India’s number one international market for Sharjah

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As a beacon of Emirati culture, learning and values, Sharjah stands out from its neighbors in the Emirates not only by preserving its heritage, but also by sharing it with the world. Sharjah is a big draw for art and culture lovers, especially those looking to get a rich insight into the Emirates’ Bedouin past. Sharjah has always been on the Indian travel circuit and has a large Indian community. TTJ spoke with the Chairman of the Sharjah Trade and Tourism Development Authority, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, during his visit to New Delhi in August, to learn more about this third most populous emirate in the world. United Arab Emirates.

Gurjit Singh Ahuja

Quite different from its more flamboyant and touristy neighbors Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Sharjah has continued to evolve and develop while preserving its traditions and cultural values. She maintained a more conservative approach to modernization while remaining grounded in her past and using it to shape her future in a world full of technological razzmatazz.

Sharjah has become a major center of education and learning with its universities, colleges and schools. It has good infrastructure, shopping malls, housing and hospitals, and all of this is much more affordable in Sharjah than in other Emirates. This makes it extremely popular among the Emirati expat community who have chosen Sharjah as their home base.

Al Noor Island Butterfly House

Speaking on the importance of the Indian market, Khalid said, “This is our first roadshow in India after the pandemic. It’s nice to be back. We have been present in the Indian market since 2014, and even during the pandemic we were constantly aware of the market dynamics thanks to our representative office in India which was still operational. He further clarified, “The COVID situation has given Sharjah a tremendous opportunity to continue development work on its road network, infrastructure and drills, the results of which are now visible.”

“Sharjah enjoys a unique position in the UAE, as it has access to the east coast as well as the west coast, and the three east coast destinations of Khor Fakkar, Dibba and Kalba are now ready to welcome customers to discover their unique offerings,” Khalid explained.

Also, a remarkable unique experience that was introduced in February 2022 is the Sharjah Safari, the largest safari experience outside of mainland Africa, currently spread over an area of ​​9 km². Sharjah Safari is home to over 120 species of animals living in Africa and up to 50,000 animals ranging from birds, reptiles and mammals, such as lions, elephants, giraffes, black and white rhinos, crocodiles , deer and many more. endangered species.

The size of the safari park will also increase in the future as the park expands. All of this is very carefully managed and monitored by experts who provide the checks and balances for animal welfare. This experience is a one-of-a-kind adventure and educational activity for families and nature lovers to observe endemic wildlife in Africa. Native African fauna roam without fences in an environment similar to their natural surroundings.

Sharjah currently has 105 hotels of various categories, providing 7,782 overnight stays per day to its visitors. In the first half of 2022, hotels in Sharjah had an average occupancy rate of 66%. India has become the world’s largest market for Sharjah with a market share of 13% and accounting for 81,513 overnight stays in the second quarter of 2022.

With the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar, hotels in the Emirates are optimistic about a fair share of business due to the operation of shuttle flights between the UAE and Qatar and the special visa offered by the United Arab Emirates to football fans.

Sharjah’s goal continues to be to position itself as a cultural hub, a family destination and a destination that promotes responsible tourism, ecotourism, adventure tourism activities and sports. Khalid says: “We have noticed that Indians like to travel as a family. A vacation is not about partying or shopping for them. They are interested in knowing more about the destination, its culture, its history, its customs, its past so that they and their children leave with these learnings and experiences. We love this aspect of traveling to India and therefore entry tickets to our attractions, monuments and museums are very affordable, allowing as many people as possible to experience them.

The love for cricket fans all over the world, and Sharjah Cricket Stadium is a living testimony to that, considering the best tournaments held here. Sharjah also hosts many world-class events and competitions throughout the year, such as the Sharjah Biennial, Xposure International Photographic Festival, Sharjah World Music Festival, Sharjah International Book Fair and the impressive Sharjah Light Festival, an example of human creativity where the landmarks of the city of Sharjah are transformed into a different dimension.

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