Sharjah promotes itself as a tourist destination

Noman: Raising Sharjah’s profile on the international map

More than 1.4 million tourists visited Sharjah during 2007, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) reported recently.

The number of guests staying in Sharjah’s hotels and hotel apartments surged by 11 percent in 2007, to 1,456,058 guests, as compared to the figure of 1,315,745 guests recorded in 2006.
The overall occupancy rate in the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments was recorded at 80 per cent in 2007, a five per cent increase as compared to 2006. The overall occupancy in hotels was 85 per cent in 2007, compared to 82 per cent in 2006, and in hotel apartments was 73 per cent in 2007, against 67 per cent in 2006.
Other statistics issued by SCTDA showed that European tourists accounted for 33 per cent of the emirate’s total tourist influx in 2007, while GCC tourists accounted for 30 per cent, and 13 per cent came from various other Arab countries. Asian tourists were recorded at 20 per cent, and American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, African and Pacific tourists made up the remaining four per cent.
Commenting on SCTDA’s statistics, HE Mohamed A Al Noman, the authority’s director general, said, “This increase in the number of hotel premises in the emirate and the rise in their occupancy rate indicate clearly the increased volume of tourists visiting Sharjah, which has occupied a leading position on the international tourism map thanks to the visionary directions of Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qassimi, member of the supreme council, Ruler of Sharjah, and the generous support of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.”
He said, “The authority is working according to a clear strategy to develop the tourism sector of Sharjah by targeting international markets, and organising events and activities that further promote the emirate through tourism, trade fairs and promotional tours. The statistics reflect the changes occurring in the tourism sector in Sharjah, and the positive outcome of our efforts throughout the year.”
“We will continue our endeavors to maintain the current levels of success, and to further promote Sharjah as a favorable tourist destination and world-class family, heritage and culture centre’” he continued.
He said that the SCTDA had been involved in many international platforms, had received many international awards and had  organised, hosted and sponsored world class events including the final round of the Formula1 Powerboat world championship and  the Sharjah Water Festival.
Mohamed Al Noman concluded, “SCDTA has successfully participated in several foreign activities throughout the past year, and for 2008 we have devised a new promotional strategy where we are implementing new procedures that will raise Sharjah's profile on the international map and address the needs of the local tourism sector.”
The SCDTA will be represented at ITB this year in Hall 22a stand number 103.
Sharjah’s hotels accommodated 722,948 guests in 2007, against 693,528 guests in 2006, while hotel apartments in the emirate received 733,110 guests in 2007, up from 622,217 guests in 2006.
The total number of hotels and hotel apartments in the emirate increased by 30 per cent from 74 in 2006 (24 hotels and 50 hotel apartments), to 96 in 2007 (33 hotels and 63 hotel apartments).
Accordingly, the number of hotel rooms increased to 3,721 in 2007 from 3,237 in 2006, while the number of hotel apartment rooms increased to 3,238 in 2007, compared to 2,843 in 2006. The total number of hotel and hotel apartment rooms rose to 6,959 rooms in 2007, up 14 per cent from the 6,080 rooms of 2006.
The total number of occupied room nights rose to 1,498,197 in 2007, with hotels accounting for 847,556 of these, and hotel apartments making up the remaining 650,641, an 11 per cent increase from the 1,355,266 occupied room nights recorded in 2006, of which 813,065 were for hotels, and 542,201 for hotel apartments.