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Sharjah Announces Its Participation In World Travel Market 2008

Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi: European Tourists Account For 33% Of The Overall Tourist Influx Into Sharjah

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has announced its participation in the World Travel Market Exhibition (WTM) 2008, which will take place at the ExCeL in London from 10 to 13 November 2008, with over 47,000 exhibitors registered from more than 200 countries.

As one of most prominent participations listed on its schedule for 2008, Sharjah’s delegation to the 29th edition of the WTM will be led by SCTDA Chairman, Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, and will include a number of senior representatives from the emirate, including the SCTDA, Al Qasba Development Authority, Sharjah International Airport Authority, Sharjah Museums Department, Radisson SAS Resort, Coral Beach Resort, Marbella resort, Oceanic Hotel KF, Millennium Hotel and Orient Tours.

Sharjah’s participation in the four-day expo will mark its first international appearance following the SCTD’s recent launch of Brand Sharjah, and will be the official international debut of Brand Sharjah. The event represents a significant platform from which to launch the new brand globally and promote the emirate’s new identity, which includes important strategies and initiatives that will add further momentum to Sharjah’s rapidly growing tourism sector and will help to further advance the emirate’s position as a leader on the world tourism map.

Building on the tremendous success it achieved at WTM 2007, where its stand was a center of international attention, the SCTDA will continue its international promotional campaign through strong involvement in this year’s edition of the business-to-business travel trade industry event.

Striving for excellence in function and aesthetics, the emirate of Sharjah is exhibiting on a unique stand with designs highlighting all the elements and components of the new Brand Sharjah, showcasing the unique diversity of its core elements and components.

The 205 square meter stand will display the emirate’s cultural, heritage and tourist attractions, as well as its educational, entertainment and business facilities, all while showing off the exquisite beauty of the emirate’s eastern coast. The SCTDA is keen to provide visitors with information on the emirate in both Arabic and English, enabling them to familiarize themselves with the emirate’s many unique attractions at their leisure.

SCTDA Chairman, Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, emphasised the importance of participation in the WTM, describing the world’s premier annual business-to-business travel and tourism gathering as an ideal occasion for successful debuting Sharjah’s new identity on international platforms.

"In line with the increasing number of exhibitors and the multitude and diversity of innovative new tourist destinations and products, WTM2008 will provide an important international promotional and marketing platform for our new Brand Sharjah, which is a turning point in the emirate’s tourist promotional strategies. WTM is a must attend exhibition for the emirate of Sharjah, as it provides a unique opportunity to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business with major markets such as the UK and Europe. The success that WTM has enjoyed since 1979 makes us keen to participate. This exhibition has played an important role in uniting the perspectives of different tourism sector from various different countries," he said.

"We need to unify our efforts and effectively utilize all our capabilities to face the new challenges in the tourism sector and achieve our desired goals. To this end Sharjah offers a great alternative to the cliched Arab "Cities of the Future". Only Sharjah can rightfully claim to be a destination that is committed to the conservation of its distinct values, culture and Islamic roots. All the people concerned in promoting the tourism of the emirate of Sharjah are working today as one team in order to show the beauty of the emirate as a tourism destination. Our participation in this year’s exhibition is evidence of our commitment to maintaining a continuous presence in all of the international exhibitions," added Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi.

"Sharjah is considered one of the most favorable destinations for European tourists, who account for 33% of the overall tourist influx into Sharjah, a figure that reflects the emirate’s advanced position as a tourist product in the European tourist market," he clarified. "Our participation in exhibitions all over the world has contributed significantly to the increased number of tourists visiting the emirate. Sharjah occupies a prominent position on the world’s tourism map, and the SCTDA seeks to further boost this position. Our strategy is to ensure that we are able to meet the demands on the Sharjah tourism sector in the first place, thus enabling the overall growth of our tourism sector.’

The SCTDA held a meeting with members of the Sharjah delegation to examine all the details related to preparations for Sharjah 11th participation in the WTM. Sharjah’s stand is expected to be a magnetic draw for the international tourism community during the exhibition. The emirate’s uniquely designed stand is larger than that used for WTM2007, reflecting the increasing interest in this key annual tourism event.

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