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Sharjah Tourism focuses on family, MICE segments from India

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The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), along with its airline partner Air Arabia, focused on family and MICE tourism, in its five-city roadshow held in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. SCTDA’s primary focus in 2016 will be attracting families through Sharjah’s cultural and heritage offerings.

HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman, SCTDA, said, “Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the UAE, with a population of one million. Sharjah is offering something different; we are a cultural city, which has a lot to do with culture, heritage and authentic experiences. We are a family destination. Recently Sharjah was declared as UAE’s first baby-friendly city by the ruler of Sharjah HH Shaikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi – this is one of the ways we try to bring more Indian families to visit Sharjah. We want to attract families and business tourism the most. Sharjah is just two-three hours away from most of the Indian cities.”

“In terms of strategies, we have not set targets, but we expect around 10 million tourists from across the world by 2021. We will use our PR resources and conduct roadshows to promote Sharjah as a tourist destination. India is an important market for us and we will put efforts to promote Sharjah here,” he added.

Air Arabia, which operates 112 flights between Sharjah and India, is one of the most preffered airline by Indian travellers due to its economical fares.

In 2014, outbound tourism from India to Sharjah witnessed a growth of 41 per cent over 2013, with around 123,000 visitors. This also creates a huge market for Sharjah’s hospitality fraternity.

Sheena Randhawa, account director, Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, said, “India is definitely a big market for us, which is the reason we are here – to come together with Sharjah Tourism. Sheraton is a well known brand. We will make our guests aware about our new products, facilities and price structure. A product is needed to cater to the market, and we have the product now, so we are looking forward to receive support, especially from India.”

“We haven’t decided strategies for specific markets. We are extremely popular with Russia, Germany, China and then we have India. We would be looking forward to certain areas to strategise the India market by working with local agents,” she added.

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