With the aim of promoting Sharjah’s unique tourism and hospitality offerings before discerning travelers and travel companies from the area and around the world, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) announced its partaking for the 22nd consecutive year, at the forthcoming edition of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to be held from April 28 to May 1, 2019, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Authority will use the platform to create buzz around its continuing and future tourism developments in the emirate, reinforce current collaborations and explore new opportunities for partnerships.
The Authority’s participation this year is set to increase upgrades about the Emirate to reinforce its presence on the international tourism map, featuring its leadership in introducing various events, festivals and international exhibitions. It will also take advantage of the occasion to highlight Sharjah’s key tourism elements and potentials including the newest developments in the tourism, such as adventures and sports sectors in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to attract international and regional tourists to the Emirate. Sharjah continues to gain popularity as one of the most exhilarating destinations in the region.
Remarking on the participation, H.E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, said: “As part of our continuing efforts to encourage Sharjah as a destination for everyone and to attract over 10 million visitors in line with Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, we aim to highlight the emirate’s authentic traditions and unique cultural features during our participation at this year’s edition of the ATM. Combining tradition and modernity, we seek to showcase UAE’s cultural heritage on the one hand, and on the other, we want to highlight the modern developments we have implemented within the tourism and travel sector. We are keen to explore new innovations in the field from various international participants during the event too.
ATM is a international platform which presents a great networking chances for us to meet and share experiences with exhibitors such as international travel operators, agencies and organizations. Our growing focus is on eco-tourism products, outdoor activities, and the development of hotels in the hospitality sector. ATM provides us with the opportunity to highlight to the public the variety of tourism options and capabilities of the emirate."
He added: “We look forward to showcasing exciting new touristic destinations and campaigns we offer, and our stand will fittingly reflect Sharjah’s authentic traditions and cultural identity through them. A virtual reality experience will allow visitors to our stand to take a peek at some of the emirate’s top sightseeing destinations. Apart from creating a hype around new hotels and tourist destinations in the emirate, we will highlight Sharjah’s recent UNESCO award of ‘World Book Capital 2019 and complement the Arab region’s ongoing efforts to nurture a culture of reading.”
Talking on the participation H.E. Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson, said, “Every year, we participate in the Arabian Travel Market – one of the largest international travel and tourism exhibitions – to highlight Sharjah's eco-tourism plans and projects and the Protected Areas. Protected Areas constitute 15% of the area of the emirate of Sharjah. They have diverse ecosystems and they include coasts, marine environments, sand dunes, mountainous areas, valleys, gravel plains and the ecosystem and geological structures of sabkhat areas or salt flats.”
H.E. Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said, “Sharjah Airport Authority is keen to participate in the Arabian Travel Market Exhibition every year. The size of the market, the importance of the exhibitors and the significance of the participants make this a valuable opportunity to showcase the Airport’s services and facilities. This year, Sharjah Airport Authority will focus on the airport’s facilities and most prominent services as well as the comprehensive AED 1.5 billion airport expansion plan, which includes the expansion of the terminal building to increase the airport’s capacity to 20 million passengers by 2025.”
H.E. Manal Ataya, Director-General of Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA), explained that the Authority’s participation in this year’s edition of the Arabian Travel Market is aimed at promoting the various Sharjah museums, their collections, educational programs, and international events and exhibitions. She added that SMA will be highlighting the latest addition to its family of museums, the Khor Fakkan Fort, which was inaugurated recently by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and Ruler of Sharjah, while he unveiled the new Khor Fakkan road on April 13. Ataya stressed that the new museum, which displays an extraordinary collection of archaeological artefacts excavated from the Khor Fakkan area, brings the total number of SMA museums to 17, further boosting the emirate’s cultural tourism offering. She said: ‘Sharjah recognizes culture as a vehicle that facilitates harmony and understanding among people and it continues to be at the forefront of investment in cultural projects in the region.” She concluded by saying that Sharjah’s position as the cultural capital of the UAE has a positive economic and social impact, including reinforcing national identity and preserving the distinctive cultural and historical heritage of the country.
Asim Ashad, CEO, Orient Travel Group, said: “Our participation at the ATM reaffirms our longstanding commitment and continuous efforts towards promoting the UAE as a tourist and business destination across an international audience. The event provides a special platform for global stakeholders to learn more about the industry, new offerings and emerging trends, and connect with new distribution channels and network with existing partners. We will also be launching our latest excursion and safari products at the ATM; providing guests at the SCTDA stand with the opportunity to explore and learn more about new routes and trails Orient Tours has developed. As the leading Destination Management Company and multi-awarded Tour Operator in the UAE and the region, it is natural for us to use the ATM, Middle East and Africa’s leading travel platform, to highlight key elements of our premium offerings to stakeholders and visitors alike.”
In addition Thomas Varghese – Deputy General Manager, SATA Said: “The latest edition of the Arabian Travel Market is a venue to showcase some of our new key initiatives and services, including the informative educational tours being handled by our Edu trip division for international student groups as well as the new enhanced features of our award-winning online B2B and B2C portal (www.satatravels.com) which was recognized at the 2018 Arabian Travel Awards. We will also highlight the significance of being appointed as ‘Flynas PSA’ for the whole of the UAE and to promote Sharjah as a global tourist destination. In addition, we will shed light on our strategic overseas expansion plan. The Arabian Travel Market is an international platform that will provide us with vast opportunities for learning, networking, and forming new partnerships. We look forward to a successful participation this year.”
A total of 34 government and private sector entities from the emirate of Sharjah will participate at ATM 2019, including Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Sharjah Airport Authority, Sharjah Museums Authority, Directorate of Awqaf in Sharjah, Air Arabia, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency: SATA, Hilton Sharjah Hotel, Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort and Spa, the Act Hotel Sharjah, Citymax Hotel Sharjah, Aryana Hotel Sharjah, Copthorne Hotel Sharjah, Hotel Holiday International Sharjah, Swiss-Belhotel Sharjah, Novotel Hotels and Resorts, Orient Tours and Travels LLC, Baithans Hotels Management LLC, Beach Hotel Sharjah, Radisson Blu Resort Sharjah, Al Majaz Première Deluxe Hotel Apartments, Sharjah Palace Hotel, Golden Tulip Hotel Sharjah, Ibis Styles Sharjah Hotel, Ramada Hotel and Suites Sharjah, Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, Tulip Inn Al Khan Hotel, Breeze Hotel, Al Khalidiah Tourism LLC, Cozmo Travel LLC Trav trolley, Sayara Limousine and Car Rental, Sharjah National Travel and Tourist Agency and Travtalk.