Sharjah’s hotel sector saw a 94 percent increase in the number of Russian guests during the first half of 2017, according to Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). Sharjah hotels reported a total of 106,693 Russian guests staying during the first six month of the year, compared to 54,017 guests during same period in 2016. The increase is a welcome sign of a recovery for, what has traditionally been, one of Sharjah’s key tourism markets.
The emirate’s tourism market was hard hit by the decline of Russia’s outbound tourism in 2014/2015, due to the steepest drop in value of the Russian currency in 16 years. Global outbound tourism from Russia fell by 15 percent in 2014, by almost 20 percent in 2015 and by 8 percent last year. Meanwhile, Sharjah, which received 400,000 Russian hotel guests during 2014, saw the numbers of Russian hotel guests drop to 54,000 in 2015.
Confirmation of the 2016 Russian tourist numbers were revealed by SCTDA at the 23rd Leisure Moscow Fair, which took place from 19-21 September. Russian guests accounted for 446,437 room nights in Sharjah hotels for the first half of the year, showing a 103 percent increase versus 220,396 room nights booked during the same period in 2016.
The results from the first half of this year now confirm Russia’s position as of Sharjah’s top two fasted growing inbound tourism markets. China has, so far, proved to be the emirate’s most consistent growth market increasing from nearly 31,000 in H1 2015 to 49,000 in H1 2016 and reaching 62,000 during the first half of this year.
According to SCTDA statements, Sharjah’s hotels enjoyed a 70 percent occupancy rate from January to June this year and registered a total of 885,000 hotel guests during the period. China, India, Oman, Russia and Saudi Arabia were the biggest inbound tourism markets for Sharjah during the first half of 2017.
Sharjah currently boasts more than 100 hotels and hotel apartments, including properties managed by some of the leading hotel groups in the world including Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Louvre Hotels Group, Premier Inn Hotels, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, and Wyndham Worldwide. Some 500 new 4- and 5-star hotel rooms and suites are expected to be made available by the end of 2017, with a further 1,000 four- and five-star rooms and suites being added by the end of 2020.
Source: SCTDA, various