Among the stand’s many visitors was H.E. Mohammed Ahmed Al Mahmoud, UAE Ambassador to Germany, who was received by H.E. Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA).
Al Mahmoud praised Sharjah’s presence at the exhibition, describing it as a special participation, stressing the importance of the emirate’s touristic and cultural offering and its strong presence in international arenas.
In addition to the Ambassador, Al Qassimi received a number of UAE businessmen and senior representatives of the Arab and European business communities. Also in attendance at these meetings was SCTDA Deputy Chairman and Second Deputy Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) H.E. Saeed Obaid Al Jarwan, SCTDA Director General H.E. Mohamed A. Al Noman, SCTDA Board of Directors member and General Manager of the Sharjah Economic Development Department H.E. Ali Salim Al Mahmoud, Director General of the Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation H.E. Abdulwahab Al Roomi, CEO of Al Qasba Development Authority H.E. Marwan Jasim Al Sarkal, and SAIF-Zone Director General H.E Taryam Mattar Taryam.
Emphasizing the significance of the meetings held during the event, Al Qassimi said, “We are delighted at the interest shown by the VIPs who visited Sharjah’s stand, as well as that of the German – and international – travel and tourism agencies and media. This attention serves to reaffirm the emirate’s leading position as a unique destination for German tourists.”
Al Qassimi stressed the importance of events such as ITB, saying, ”We have no doubt that this participation and the meetings we have held with the German travel and tourism agencies will play a significant role in further boosting cooperation between Germany and Sharjah, as well as in introducing Sharjah’s tourism attractions to the European tourism market and attracting German tourists to the emirate.”
“We are eager to provide all the relevant information about the tourism attractions in Sharjah and to exchange opinions on ways to further develop Sharjah’s global position as a leading tourism destination and to attract more German and European tourists into the emirate. The tourism season in Sharjah recently became year-long, partly due to the noticeable increase in the influx of tourists to the emirate. I expect the number of tourists to continue to grow this year as a result of the SCTDA’s efforts and participations throughout the year,” he added.
According to Al Qassimi, the number of German tourists visiting Sharjah has increased by 119% over the last five years, with over 134,000 German tourists visiting the emirate in 2009, compared to just 61,000 in 2005, and 59% up from the 84,000 in 2008. He added that Sharjah’s touristic appeal has resulted in German tour operators looking to send more German tourist groups to the emirate, which is home to a number of cultural and heritage attractions.
SCTDA and representatives of Sharjah’s delegation are looking to hold meetings with key travel and tourism operators in the German market to discuss ways of cooperation and to introduce Sharjah’s tourism product, with the aim of increasing the number of German tourists visiting the emirate.
The German travel and tourism trade is one of the most significant markets for the emirate of Sharjah, with tens of thousands of Germans visiting the emirate annually. It is ranked among the top sources of European tourists to Sharjah. The emirate, represented by the SCTDA, is keen to assert its presence in the market through various initiatives and events, most noticeably its participation in ITB Berlin.
Wednesday, March 10- 2010 @ 12:55 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.