Sharjah wraps up ITB berlin with focus on Emirate’s Islamic cultural identity
Date Published: Sunday, March 9, 2014 Sharjah wrapped up its hugely successful participation in the premier international tourism exhibition, ITB Berlin today, held from March 5 to 9 in the German capital. Led by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, the Emirate put up a strong show in its 17th year of being part of the Berlin exhibition, registering a high turnout of top officials, diplomats, investors, leading tourism players and extensive international media coverage. HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said that the Authority has been successful in achieving its objective of promoting and showcasing Sharjah’s tourism product and cultural heritage from the platform of the high-profile international tourism summit. He referred to the number of meetings and interactions held with key players of international tourism industry and the strong presence of influential decision makers, diplomats and industry leaders at the Sharjah pavilion, reflecting the positive growth of the tourism sector in the Emirate and contributing to further growth of international tourist inflow. Al Noman said that Sharjah had received more than 1.9 million tourists during Year 2013, which is expected to grow further in times ahead especially in view of the grand celebrations of the Emirate’s crowning as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 which includes more than a thousand international cultural, tourism and entertainment events. The Sharjah Light Festival organized by the Authority last month also celebrated the theme of Islamic Culture Capital attracting tens of thousands of visitors, he pointed out. One of the highlights of the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital celebrations will be the presentation, Clusters of Light, by the German Orchestra Babelsberg on March 26 at the Al Majaz Island Open Theatre. Among the dignitaries and top industry players who visited the Sharjah pavilion during the exhibition and held meetings with SCTDA Chairman Al Noman included HE Juma Mubarak Al Junaibi, UAE Ambassador to Germany, Lebanese Tourism Minister HE Michel Pharaon, Bahrain Ambassador to Germany HE Ibrahim Mahmoud Ahmed Abdallah and UN World Tourism Council Secretary-General HE Taleb Rifai besides many others. Al Noman briefed the guests on the various aspects of Sharjah’s tourism experience including its world-class tourism infrastructure and services and a range of international festivals and activities lined up for the tourists this year On the other hand, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, received Dr. Martin Buck Director Messe Berlin, the host of ITB Berlin. Al Midfa stressed Sharjah’s interest and eagerness in being part of the premier international exhibition in the German capital for all these years. On the sidelines of the ITB, the Authority also organised a press conference and presentation to shine the light on the latest in the Emirate’s tourism offering in general and the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 celebrations in particular under the OIC’s Program of the Capitals of Islamic Culture. The event was attended by more than 70 representatives of German, European and international media besides some select members and representatives from the Sharjah’s delegation to ITB. Led by the SCTDA Chairman HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, the Sharjah delegation includes Environment & Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), Sharjah Airport Authority, Air Arabia, Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah National Hotels (Holiday International, Marbella resort and the Oceanic Resort and Spa), Hilton Sharjah, Radisson Blu Sharjah, Coral Beach Resort, Hotel Copthorne Sharjah and Cozmo Travel etc. The Emirate of Sharjah was showcased at the heavily attended international tourism summit in the German capital from an attractive 403-sqm pavilion representing and celebrating the best of Emirate’s Arab and Islamic heritage, culture, iconic tourist attractions and celebrated cultural events, festivals besides profiling the UAE’s traditions, folklore, cuisine and arts. Visitors to the Sharjah stand were offered promotional literature and leaflets and brochures in English and German about Sharjah, its history, heritage and all that it has to offer to international visitors as a complete tourism and investment destination.