Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams), says that since its formation as a free zone, under an Emiri Decree issued by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Shams has aimed to become a leading regional and international centre of media technology, noting that national cadres are capable of accomplishing significant achievements.
In an exclusive interview with the Emirates News Agency (Wam), Al Midfa stressed that Shams is keen to become a media centre that offers creative global services based on establishing a comprehensive business community and a hub for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a variety of sectors, most notably the media sector, as well as on training media cadres to advance the media and innovation sector.
The number of companies located in Shams in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 28 per cent, noting figures highlight a 3.4 per cent increase in the overall number of companies operating in free zones in the UAE, totalling 60,600 at the end of the first half of February.
He also noted a 60 per cent surge in foreign direct investments (FDI) in Sharjah in the second half of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019, adding in 2020, FDI around the country achieved a growth of 44.2 per cent compared to 2019.
Shams also offers the Virtual Office, which enables SMEs to conduct their affairs without renting an office. It has organised several workshops and training courses and launched creative media projects, he further added.
“Shams is part of the preparations for the next 50 years, as we have a clear vision for the future of the media sector in Sharjah and the entire country. Shams also creates economic opportunities for investing in the media, real estate and other sectors,” he further says.
“Under the framework of its preparations for the next 50 years, Shams aims to achieve human capacity building for citizens and support the economy by providing new opportunities, which will increase its competitiveness,” he states.
On the efforts of Shams to overcome the repercussions of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, he stressed Shams has overcome these repercussions by ensuring continuity of businesses in the free zone.
Speaking about women’s empowerment within Shams, Al Midfa said that many female cadres are working in leading positions in the free zone, in addition to female entrepreneurs who own promising investment projects.
The support of Shams for women is in line with the support they receive from Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed and Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, and wife of Sheikh Sultan, he adds.
Three new buildings were completed at Shams for companies and SMEs, which will open this year, Al Midfa says in conclusion.