• India tops Sharjah’s international travel and tourism market share with 12.8% guests
  • Roadshow covers major Indian cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai

India: A high-level delegation led by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) and headed by SCTDA Chairman, His Excellency  Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, has undertaken an extensive 4-city ‘India Roadshow’ to promote the emirate’s growing tourism potential, new leisure projects and emerging  business opportunities in order to continue attracting a steady stream of tourists from across India. 

The visiting  delegation included officials from the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Emirates Airlines, Air Arabia, and Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA), along with representatives from Golden Sands Hotel Sharjah, Sharjah National Hotels, and World Travel Headquarters (Cosmo Travel).

Spanning major Indian cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai, the roadshow follows the release of SCTDA’s tourism sector report for Q2 - 2022, which reveals India as the emirate’s highest international travel and tourism source market.

During the visit, the SCTDA team arranged a series of meetings in Mumbai with a comprehensive network of stakeholders including hotel operators, travel agents, and tour operators, and airline representatives. The two-day Mumbai roadshow featured B2B networking and detailed presentations by SCTDA and Air Arabia representatives on the up and coming opportunities in both business and leisure travel for Indians visitors in Sharjah. 

The delegation’s second stop was the capital city of New Delhi, where they held meetings with travel, tourism and hospitality stakeholders. The next stop on SCTDA’s roadshow itinerary is the southern city of Hyderabad while the final stop will be  Chennai on September 1 - 3.

While promoting the emirate to both existing and prospective Indian clients, this strategically planned roadshow is fulfilling specific objectives. These include the strengthening of Sharjah - India relationship, in all key sectors that contribute to bolstering UAE’s national economy.

Additionally, the delegation spotted the light on brand new attractions for tourists and guests coming in from India. Unique new projects like the Sharjah Safari - the world’s biggest safari park outside Africa; new resorts and hotels; high-end beachfront developments, and more, have created new opportunities  for Indian tourists, regardless of  age group or interests, to explore and enjoy the emirate and view it in a new light. 

New and upcoming developments worth millions of dirhams in the tourism and hospitality sectors, opportunities for travellers from India to enjoy novel experiences as single travellers or with their families continue to grow. For the business travel segment as well, the emirate is diversifying its hotel offerings to include heritage-inspired and boutique properties as well as world-class MICE options. 

Describing the strategic importance of this pan-India roadshow, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA said: “Historically, India has been a key source market for Sharjah. This is why we are seeking to increase the potential for receiving more Indian visitors. Business travel has always been a key sub-sector for us, and  with the announcement of the UAE-India CEPA free trade agreement earlier in February, we have seen a marked increase in business travellers arriving in Sharjah. As far as tourists are concerned, India-Sharjah air traffic has already gone back to pre-Covid-19 levels”.

“With our emirate’s family-friendly attractions, be it in the fields of culture, nature, sports, leisure, entertainment, or any other, accessible within an average 3-5-hour flying time, Sharjah has always served as a go-to destination for those seeking a quick weekend escape or even a long holiday for Indian guest. With brand new attractions coming up every other month coupled with ease of commute, we expect a surge of Indian travellers touching down in Sharjah,” he added.

HE said that under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the emirate saw the launching of a diverse package of quality development projects. These include heritage and echo-tourism projects and destinations that enrich the experiences of visitors and tourists alike, and will be a strategic addition that supports and serves all vital sectors, to reshape the regions’ future and further Sharjah’s position globally, HE remarked.

According to the recently published SCTDA Report, Sharjah hotels welcomed more than 270,000 guests in Q2 recording a 4 percent increase compared to last year. With more than 30,000 Indian guests checking into Sharjah’s hotels in the said period, an increase of 19% compared to the number of guests last year, Indian guests represent 12.8% of Sharjah’s overall hotel guests.

As travel restrictions ease notably, as fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to take a RT-PCR test, and with multiple flight options available, travelling to Sharjah from India is quicker and easier. Among several Indian cities from where passengers can take direct flights to Sharjah, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai currently top the charts in terms of tourist arrivals to the emirate.