Panel discusses strategies to promote Sharjah as a destination to a global audience
The panel in session at SEF on Saturday. – Photo supplied
Sharjah recently recorded a 68% increase in the number of women entrepreneurs, said Maryam Bin Al Shaikh, director of the Sharjah Council of Women Entrepreneurs.
She spoke at a panel discussion titled “Marhaba: Welcome to Sharjah” which discussed strategies to promote Sharjah as a destination to a global audience. The panel discussion was part of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2022.
The panel included the Chairman of the Sharjah Trade and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Khaled Al Midfa; Mohammed Musharrakh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah; Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, CEO of the Arada Group; Maryam Bin Al Shaikh, Director of the Sharjah Council of Women Entrepreneurs; and Kareem Al Jisr, Director of Sustainability at Diamond Developers; and was moderated by television journalist Abdul Karim Hanif.
Khaled Al Midfa emphasized the importance of learning and understanding Sharjah’s culture and history in order to receive and interact with visitors effectively and the fact that more than 50 per cent of the UAE’s museums are located in the emirate and that tourism represented more than 12 percent of GDP. “By embracing and sharing our culture and heritage, we can create a truly authentic and meaningful experience for visitors,” he said.
Al Midfa mentioned that tourism is growing rapidly in Sharjah and although the population is around 1.5 million, more than 1.8 million people visited and booked hotel rooms last year. “Sharjah has a population of more than 200 nationalities, we have well diversified economies, we are a dynamic emirate that provides a benchmark for innovation and exceeds expectations time and time again. We are a hub of possibilities with a strong authentic identity”.
Mohammed Musharrakh highlighted the commitment of Sharjah and its government to providing unique and authentic experiences for visitors and businesses alike. “Invest in Sharjah plays a crucial role in facilitating this experience through our partnerships and collaborations with companies and organizations, including the important work we do with Sheera and the Sharjah Investors Services Center, for example. The participation today of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs investing their weekend in SEF is a testament to the fact that our work is effectively attracting the next generation to our emirate,” he said.
Arada’s Ahmed Alkhoshaibi spoke about the exponential growth Sharjah has seen over the past year in the property market with more than 700 million dirhams traded last month alone with 90 percent of the investments made by foreign nationals. “Although the increase in purchases made by foreigners has increased year on year, investment from locals has remained constant and these figures should not be seen as a decrease in local investment, but rather as an example of how Sharjah is becoming increasingly becoming a valuable destination for the world.”
Kareem Al Jisr spoke about the role Sharjah Sustainable City has played in the emirate as a partnership project between Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Diamond Developers and said: “Sharjah Sustainable City is a home for new ideas and innovations, a place to innovate problem solving We pride ourselves on being a place for early adopters and a living laboratory or “sandbox” for development We provide a space for entities and individuals to innovate and prosper.”