Sharjah’s tourism industry is now reaping the rewards of years of development, with two million tourists expected to visit the Emirate by the end of 2014. According to recent comments by Khalid Al Midfa, Director General of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), hotel revenues are expected to increase 10% during 2014, in line with the expected 10 percent increase in tourist visitors to Sharjah compared to 2013.
Selected as the Islamic Culture Capital for 2014, Sharjah is preparing for a long term boost to its tourism industry overall and expects 30 new hotels to be finished during the next three years, adding a further 4,000 rooms to its current capacity of 10,000 hotel rooms. The Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital 2014 (SICC) celebrations were officially inaugurated in March by Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah. Sharjah invested some AED1.5 billion (USD 408 million) on 21 SICC projects related to Islam, culture, education and tourism.
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has launched a number of high profile tourism projects including the 10,000 acre Al Qasba waterfront development, which provides a destination for culture and entertainment and features Sharjah’s famous Eye of the Emirates Wheel.
Other Shurooq tourism projects include Al Majaz Waterfront, the Kalba eco-tourism project and the region’s largest heritage project, the Heart of Sharjah
Sources: Shurooq, Gulf News, other sources