CLEARLY, there’s a demand for alcohol-free hotels. In the UAE’s dry emirate of Sharjah, hotel occupancy for 2005 averaged 86per cent, according to an official communiqué.
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) issued its annual statistics report for the year 2005, revealing growth figures in Sharjah’s tourism sector till end December 2005. The tourism sector in Sharjah continued to grow and develop through 2005, with the number of hotel occupants rising by 10 per cent to touch 688,299 gests during 2005, compared to 622,133 occupants in the year 2004.
Similarly, the hotel nights witnessed a distinct increment of five per cent in occupancy, with 822,004 nights registered till end December 2005, in comparison to 796,209 nights within the same period of 2004. This remarkable increase has been influenced by the 94 per cent occupancy rate seen within Sharjah’s large hotels. Overall, the total percentage of hotel occupancy in Sharjah reached 86 per cent in 2005, as compared to 79 per cent within the same period in 2004. With high level of occupancy across the Emirate, there definitely is a growing requirement for quality hotel rooms within Sharjah.
Mohamed Ali Al Noman, director of the SCTDA, stresses that the visible rise in hotel occupancy rates within Sharjah is a clear outcome of the increase in tourist influx into the emirate, which has established a strong identity on the global tourist map.
“The SCTDA’s efforts are on creating a well-defined strategy based on targeting key markets and promoting tourism-related business activities for the development of tourism in Sharjah. Through participating in international tourist and commerce exhibitions, organizing promotional tours, road shows and other marketing activities around the year, we have been able to witness a spike in activity within the tourist sector,” he says.
Speaking on the SCDTA in 2005, Al Noman further says, “Last year definitely saw a marked increase in activity within the Authority, which intensively targeted the local, regional and international markets to meet the growing requirements in the Sharjah tourism market. With enormous growth across the Emirate, we continue to be motivated to input more efforts to deliver and keep pace with Sharjah’s transformation in to a unique tourist, cultural and family destination.
“The SCTDA looks forward to participating in a number of key exhibitions this year too. Through such activity, we aim to benchmark Sharjah as a truly international tourist destination,” says Al Noman. The emirate will be promoted at the Tourism Fair in Turkey (EMITT), the World Travel Market in London and world trade fair in china, the various Tourism Fairs in Russia, and the Bourse Fair in Berlin.