HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, has underscored Sharjah’s keenness to promote and strengthen its cultural identity in the German tourism markets, especially in view of the many international and regional accolades and awards coming its way in recent years, most notably the Arab Capital of Culture in 1998 by Unesco and the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
He underscored the importance of the Emirate’s presence in the ITB Berlin, which is the largest platform bringing together the leaders of tourism and hospitality sectors and popular destinations from around the world.
This came in his remarks during the Sharjah delegation’s participation in a special ceremony and dinner hosted by the UAE Embassy in the German capital for UAE delegates participating in ITB Berlin. The Embassy ceremony was significant as it helped strengthen relations and cooperation with various government entities and departments in the country.
In this context, Al Noman lauded the strong UAE presence in the German market, which is due to the diversity of the tourism product in the seven Emirates of the UAE offering international tourists a unique experience combining culture, heritage, leisure, tourism, and recreational opportunities besides world-class services and facilities for tourists and investors.
The Embassy dinner ceremony was attended by HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, HE Abdullah Mahaan, Chairman of the Sharjah Health Authority, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, HE Ali Salem Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Airport Authority and HE Marwan Jasim Al Serkal, Executive Director, Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), and other representatives and members of the Emirate’s delegation.
Following the remarkable success of previous years earning itself many coveted awards, this is Sharjah’s 17th year of participation in the ITB Berlin. The Emirate is being showcased once again from an attractive 403-sqm pavilion representing the Emirate’s Arab-Islamic heritage, culture, iconic tourist attractions and celebrated cultural events, festivals besides profiling the UAE’s traditions, folklore, cuisine and arts. One special attraction this year has been the spotlight on the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital for 2014 celebrations and various events.
The dedicated Heritage Corner is hugely popular with visitors as it features live performances and activities celebrating the best of UAE’s culture, cuisine, folklore, arts including henna-painting etc. The visitors are offered an up close and personal experience of the traditional life in Sharjah and the UAE. Many German and European visitors are seen enjoying a slice of this unique cultural experience as they partake of traditional Emirati sweets, dates and even pose for pictures in traditional Emirati and Arabian costumes. Visitors are also offered promotional literature and leaflets and brochures in English and German about Sharjah and all that it has to offer.
It is worth mentioning that the ITB Berlin is one of the largest international specialized exhibitions of the industry. Being held from March 5 to 9, this is the 48th edition of the prestigious event in the German capital bringing together more than 10,000 exhibitors and attracting more than 170,000 visitors. It is considered an ideal meeting ground and networking platform for the movers and shakers of the global tourism industry, decision makers, media and visitors.