Sharjah Investment and Development Authority “Shurooq” concluded its participation in the 2015 Arabian Travel Market (ATM 2015) held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. This year’s exhibit, which ran from May 4th to May 7th had a ‘family travel’ theme, and Shurooq took the initiative to further emphasise Sharjah’s investment potential and call attention to its unique, world-class family-friendly venues at the event.
The destinations promoted by Shurooq at ATM 2015 were Al Qasba, Al Majaz Waterfront, Heart of Sharjah and The Flag Island, all of which are immensely popular among families and visitors due to their colourful, outdoor settings and exciting activities, in addition to other underway destinations, including Al Jabal Resort – The Chedi Khorfakkan, Kalba Eco-Tourism Project and Sir Bu Nuair Island.
On the second day of the exhibition, and in the presence of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), the authority unveiled its latest tourism and leisure project, Al Noor Island. The launch of the island was synchronised with Sharjah being selected as the Capital of Arab Tourism 2015. The AED 80 million island is the first island in the Arab world to combine nature with art and leisure. It is located on the 45,470 square-metre island in Khalid Lagoon and is scheduled for completion in the last quarter of the year.
Shurooq’s stand received great response from travel and tourism professionals, as well as from fellow exhibitors. Furthermore, a number of dignitaries, including Sheikh Salem bin Abdul Rahman Al Qasimi, Director General of Sharjah Ruler’s Office, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Tourism Development Department and Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Municipality and Planning Department visited Shurooq’s stand at the exhibition and were briefed on the authority’s projects and tourism and leisure destinations.
Speaking on Shurooq’s recent participation in ATM 2015, HE Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, said, “ATM is an excellent forum for us to promote Sharjah as not only a key leisure and tourist destination, but as an educational and cultural hub, and to highlight our diverse projects which include top tourist and leisure destinations and art centres in the emirate and a number of tourism and leisure initiatives, such as the ‘I Love Sharjah’ brand and ‘City Sightseeing Sharjah’. We are delighted by the attention our stand received at the exhibition, where we promoted Sharjah as a vibrant, safe, and family-oriented city that has profound pride in its heritage.”
At ATM 2015, Shurooq continued the ‘I Love Sharjah’ brand created in 2014 to promote its tourist and leisure destinations regionally and internationally. The brand’s cartoon logo, the Yerboa (desert mammal native to the desert of the Arabian peninsula, North Africa and Central Asia), helps to encourage desert tourism and attract visitors to purchase Yerboa souvenirs.
The destinations Shurooq focused on at ATM 2015 all have distinct factors that make them both valuable and enjoyable to their visitors: Al Qasba consists of the Eye of the Emirates Wheel, a musical fountain, Sharjah boats tour, a music centre, Kids Fun Zone, a health club & spa, and an assortment of restaurants and shopping outlets; Al Majaz Waterfront is an extensive green park whose attractions include the Sharjah Fountain, mini golf, and a jogging track; Heart of Sharjah is a revitalisation of old Sharjah and features the oldest souk in the country, Souq Al Arsah, numerous art museums and the five-star Al Bait hotel; The Flag Island, which boasts the 7th tallest flagpole in the world, houses a 1000-seat open-air amphitheatre, and the 1971 design space and a café; and Al Montazah – amusement and water park, a large amusement park that offers gaming areas, restaurants, cafes and playgrounds.
On the sidelines of its participation in ATM, Shurooq signed an MoU with Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) to expand services of Shurooq’s City Sightseeing Sharjah to the emirate of Ajman, to enhance the promotion of tourist landmarks in both emirates and increase the number of passengers from tourists in the emirate of Ajman.
Before participating in ATM 2015, Shurooq’s Al Montazah, the first of its kind water and amusement park in the emirate, won the Sharjah Tourism Excellence Award for 2014. The scenic amusement park was inaugurated by Shurooq in March of last year, and has since hosted an array of festivals to boost Sharjah’s already booming tourism sector.
The Arabian Travel Market is the leading travel and tourism event in the region and has become a true global marketplace for companies throughout the industry. ATM 2015 hosted over 2,700 exhibitors and has attracted more than 23,000 travel professionals from across the world.
Shurooq's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in Sharjah, evaluate investment-related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.
In recognition of its overall accomplishments, Shurooq was named The Banking Awards 2013 – and 2014 FDI Agency of the Year in the MENA region at the European’s Global Banking and Finance Awards.