Tourism authority also reports 70% occupancy rate as total guests reach 885,000
Sharjah’s hospitality sector revenues witnessed a 7.8 percent increase during the first half of 2017, reaching AED372 million, according to the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA).
SCTDA also reported a 70 percent occupancy rate from January to June this year, with the total number of guests for the first half of the year reaching 885,000, up 3.5 percent on the same period in 2016.
A statement said Saudi nationals occupied many of the local hotels’ lists of top guests. During the first two quarters of the year alone, hotels welcomed at least 72,000 Saudi travellers.
Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman of SCTDA, said: “The remarkable expansion in the occupancy rate is the result of the Sharjah Government’s intensive efforts to attract local, regional, and global tourists as part of its comprehensive and ambitious socio-economic development plan.
"Our ultimate goal is to draw 10 million visitors a year by 2021, a grand accomplishment that will help accelerate the emirate’s unprecedented growth in the 21st century.
"To achieve this end, we will launch forward-thinking initiatives, bold projects and campaigns, as well as maximize all our assets and resources to place Sharjah, the UAE’s cultural capital, on the global tourism map and enhance its brand and profile on the international stage.”
Sharjah has built its tourism around attractive beaches, museums, wildlife, public parks, and a host of Arabic attractions such as the Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasba, the Mleiha Archaeological Centre and the Al Noor Mosque.