Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development (SCTDA) revealed at the Arabian Travel Market 2018, the latest edition of one of the largest regional and global travel and tourism events, that Sharjah hotels recorded an occupancy rate growth in 2017 amid the government’s intensive tourism campaigns and initiatives. The occupancy rate reached 70 per cent last year, indicating an exponentially rising number of regional and global travelers visiting the emirate.
Commenting on the results, H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “Last year’s positive developments were the results of the initiatives to transform the emirate into one of the world’s leading family destinations in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and in support of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 which seeks to attract over 10 million visitors to Sharjah shores by 2021. Our intensive tourism campaigns hit its targets in 2017, further boosting the local tourism sector and enhancing its reputation at the local, regional, and global levels.”
He added: “Our strong performance last year helped catapult Sharjah into the ranks of the most innovative and competitive cities in the world. Our continuing achievements and successes are proof of the emirate’s capability to provide an exceptional travel experience as well as high potential to attract tourists from around the world. Furthermore, Sharjah is famous among travelers who want to explore ancient monuments, with visitors from Russia, China, and different parts of the globe descending on the emirate to experience its beauty and rich traditions. All of these are helping drive our economic, social, cultural, and environmental growth.”
In 2017, SCTDA said Sharjah welcomed 1.7 million visitors who stayed in 102 accommodations, 56 of which were hotels and 46 were hotel apartments. Hotels and hotel apartments generated AED 694 million in revenue during the same period, up from AED 668 million in 2016. Hotels accounted for about 75 per cent of the total revenue receipts.
The new statistics showed a remarkable increase in the number of Russian tourists at 266068 following the move to allow visa on arrival entry to the UAE. Additionally, the number of Chinese tourists during the same period accounted for a massive 45 per cent of the total visitors, while the number of European tourists climbed at an unprecedented rate of 36 per cent.
The tourism sector’s steady expansion in line with Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 is also the result of SCTDA’s innovative initiatives and tourism programs launched in cooperation with all concerned institutions, which are also working towards implementing a range of tourism projects to enhance the emirate’s status as the capital of culture and heritage.
The Authority has also been rolling out high-quality services and organizing distinguished events to showcase Sharjah’s rich history, culture, and religious heritage. The emirate continues to maintain its identity and traditions as evidenced by its stunning architectural monuments that not only embody the splendor of Islamic architecture and the history of the country but tell the story of Sharjah and the UAE’s glorious past, bright present, and promising future as well.
Developments of a range of key projects are currently underway, the new Khorfakkan road project, one of the largest development projects in the emirate of Sharjah will allow visitors to more easily access the stunning natural treasures of the east coast, Al Badayer Oasis Project; Kalba Kingfisher Lodge project; Al Bait Hotel; Novotel Sharjah Expo; Sharjah Anantara Resort; Pullman Hotel; Fossil Rock Lodge; and DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah. In addition, details are expected to be announced soon of another three prominent projects in the emirate; a desert park resort in the Mahthab area featuring 134 rooms, as well as a Tulip management hotel, with 210 rooms; and Ramada, with 493 rooms. Details of other major projects will also be announced soon.