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Sharjah steps up drive to boost tourism
April 2005 141

As part of its continuous efforts to develop the tourism sector, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) started a new marketing research project for the tourism sector of Sharjah.

Mohamed A. Al Noman, director of SCTDA, signed the new project’s contract with a leading international marketing research company.
The main objective of this project is to prepare a thorough and detailed assessment of tourist and other emirate visitors to Sharjah for the purpose of making certain decisions and investments concerning the strategic development and marketing of Sharjah’s tourism infrastructure.
A new landmark has already taken shape on the Sharjah skyline with the launch of the ‘Eye of the Emirates’, a 60m-high observatory wheel that is the tallest of its kind in the Middle East, Africa, and West and Central Asia.
The ‘Eye of the Emirates’ is part of Qanat Al Qasba, Sharjah’s ambitious entertainment and cultural hub, which was commissioned by the Qasba Development Authority.
The ‘Eye of the Emirates’ has already become a key attraction at Qanat Al Qasba. HH Sheikha Bodour Sultan Al Qasimi, chairperson of the Qasba Development Authority, said, “We are confident the Eye will become Sharjah’s most visible icon and portray a fresh, vibrant image of the emirate.” The ‘Eye of the Emirates’ provides a glimpse of the rich line-up of leisure, cultural and entertainment activities that are being offered as part of the Qanat Al Qasba attractions. Qanat Al Qasba was conceived by reputed regional leisure consultants Thomas Klein International, who are confident that the ‘Eye of the Emirates’ will prove a popular springboard to the area’s extensive cultural and entertainment attractions.
“We expect it to be a strong draw for people to visit Qanat Al Qasba,” said Daniel During, managing partner, Thomas Klein International.
The wheel was built in the Netherlands according to the latest technology and highest safety standards. It features 42 fully air-conditioned passenger cabins, or gondolas, attached to its external rim, with each gondola accommodating eight people at a time. Passengers can enjoy a panoramic view of 25-30 miles, including breathtaking aerial views of Sharjah and Dubai.
The capsules are aerodynamically shaped for least wind resistance and tuned mass dampers are attached to the outer rim to prevent the wheel from vibrating at its natural frequency. The large glass windows that surround passengers ensure that the views are magnificent and, because the capsules are secured to the outer rim, the views are unobstructed.




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