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Sharjah Attracted Over 105.000 Saudi Tourists In 2008

SCTDA to present Sharjah’s tourist attractions in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam

As part of its efforts to encourage regional tourist activities and strengthen tourist ties among GCC countries, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), in association with representatives of the emirate’s tourism sector, has organized a delegation that embarked on Sharjah’s 8th promotional Road Show in the GCC.

The Road Show which is intended to promote Sharjah’s unique tourist attractions and attract more GCC tourists to the emirate has been scheduled to take place from 7 to 17 April 2009, in five major GCC destinations Doha, Kuwait, Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah.

In addition to the SCTDA, the Sharjah delegation includes senior representatives from Sharjah Museums Department, Air Arabia, Sharjah Millennium Hotel, Golden Tulip Hotel, Radisson SAS Resort, Verona Resort and Marbella Resort.

SCTDA’s third stop on the Road Show was Dammam, KSA, where the Authority organised workshops to present Sharjah’s latest tourist offerings to travel and tourism industry. The workshops have attracted significant interest within the tourism sector, with key travel and tourism companies in the city expressing an interest in Sharjah’s tourist attractions, as the emirate has become a favoured tourist destination for Saudi families, attracting 105,000 Saudi tourists in 2008. The workshops will be held in Riyadh and Jeddah in the next two days as the Road Show reaches those cities.

The tour coincides with the imminent launch of Sharjah Summer Promotion 2009, which includes discounts and offers and events particularly with a view to encourage shopping activity during the summer.

Commenting on the occasion, SCTDA Chairman, Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, said: "The current promotional tour has a special importance as it comes at a time of major changes and challenges that require tremendous cooperative efforts to lure more tourists to the emirate. The authority is keen to intensify marketing and promotional activities for Sharjah to further boost the emirate’s leading position on the regional and global tourism map. These campaigns will focus on highlighting the emirate’s status as a world-class destination for heritage, cultural and family tourism, blending its distinctive attractions to form a unique tourist destination that blends a historical setting and cultural significance with all the features of a modern city".

The SCTDA is endeavouring to push the wheels of economic growth forward, in line with the fast growth witnessed in the tourism sector. The number of hotel facilities in the emirate has increased to 103 (37 hotels and 66 hotel apartments) with 8,000 hotel rooms.

The emirate received 1.5 million visitors in 2008, a significant increase from 600,000 visitors in 2001. And 27 percent of these tourists or 398,186 are from GCC countries.

These figures prove the vital importance of these tourism markets and justify the tremendous efforts exerted by the SCTDA on these markets and the host of tourist promotions and products offered by the authority for the GCC tourists.

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