During ITB Berlin 2023 visitors were able to discover Sharjah and the captivating vision of the present and future of tourism of the emirate, where the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) unveiled their innovatively designed pavilion.
Powered by the latest digital technologies, the pavilion was a popular hive of activity and business networking for three days, offering visitors a vivid experience of Sharjah's leading tourist attractions.
The emirate's diverse natural and manmade landscapes were showcased, promising an exciting journey that embraces adventure, culture, and sustainability.
SCTDA led a delegation of 15 public and private entities, tourist office representatives and travel agencies from Sharjah, who presented emerging investment opportunities in tourism to visiting business professionals, industry leaders and potential partners, in a series of meetings.
At the event’s various discussion forums, the Sharjah delegation representatives also turned the spotlight on the efforts and innovations in the sectors of sustainable tourism, eco-tourism, adventure and cultural tourism driven by their efforts. Over the years, Sharjah has emerged as one of the regional leaders in these sectors, which are playing a major role in promoting and preserving socio-economic history and our natural environment.
Additionally, a new milestone achievement for Sharjah Tourism took place at ITB Berlin, with the Arab Union for Tourist Media naming Khorfakkan as the Best Arab Tourist City for 2023.
The announcement was made during an awarding ceremony held at ITB Berlin. Sharjah’s stunningly diverse natural beauty characterised by pristine beaches, rugged mountainous terrain - all enriched by the town’s unique cultural heritage come together to offer tourists and visitors several opportunities to explore.
In recent years, these opportunities have expanded considerably through the hosting of cultural events, new adventure tourism and water sport activities, the opening of luxury hospitality destinations as well as heritage attractions, which all contributed to Khorfakkan winning the prestigious award - an acknowledgement of the coastal town’s dedication to promoting sustainable tourism options and providing exceptional experiences to residents, visitors and tourists.
From experiential virtual tours of emerging touristic assets like the Sharjah Safari - the world’s largest wildlife safari park outside Africa, to serving traditional Arabic dates and coffee, Emirati garments, and more, the Sharjah showcase at ITB Berlin 2023 was a fitting reflection of the emirate’s modern outlook rooted in its authentic traditions.
On participating in this year’s edition of ITB Berlin, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the SCTDA, said: “This is a key global industry event in tourism, which brings together leading players in hospitality, leisure and tourism from around the world. Our presence here offers promising opportunities to reinforce Sharjah’s position on the map of global tourism, particularly that the emirate has unique potential in which tourists and travel professionals alike showed great interest.”
“Through our participation, which convened 15 public and private entities from our partners, we have successfully promoted Sharjah’s diverse touristic landscape and offerings. We harnessed our presence at ITB Berlin to promote the natural diversity and sustainable projects in Sharjah, as well as the various entertainment options on offer. Moreover, we introduced the public to unique tourism experiences and products, as well as the agenda of major events that enrich their experience in Sharjah, We also highlighted the authentic cultural aspects of its tourist destinations, given that the European market is one of the most important markets that exports tourists who are interested in culture, heritage and history to Sharjah. This makes the emirate an ideal attraction that meets the needs of European tourists in general and German tourists in particular. We aimed to take visitors in immersive digitally created tours across the emirate at our pavilion. The pavilion’s interactive design elements especially impressed our visitors. We look forward to translating the results of meetings held by the participating entities from the emirate into achievements and investment opportunities,” he added.
Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Department of Government Relations (DGR) in Sharjah, said: “The bond between Sharjah and Germany has been cemented over centuries through trade, personal relationships and shared diplomacy. As the UAE's most important trading partner in Europe, Germany has played a vital role in developing the country's industrial sectors, but our relationship goes beyond trade and investment; it is grounded in deep cultural exchange, which has built a bridge between the East and West”.
“For years, Sharjah has been popular amongst German tourists seeking an immersive cultural experience, and the steady increase of visitors year-on-year is a testament to this. The emirate's rich history, vibrant art scene, and luxurious hospitality offerings have attracted visitors from all over the world. German cities of Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt have also long been popular among Emiratis, showing the strong connection between our two nations. Tourism has become a crucial aspect of our relationship, not only as an economic driver but also as a means of promoting mutual understanding and tolerance between countries, cultures and peoples,” Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi concluded.