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Sharjah welcomed approximately 360,000 guests from the GCC – in its hotels and hotel apartments over the first nine months of 2016

Date Published: Sunday, November 20, 2016 Encompassing stops in Al Khobar, Jeddah and Riyadh, the strong roadshow delegation led by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and comprising of stakeholders from Sharjah which including representation from the airline, hotels, attractions and tour operators and who will highlight the emirates multi-faceted and expanding cultural family tourism proposition to Saudis major outbound travel trade players. The promotional roadshow in Saudi Arabia is running from 13th until the 17th November, 2016. “This roadshow is a physical illustration of the increasing strategic importance of the vital Saudi source market to Sharjah’s immediate and long term tourism objectives. It follows a strong summer campaign that generated a direct increase of 14% in guest nights. We will continue to invest in Saudi markets as geographic proximity remains a key feature of our attractiveness to this market. As well as being close in distance our nations are united across our culture. Sharjah has become a home-away-from-home for thousands of Saudis who enjoy short leisure breaks, cultural excursions and business trips in a familiar and friendly environment”. Stated H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA The Sharjah delegation highlighted the emirate’s top events, programmes, and promotional offers, as well as the latest developments and upcoming plans in Sharjah’s tourism industry. The workshops drew in a number of participants from tourism companies, as well as investors, in all three Saudi cities. His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, said: “The Saudi market is one of the top source markets for Sharjah’s tourism sector. The Kingdom came in third place as a source market for Sharjah in the first nine months of 2016, with large numbers of Saudis travelling to Sharjah. There are so many options to fly across so many air carriers including Air Arabia that make connectivity between Sharjah and Saudi Arabia better and more affordable than ever.” “The growing number of tourists into Sharjah from neighbouring GCC countries only goes to prove the emirate’s success in positioning itself as a prime regional destination for families,” H.E. explained. “In fact, in the first nine months of 2016, hotels and hotel apartments across Sharjah received over 360,000 guests from Gulf countries. The Authority will be using this roadshow strategically to promote the upcoming winter season and its events to the KSA market, these events include the U.I.M. F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix, the Aquabike World Championship in December, as well as the Sharjah Light Festival in February – the first and largest of its kind in the region.” Positioning itself as a cultural family destination, Sharjah hosted the travel trade show in partnership with Air Arabia, which more than 100 key stakeholders from the Saudi Arabian trade attended over the three key cities. The UAE is already a popular choice for Saudi tourists and Sharjah fits the cultural profile perfectly. The emirate is gearing up to welcome even more Saudi tourists who choose visit the emirate over the coming year, the diversity of the offering and wide choice of hotels, distinctive natural landscape, museums and family places offers Saudi tourists a safe destination within a short flight distance. At each stop in the roadshow the delegations took the opportunity to update trade representatives on recent additions to the emirates tourism proposition through a presentation, covering new developments, hotels, attractions and entertainment. The dedicated networking sessions allow for the delegates to pitch their products and services directly to the invited guests in dedicated personal one to one sessions. Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has launched its vision to target 10 million visitors by 2021. The strategy positions Sharjah as a safe family cultural destination. The planned new hotels and attractions opening in 2017 will continue to add value to the destination for visitors from around the world who are looking for new remarkable experiences.