Sharjah: Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) on Saturday concluded an extensive four-city ‘India Roadshow’ to promote the emirate’s growing tourism potential, new leisure projects, and emerging businesses across India.
Spanning major Indian cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai, the delegation was led by SCTDA chairman Jasim Al Midfa and officials from Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Emirates Airlines, Air Arabia, and Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA), along with representatives from Golden Sands Hotel Sharjah, Sharjah National Hotels, and World Travel Headquarters (Cosmo Travel).
The SCTDA team has arranged a series of meetings in Mumbai with a comprehensive network of stakeholders including hotel operators, travel agents, and tour operators, and airline representatives. Their second stop was the capital city of New Delhi, where they held meetings with travel, tourism and hospitality stakeholders.
Next stop on SCTDA’s roadshow itinerary was the southern city of Hyderabad while the final stop was Chennai, from September 1 to 3.
The delegation is highlighting brand new attractions for tourists and guests coming from India. Unique new projects like the Sharjah Safari - the world’s biggest safari park outside Africa; new resorts and hotels; high-end beachfront developments, and more, have created new opportunities for Indian tourists, regardless of age group or interests, to explore and enjoy the emirate and view it in a new light.
New and upcoming developments worth millions of dirhams in the tourism and hospitality sectors, opportunities for travellers from India to enjoy novel experiences as single travellers or with their families continue to grow. For the business travel segment as well, the emirate is diversifying its hotel offerings to include heritage-inspired and boutique properties as well as world-class MICE options.
According to the recently published SCTDA Report, Sharjah hotels welcomed more than 270,000 guests in Q2 recording a four per cent increase compared to last year. With more than 30,000 Indian guests checking into Sharjah’s hotels in the said period, an increase of 19 per cent compared to the number of guests last year, Indian guests represent 12.8 per cent of Sharjah’s overall hotel guests.
Describing the strategic importance of the India roadshow, Al Midfa said: “Historically, India has been a key source market for Sharjah. This is why we are seeking to increase the potential for receiving more Indian visitors. Business travel has always been a key sub-sector for us, and with the announcement of the UAE-India CEPA free trade agreement earlier in February, we have seen a marked increase in business travellers arriving in Sharjah. As far as tourists are concerned, India-Sharjah air traffic has already gone back to pre-COVID-19 levels”.
He added: “With our emirate’s family-friendly attractions, be it in the fields of culture, nature, sports, leisure, entertainment, or any other, accessible within an average three to five-hour flying time, Sharjah has always served as a go-to destination for those seeking a quick weekend escape or even a long holiday for Indian guest. With brand new attractions coming up every other month coupled with ease of commute, we expect a surge of Indian travellers touching down in Sharjah.”
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Al Midfa noted under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the emirate saw the launching of a diverse package of quality development projects. These include heritage and echo-tourism projects and destinations that enrich the experiences of visitors and tourists alike, and will be a strategic addition that supports and serves all vital sectors, to reshape the regions’ future and further Sharjah’s position globally.
As travel restrictions ease notably, and vaccinated travellers are no longer required to take a RT-PCR test, and with multiple flight options available, travelling to Sharjah from India is quicker and easier.
Among several Indian cities from where passengers can take direct flights to Sharjah, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai currently top the charts in terms of tourist arrivals to the emirate.