Sharjah Museums Department, SMD, concluded its participation at the 2014 World Travel Market (WTM) exhibition in London on November 6th.
SMD's participation in this global extravaganza forms part of a large delegation from Sharjah, led by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) and comes amid Sharjah's celebration as the 2014 Islamic Culture Capital and in the wake of the selection of Sharjah as the Capital of Arab Tourism for Year 2015.
With over 50,000 people in attendance, visitors to the SMD stand during the four-day event heard about the department's recent achievements and exhibitions, and plans for the future. An attractive range of special packages was also announced for tour operators and travel agents.
Reflecting on the event's success, Manal Ataya, Director General SMD, commented, "A number of factors are making Sharjah one of the most important destinations in current travel trends, especially those factors that are related to culture and education, aspects that SMD is at the heart of. These include the Emirate's status as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 and Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015, accolades that are drawing visitors from every part of the world, and also energising the Emirate's own citizens with pride in their nation's attractions and history. As SMD is both central to many of these attractions and a custodian of our past, this was the perfect time and the perfect place to share our messages with the global trade and travellers from all over the world." During the exhibition SMD took the opportunity to engage with visitors on a number of current and upcoming plans. There was particular interest shown in the reopening of the restored Sharjah Fort, widely seen as one of the most important and exciting projects in the Emirate, which sheds light on the socio-political history of Sharjah.
Delegates were also able to hear about some of the exhibitions that SMD has staged in recent months. These included: "So that you might know each other, the World of Islam from North Africa to China and beyond", an exhibition that featured artefacts sourced from the extensive collections of the Vatican Ethnological Museum in Vatican City; "Ancient Bahrain: The Power of Trade," a show that brought magnificent artefacts from the Dilmun civilisation and dating from Second Millennium B.C. to the Third Century A.D. to Sharjah in a partnership with Bahrain National Museum; and "Early Capitals of Islamic Culture: The Artistic Legacy of Umayyad Damascus and Abbasid Baghdad (650-950)", a collaboration with Berlin State Museums and Goethe Institute.