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Sheikh Tariq Al Qassimi: ‘Summer festivals play major role in the development of region’s tourism sector’

United Arab Emirates: Saturday, August 16 - 2003 @ 12:49

These activities provided a golden opportunity for the shopping centres to increase their sales and occupancy ratios.

Al Tawuun Mall, one of the major centres in the emirates, received around 150,000 visitors in the month of July alone, an increase of 35% over the pre-promotion period. Sales increased by approximately 30%.

Mega mall, another major shopping centre in the emirate, currently witnessing already 99% rent occupancy, is expecting 80% sales increase, powered by major discount and promotion offers.

Sahara Centre who hosted the official opening ceremony of the first-ever Sharjah Summer Promotion, is also experiencing an unusual rush. In addition to the great bargains, the malls will offer shoppers an opportunity to win a grand prize of two luxury vehicles. There are also thousands of instant scratch and win prizes to be won.

Sheikh Tariq Al Qassimi, Sharjah’s commerce and tourism development authority Chairman, said: “the summer festivals and promotions contribute positively to the development of the tourism sector in the region. We are delighted to join the “trend” started by neighbouring regions and hope to see the rest following the same trend”.

Sheikh Tariq Al Qassimi added: “There is an increase of GCC tourists in the country, almost 50% increase during the first weeks, compared to the same period last year. Almost 1300-1500 GCC visitors enter the country daily, with many of the gulf families choosing Sharjah for their base and accommodation”.

“All numbers indicates a healthy growth in the Arab – intra routes. In order to sustain this trend, its important for related agencies and authorities to provide high standard services and activates, which will help to reduce the current gap”, said Al Qassimi. “For example, the Arab tourists to Lebanon jumped from 300,000 in 2001, to 420,000 in 2002 to reach 348,000 in the first six months this year. The same can be said of other countries like Egypt and Syria”.

Sharjah is considered a major international tourist destination. Many festival and events are conducted all year round such as the World Formula One, Ramadan festival, Beni, etc. The diversity of the emirates attracts mixed tourist groups from around the globe.

Some tourists prefer the beauty of the vast desert, while others wish to explore, travelling from the Arab gulf coast to the Indian Ocean coast after crossing the Al Hager Mountains, to reach coast cities such as Khorfakkan, Dibba and Kalba.

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Saturday, August 16- 2003 @ 12:49 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.

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