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Sharjah targets GCC tourists with road show, workshop in Kuwait

Date Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 Al MIDFA: 21% INCREASE IN KUWAIT VISITOR NUMBERS IN 2013 With the continuing rise in its international tourist inflows, especially from the neighbouring GCC countries, Sharjah is reaching out to the Kuwaiti tourism market with workshops and dinner interactions in Kuwait City as part of its GCC road show and marketing campaign across the region. The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority hosted a very successful workshop and dinner presentation in Kuwait City on Monday (April 21) to promote Sharjah’s diverse and rich tourism experience. Speaking at the presentation HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, emphasised the special relationship between Sharjah and Kuwait. “Relations between Kuwait and Sharjah and the UAE have historically been rich and robust and go back long in time. These historical, cultural and economic ties have received a huge boost in recent years with a surge in number of Kuwaiti tourists visiting Sharjah year after year,” he said. Al Midfa said that as one of the most upwardly mobile and travelling populations in the world, the oil-rich emirate of Kuwait has emerged as one of the most promising tourism markets for Sharjah in the region in recent years. Last year saw an encouraging 21 per cent increase in the number of Kuwaiti tourists flocking to Sharjah. More than 41,665 Kuwaiti tourists visited Sharjah in 2013 as compared to 34,420 visitors recorded in 2012. “As has been the case with visitors from our other Gulf neighbours, Sharjah has been a home away from home for thousands of Kuwaiti families and visitors because of a close affinity of language, culture, food and values that the two Emirates share,” added Al Midfa. Select representatives of Kuwait’s leading travel and tourism companies, hospitality industry and local and regional media attended the workshop and dinner-presentation, hosted by the SCTDA in cooperation with Air Arabia, the flagship popular airline of the emirate. He said that thanks to Air Arabia and other convenient airline connections, Kuwait is now well connected with Sharjah and the UAE. The SCTDA and travel and tourism industry of the Emirate hope to further capitalise on this increasing interest in Sharjah and the diverse tourism and cultural experience it offers to the Kuwaiti tourists and GCC visitors at a time when the Emirate is celebrating its crowning as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014. The Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital celebrations were launched recently with the spectacular ‘Clusters of Light’ presentation at the newly developed Al Majaz Island. More than hundred special events and activities have been lined up to mark the celebrations this year. The SCTDA underscored this special nature and profile of Sharjah’s tourism sector during the Kuwait road show. Led by the SCTDA, the Sharjah delegation to Kuwait included Air Arabia, Ramada Sharjah, Golden Tulip, Copthorne Hotel and Cozmo. Highlighting the rich cultural landscape, numerous leisure options, endless shopping opportunities, familiar language and culture and above all proximity that Sharjah offers to the visitors from Kuwait and other Gulf countries, Al Midfa said the Emirate presents a complete and distinctly different holiday experience for international travellers. The Kuwait workshop offered a peek into the numerous cultural and family tourism festivals and events hosted by Sharjah throughout the year. Festivals and events like Sharjah Water Festival, Sharjah Light Festival and Sharjah Grand Prix, not to mention Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah International Book Fair and Sharjah Heritage Days etc., make the Emirate a colourful and vibrant tourism destination with a diverse and year-long calendar of events.