SHARJAH, April 7, 2014
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]harjah is hosting a huge contingent of more than 16,000 Chinese visitors in several groups including top dignitaries, leaders of tourism and hospitality industry, a number of eminent journalists, intellectuals and regular tourists.
Being hosted in cooperation with Arabian Adventures, this is the largest incentive group to visit Sharjah and the UAE to date. Groups will visit Sharjah over a period of 10 days, from 6th to 17th April, with an average of 3,000 visitors a day.
Welcoming the largest and first of its kind Chinese contingent to Sharjah, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, underscored the keenness of the Authority to strengthen tourism ties and exchanges with a number of countries around the world, contributing to the economic growth and promote of Sharjah’s tourism experience in major global markets.
With its continuous efforts to attract more international tourists to Sharjah, Al Midfa said, that the Authority’s focus in the coming period will be on Asian countries that currently happen to be one of the fastest growing markets in the world.
Al Midfa noted that the Asian markets have immense potential to provide the region with a continuous supply of international tourists and contribute to the economy and support the Authority’s efforts, in cooperation with tourism industry partners and other public and private sector players, to raise the GDP of the Emirate.
Al Midfa said that Sharjah has been able to firmly establish itself in Asian markets through continuous participation in international trade exhibitions and forums of the travel and tourism industry in the region, including the Beijing International Travel and Tourism Exhibition where the Sharjah Stand won the Best Pavilion Award last year.
The Authority is also looking to bolster Sharjah’s presence in the Chinese market by taking part in COTTM (China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market) being held in Beijing from April 9-11. The SCTDA will be hosting a destination seminar/workshop as part of its efforts to initiate a long-term strategy to tap this massive market.
As part of its efforts to attract more Chinese and Asian tourists, the Authority is planning to set up a full-time representative office in Beijing among a number of other measures including year-round promotional activities and specially targeted campaigns.
Al Midfa emphasized the importance of tourism exchange initiatives and ideas and expertise in order to boost relations between the two sides including the key actors of the tourism and travel industry. He also hoped such exchanges will help further enrich Sharjah’s tourism offering and its various popular festivals, events and activities.
The Authority is organizing special fam trips and education tours for the visiting Chinese guests offering them an up-close look at all the attractions and features of Sharjah’s diverse tourism landscape.
One of the highlights on the agenda is a visit to the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization which boasts more than 5,000 pieces of rare Islamic artifacts and history from all over the Muslim world. They have been categorized according to various periods and themes in Islamic history in seven spacious corridors.
The delegation will also visit the popular Central Souk, which was built in 1979 and contains 600 stores specializing in gold and silver jewelry and precious and semi-precious stones and handicrafts, carpets, antiques, CDs, cameras and other imaging equipment as well as furniture, perfumes, fabrics, clothing, household items and more.
The visit of the Chinese delegation coincides with the celebrations of Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 with the Emirate hosting a large number of special events and activities besides regular attractions such as Sharjah Heritage Days and other annual cultural, artistic and tourism events.