radisson Blue Resort, Golden Tulip and Travtalk. They were also accompanied by Sharjah TV and Al Khaleej.