Sharjah cultural hub draws record crowd
Sharjah, August 18, 2010
Sharjah’s premier entertainment destination Al Qasba, said its major attractions such as the Etisalat Eye of the Emirates the largest Ferris wheel in the Middle East, have attracted a record 40,000 visitors in the first half of the year.
According to Sharjah tourism officials, Al Qasba, which is now celebrating the sixth anniversary of the Ramadaniat Al Qasba festival, has revealed high attendance number pushing almost a quarter of a million visitors in just the first six months.
One of the leading cultural destinations in Sharjah, Al Qasba's mix of leisure attractions and business facilities has proven to be an attractive combination not only for UAE residents but a growing tourism industry in the emirate, said a top official.
Situated in the centre of “new Sharjah”, location has become a key factor in driving places like Al Qasba to diversify their offerings to attract a combination of leisure and business visitors in 2010.
“Here families can find a lively evening’s entertainment, friends can share in five-star international cuisine, and business people can take advantage of stylishly sophisticated conference facilities all within a single picturesque setting,” remarked Hazem Sawaf, sales and marketing director at Al Qasba Development Authority.
The venue has proven widely popular with people of all ages with notable attractions such as the Etisalat Eye of the Emirates, he added.
A number of events have made this an especially rewarding year for Al Qasba, including a community walkathon to support the children of Palestine, an Earth Hour event supporting energy conservation, and the recently concluded ‘Scream for Your Team’ event held during the Fifa World Cup this year, said Sawaf.
According to the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), the emirate's tourism industry has maintained a steady growth as the number of tourists and hotel occupancy rate rose in the first half of the year.
“As Sharjah’s popularity increases, we have worked diligently to offer leisure and business customers not only excellent amenities, but a combination of attractions unlike any other available in the Emirate,” Sawaf added.
Other cultural ventures include traditional Abra boat rides along the Sharjah’s waterfront, with creatives also getting a flush of inspiration at the Maraya Art Centre, presenting three distinct galleries and a number of monthly workshops and lectures.
Plenty of cafes and restaurants also line the Al Qasba waterfront, offering guests everything from European bistros to relaxed Arabian coffeehouses.
Inspired by the success of the first six months, the Sharjah destination is determined to bring even more action to the latter half as Ramadan festival begins.
“This is typically one of our busiest times of the year as people across the region seek to capture a glimpse of the past while exploring the many wonders of contemporary Islamic society,” he noted.
"We are especially thrilled this year to be extending Ramadaniat Al Qasba under the collective Sharjah Ramadan Festival, supporting the time-honoured values and traditions associated with Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr," said Sawaf.
Giving visitors the chance to walk away with something special this Ramadan, Al Qasba is sponsoring a series of giveaway promotions for all visitors spending Dh100 ($27.2) or more at any of Al Qasba’s facilities.
Through the 'Scratch & Win' campaign, customers will be able to take home a number of fantastic prizes including Al Qasba Value Vouchers, free attraction tickets, and or course instant prizes, the official added.-TradeArabia News Service