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Sharjah Chamber Announces Budget Of AED 10 Million For "Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2009"

Latest edition to introduce various incentives & facilities, diverse range of activities

The Higher Organising Committee of the annual “Sharjah Ramadan Festival” (SRF) announced during a press conference held today (Wednesday, August 19, 2009) at the headquarters of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), a budget of AED 10 million for this year’s edition of the festival. The Committee also revealed the major activities and sponsors of SRF 2009.

Festival activities will start on August 22, 2009 and run until October 3, 2009. A huge number of participants from different social, business, cultural, religious, sports, environmental and heritage sectors will be joining this year’s edition. SCCI is organising the event in collaboration with various local governmental departments to determine and provide the necessary elements to ensure the success of the festivities, with strong support from its numerous sponsors.

The press conference, which was headed by SCCI Director General Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, was attended by Assistant Director General of Economic and International Affairs Mohammed Ahmed Amin and Director of Economic Affairs Ibrahim Rashid Al Jarwan. Representatives from concerned governmental departments, companies and organisations sponsoring the event were also present, along with several media representatives.

Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, SCCI Chairman and Vice President of the festival’s Higher Organising Committee, underlined the importance of the continuous support and contributions from all local departments. He explained that under the supervision of H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority Chairman and president of the Higher Organizing Committee, the festival would exert maximum effort to help advance the growth of Sharjah’s economy and society.

Al Midfa noted that the campaigns and promotions of the past 19 editions have helped enhance Sharjah’s investment, economic and business appeal while highlighting positive artistic, social and humanitarian aspects consistent with Sharjah’s’s heritage and culture. He added that the SCCI has been actively encouraging the private sector to participate in the festival and other promotional initiatives. He emphasized the Chamber’s role in developing the ability of nationals to organise marketing and other special events in the emirate and affirmed the valuable contributions of the Sharjah Tatweer Forum in this regard.

For his part, Al Mahmoudi said that this year’s festival is the result of a detailed study conducted by the Chamber which explored various policy and organisational strategies to enhance the holding of local festivals, special events, promotions and marketing campaigns. The best organising mechanisms were determined based on ideas and recommendations from governmental departments, supervisors of related establishments such as malls and supermarkets, other concerned parties, and the general public.

The Director General discussed the importance of organising this festival and ensuring collaborative support for other seasonal promotions among Sharjah’s government offices. This, Al Mahmoudi said, is in line with the SCCI’s commitment to support private sector investments and motivate retail activities specifically by creating a competitive environment among malls and retail shops, while leveraging Sharjah’s tourist attractions to draw people living outside of the emirate.

Mohammed Ahmed Amin stated that although there are many other festivals and promotions held every year, SRF is very special due to the diverse activities it offers during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr. He outlined the festival program covering various cities of Sharjah, the specific benefits of its activities to commercial establishments, and its focus on public markets, malls and tourist destinations.

Ibrahim Rashid Al Jarwan attributed the high level of interest and expected attendance this year to incentives and facilities conceptualized by the Higher Organising Committee. These took into consideration the effects of the international financial crisis on Sharjah’s economic sectors. He added that the committee assigned to participation and promotions has instructed SCCI members to continue receiving applications from companies and trading organisations until the start of the festival. This will be done in cooperation with malls to encourage participation from retail shops. Al Jarwan also mentioned that slots are still available for the Ramadan Exhibition slated for August 27, 2009 at the Sharjah Expo Centre in conjunction with SRF 2009.

Al Jarwan confirmed that all preparations have been made for the launching of special activities addressing the needs of visitors from Sharjah and the other emirates. He referred to sporting, exhibition, social and other entertainment events as well as shows targeting children and families. He noted that the shopping activities in particular would attract great interest. The SCCI official added that the Committee and the sponsors are shouldering valuable raffled prizes and that free gifts and low-priced goods would also be available throughout the festival.

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