- SCTDA Chairman H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa:
- The new amendments come at the perfect time as the domestic tourism sector is enjoying a notable boom and the post-pandemic recovery continues to gain traction.
- We are committed to our mandate to ensure regulatory quality and excellence in Sharjah’s tourism offerings and services.
- The amendments create a supporting and empowering environment for tour guides in Sharjah to carry out their role and promote a positive and authentic image of the emirate.
Sharjah, UAE – Following its meeting on May 15, 2022, Sharjah Executive Council issued Decision No. (13) of 2022 amending its previous Decision on regulating the tour guide profession in the emirate.
The amended law mandates Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) with overseeing and managing tour guides in the emirate, offering training programmes and refresher courses with a clear breakdown of fees. The Authority is also entitled to suspend or revoke a permit in case of violations, and has been tasked with examining the regulations in place in neighbouring emirates to hold accountable any individual practising the profession without the needed permits.
His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “As the government body entrusted with developing and leading the tourism sector in the Emirate of Sharjah, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority welcomes these new amendments by Sharjah Executive Council to regulate the tour guide profession in the emirate; they come at the perfect time as the domestic tourism sector is enjoying a notable boom and the post-pandemic recovery continues to gain traction, promising even greater numbers of visitors in the stages ahead.”
“We are committed to our mandate to ensure quality and excellence in Sharjah’s tourism offerings and services,” H.E. Al Midfa continued. “With that in mind, we will maintain and upgrade our procedures to implement the Executive Council Decision and the newly issued amendments, upholding our end of the responsibilities, as always. This creates a supporting and empowering environment for tour guides in Sharjah – most notably UAE citizens – to not only carry out their role, but also promote a positive and authentic image of the Emirate of Sharjah in the process.”
The amended Decision prohibits any entity or organisation from employing tour guides who are not in possession of a valid permit issued by SCTDA. It outlines a set of conditions an individual must meet in order to obtain a tour guide permit. Candidates must be over 18 years of age, speak at least Arabic and English, and pass the training programmes set by the Authority.
The tour guide license is valid for one year and is renewable after passing the refresher course, which SCTDA will be offering yearly. Failure to renew the license for a period exceeding two years will render the license void, and the candidate will need to obtain a new permit. UAE citizens , children of Emirati mothers and Sharjah Government employees are exempt from fees on licenses and training programmes for tour guides offered by the SCTDA.
The tasks and responsibilities assigned to tour guides were also detailed in the amended Decision, and include promoting a positive image of the emirate, mitigating any risks that visitors may face, complying with a strict code of professional and behavioural conduct, and abiding by all regulations issued by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.