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Emirate Of Sharjah Attracts Record Numbers To Its Stand During Hectic First Quarter Of International Tourism Exhibitions And Trade Fairs

Sharjah Commerce Tourism and Development Authority (SCTDA) is nearing the end of a highly successful round of appearances at international tourism exhibitions and trade fairs across the world with successful appearances at MITT in Moscow and TUR in Sweden, both of which took place between 18th and 22nd March 2009. Sharjah stands were visited by some of Europe’s leading decision makers, businessmen and tour operators, as well as members of the Russian and Swedish media, eager to learn more about Sharjah’s tourism offering and why it is unique to the Gulf region.

Sharjah’s final overseas destination in the first quarter of this year is the Ukraine International Travel and Tourism fair (UITT 09), which takes place from March 25-29, 2009 before it completes the programme - which has taken in the Eastern Mediterranean International Travel and Tourism Exhibition in Turkey, ITB Berlin, MITT and TUR - at the Gulf Exhibition in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month.

The commitment that the SCTDA has put into these events this season has received official recognition. The authority won the coveted crown ’Best Middle Eastern Exhibitor 2009’ at ITB Berlin, which is judged on the basis of the Cologne Business School awards and is one of a number of awards that have been highly sought-after since their inauguration nine years ago. They are considered to count among the most important tourism awards worldwide and attract significant numbers of entries from every corner of the globe. This year’s awards were judged from among some 11,000 exhibitors.

The Emirate of Sharjah was honoured too, being chosen from among over 2,000 exhibitors, representing 55 countries, as the winner of the ’Best Performance’ award at the East Mediterranean International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (EMITT 2009) held in Istanbul from the 12th to 15th February.

Mohamed A. Al Noman, Director General of SCTDA, was delighted by the authorities performance at all four fairs. "One of our most important achievements is to enhance the relationship between the Emirate of Sharjah and Turkey in terms of exchanging experiences, introducing the Sharjah product to a wider audience and attracting more tourists", he said. "Winning the award was a great honour. This is the third time we have received this prize, which recognises the emirate’s product and its content, as well as the substantial effort the SCTDA puts into promoting and representing Sharjah."

Al Noman continued, "More than 75,000 visitors were welcomed to the emirate’s stand in four international exhibitions, which confirms the growing position that Sharjah occupies in the international tourism sector. Our achievements in 2009 enhance our successes of previous years since the SCTDA was established and will encourage us to exert even greater effort as we strive to achieve yet more recognition for the emirate on the world tourism stage. This is what we constantly aim for under the guidance and vision of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, member of the supreme council and Ruler of Sharjah".

The Director General said: "Naturally we are delighted to win international awards, but our main purpose in participating in these events is to achieve strong growth in the number of tourists visiting the emirate. We welcomed some 600,000 visitors in 2001. This number had risen to more than 1.5 million by 2008, largely due to our strategy and promotional activities".

Once its participation in the Moscow and Swedish events is concluded, the SCTDA will be preparing to target the Ukrainian market before completing its tour and returning to the UAE to appear at the exhibition in Abu Dhabi to attract still more regional tourists.

Al Noman concluded: "The tourist season will be upon us soon when we will be able to measure the results of our participation in these exhibitions and fairs. In these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever that we do all we can to maintain and develop Sharjah’s share of the international tourism market. The SCTDA is totally committed to achieving this aim".


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