Wednesday 1 December 2021

One of Sharjah's many attractions

Sharjah’s array of attractions showcased in Russia

SHARJAH, October 7, 2021

Russia’s two largest cities is having the opportunity to learn more about the delights of Sharjah at Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority's (SCTDA) roadshow in Moscow and St Petersburg. 
Visiting Moscow, the Russia capital on October 5 and St Petersburg, the ‘Cultural Capital’ on October 7, the SCTDA roadshow is highlighting Sharjah’s array of attractions, with the aim of increasing Russian visitors to the UAE’s third most populous emirate now that travel restrictions are being progressively relaxed.  
Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, says that the roadshow aims to reinvigorate Russian tourism interest in Sharjah and the UAE, with the country having been in the top three of Sharjah’s leisure holidays and tourism markets for many years, and with numerous Russian ‘repeat visitors.’ 
“Russia was one of the first tourism markets the UAE reconnected with as the travel restrictions started to ease, with our emirate remaining a hugely popular destination for Russians. In August, the UAE entered the list of the most popular foreign beach holiday destinations open to Russians, subject to a PCR test or vaccination certificate,” he said.
Since autumn 2020, Sharjah has witnessed an upswing in airline passenger traffic, with more than 400 flights between Sharjah Airport and 10 cities in Russia. Carriers making regular weekly trips include Rossiya, Aeroflot, Ural Airlines, Nordwind, Royal flight and Arabia. June, to the end of August this year saw Sharjah Airport receive no less than 70 flights from Russian cities.
Among the benefits and attractions of Sharjah that the SCTDA roadshow is highlighting for the citizens of Moscow and St Petersburg are its blend of sun, sand and sea, which has traditionally been popular with Russian tourists; its stunning natural scenery from desert to mountains to green wadis with springs; its unique cultural and historical sights and its safe and secure environment that makes it an ideal family holiday destination. 
The SCTDA roadshow is, moreover, showcasing, among other sights and locations, Al Suhub rest area, Shees Park, the Khorfakkan Beach development, Souq Sharq and the Khorfakkan Amphitheatre. 
The emirate’s status as the Unesco Culture Capital of the Arab World 1998, Islamic Culture Capital 2014, Capital of Arab Tourism 2015 and, most recently, Unesco World Book Capital 2019 will be part of the agenda highlights.
The roadshow is also promoting Sharjah’s leading efforts to ensure peace of mind with respect to the coronavirus. Among the initiatives that have helped tourists feel safe are SCTDA’s new operating guidelines for hotel establishments and the ‘Sharjah Safe for Tourism’ stamp. 
Launched in collaboration with Sharjah Health Authority, the stamp is a mark of assurance given to establishments in Sharjah which fully adhere to the public health protocols and guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19. 
Acknowledging the emirate’s efforts to implement safety protocols in line with international standards, Sharjah has received the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). 
“At the SCDTA we are very excited about the prospect of welcoming even more Russian visitors to Sharjah’s extensive range of attractions and highlighting our strenuous and successful efforts towards keeping all our residents and guests safe. We are looking forward to reaching out to more tourists through our forthcoming roadshows in Moscow and St Petersburg and to showcasing the wonders of our emirate to a wider audience,” added Al Midfa.
Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Airport Authority, stressed the importance of promotional tours in enhancing the position of the Emirate of Sharjah as an ideal destination for tourism, business, and culture. He highlighted the most prominent services and facilities provided by Sharjah Airport to travellers, as well as the important safety and security standards followed. He also raised the possibility of forming partnerships in an effort to consolidate the airport’s presence on the global civil aviation map.
He pointed out that the Russian market is one of the main tourist markets for Sharjah and the UAE, and is characterised as an active market throughout the year, adding that Sharjah Airport continues to work on developing its infrastructure and increasing its operational efficiency to raise the airport's capacity and improve customer satisfaction. All of this is, he said, was aimed at attracting more international airlines, including Russian airlines, to operate to and from Sharjah.
Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), said: “Our visit to our Russian counterparts, led by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, aims to further strengthen our bilateral relations across economic, social and cultural fronts, by exploring Sharjah’s vibrant and highly diversified eco-tourism sector, which continues to contribute to UAE’s global tourism significance across various fields.”
He continued: “The visit is a great opportunity to build and create new partnerships with some of the big Russian businesses and companies operating within the tourism sector, where our tourism destinations and hospitality properties such as Al Qasba, Heart of Sharjah, Al Noor Island, Al Montazah Parks, Al Majaz Waterfront, Khorfakkan Beach, The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah, and the four eco-retreats under our Sharjah Collections brand, managed by Mysk by Shaza, which are: Mysk Al Faya Retreat, Mysk Al Badayer Retreat, Mysk Kingfisher Retreat and the upcoming Mysk Moon Retreat; will take center stage in our discussions, in addition to their growing role in attracting new and diversified investments that allow global businesses and SMEs to tap into niche sectors in the region. 
“Furthermore, the authentic and eco-friendly experiences our destinations and hospitality properties provide to visitors and tourists contribute to Sharjah’s world renowned position as one of the most favoured eco-tourism destinations in the world.”
Manal Ataya, stressed the importance of Sharjah Museums Authority being part of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority’s Russia roadshow, which included visits to some of Russia’s prominent museums, such as the State Hermitage and Experimentanium Science Museum, to present Sharjah as an ideal tourist and cultural destination. 
“We are delighted to present to tourism industry professionals in Russia insights to the characteristics and unique offerings of Sharjah’s rich cultural heritage, including its over 17 museums that cover wide areas including archaeology, art and Islamic heritage and SMA’s year-round family programmes and events,” she said. 
“At SMA, we emphasise our commitment not only to welcoming tourists to Sharjah but to also ensuring they receive cultural experiences that will enrich their knowledge of Sharjah and the UAE,” added Ataya.
Organisations participating at the SCTDA Roadshow included: Air Arabia, Emirates Airlines, Ural Airlines, Sharjah Airport Authority, Sharjah Museums Authority, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Sharjah Collection, Golden Sands Hotel, Sharjah National Hotels and Centro Sharjah.-- TradeArabia News Service


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