Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Tourism contributes $1.9bn to Sharjah’s GDP

The tourism sector in Sharjah has contributed over Dh7 billion ($1.9 billion), or 8.5 percent, to the emirate’s total gross domestic product (GDP) of Dh83 billion, said the chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.

The yearly number of tourists visiting Sharjah exceeds 1.7 million, which is the result of the Authority’s innovative projects that comply with international standards, and supports the goals of Sharjah Vision 2021, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa said in a statement to the Emirates news agency Wam.

During the Authority’s participation in the Arab Travel Exhibition 2018, which started yesterday (April 22) at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Al Midfa said that the Authority is keen to participate in the exhibition on an annual basis, as it is one of the largest regional and international gatherings of travel and tourism experts.

Regarding major hotel projects to be implemented in Sharjah, Al Midfa stated that the Authority has launched a series of new projects to complement previous projects, with the aim of supporting local tourism, as well as promoting tourism, cultural and entertainment events to attract more tourists.

Al Midfa also highlighted the emirate’s "Investment in the Tourism Sector Strategy" that the Authority implemented to achieve the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 and attract higher numbers of tourists to the emirate, with a goal of reaching up to 10 million tourists by 2021, which will coincide with the Golden Jubilee of the UAE’s founding, as well as to implement the vision of Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to make Sharjah the ideal family destination.

He added that the Authority’s strategy is based on four key pillars, which are promoting Sharjah’s position as a leading destination for family tourism by providing attractions designed for families; improving the experience of tourists by providing innovative solutions; developing the emirate’s tourism potential through establishing partnerships to create world-class tourism facilities, as well as effectively promoting the emirate’s cultural and heritage attractions.

He further added that Sharjah has many advantages, as it has beautiful beaches on the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, as well as many museums and a rich history and culture, making it a bridge between modernity and tradition. Sharjah has also acquired three important Arab titles, by being named the "Capital of Arab Culture" in 1998, the "Capital of Islamic Culture" in 2014, and the "Capital of Arab Tourism" in 2015.