Officials of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and the Entrepreneurs' Organisation (EO) met on Monday to explore future collaboration and discuss a sustainable framework that supports their business goals and business infrastructure.
During the meeting at Al Qasba, the two bodies aligned their initiatives to foster sustainable innovation in business and streamlining their expertise and services to entrepreneurs’ demands and needs.
Attending the roundtable were Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Shurooq, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, Manish Hira, President of EO, and Bilal Alibhai, Integration Chair and President-Elect of the organisation, and others.
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi reiterated dedicationn to supporting entrepreneurial innovation and leadership and her efforts in providing the necessary facilities and services that act as a sustainable framework to help entrepreneurs achieve their business goals, emphasising on how Al Qasba was a prime example of entrepreneurship in practice, with its location now a beacon for entrepreneurial businesses.
Sheikha Bodour added that the popular tourist and leisure destination continues to deliver premium entrepreneurial services and offer a dedicated business environment, highlighting the destination’s distinctive ability to attract a diversified set of visitors.
"All of the projects that Shurooq undertakes are carefully selected and aim to be at the forefront of heritage, leisure cultural and eco-tourism developments. Our objective is to diversify Sharjah’s tourism sector to boost the emirate’s non-oil foreign investments and entrepreneurial opportunities and to create new and exciting experiences for tourists seeking unique cultural tourism experiences. This strategy was implemented to meet our local and regional market demands by providing a diverse economic ecosystem that attracts innovative technologies and pioneering businesses. Our goals are in line with the UAE’s directives in growing its travel and tourism sector," said Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi.
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi also said that these leading initiatives play a key role in developing Sharjah’s cultural, educational and social infrastructures, which are in-line with the wise vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
As an example, Sheikha Bodour highlighted UNICEF’s accrediting of Sharjah as a ‘baby-friendly city’, which has served as a catalyst to attract many innovative solutions and ideas by women entrepreneurs in particular.
She noted that baby-friendly rooms are allocated across multiple organizations where women entrepreneurs can enjoy the tranquil environment of conducting their businesses while their children rest in a safe facility. These initiatives not only allow a feasible business and investment environment, but also encourages women to pursue their business goals in a peaceful state-of-mind.
Discussing Sharjah’s desire to build a diversified economy, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal described how Sharjah was originally developed to be a commercial hub. He explained that oil represented just one per cent of its GDP, with tourism now ten times this amount. He went on to outline how Shurooq was aiming to encourage investment and entrepreneurship in four key sectors; tourism, healthcare, logistics and the environment.
"Sharjah is working towards changing perceptions about Sharjah by showing the multitude of opportunities and benefits it offers entrepreneurs. The emirate is home the 22 million square foot Sharjah Healthcare City and with Sharjah only currently offering 0.6 hospital beds per 1,000 of the population when the global average is 2.2 beds, there is a real potential for high returns on entrepreneurial endeavours in this area," he said.