Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, otherwise known as Shurooq, has been a driving force behind the transformation of Sharjah as an investment, tourism and business destination since its formation by Emiri Decree No.2 of 2009, issued by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi.
With HE Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal as CEO and chaired by Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Shurooq has acted as a vital catalyst for the emirate’s increasing appeal as an investment, tourism and business destination, facilitating partnerships and connecting investors, corporations and entrepreneurs with the abundance of opportunities on offer in Sharjah.
Perhaps the most conspicuous of all its projects is Al Majaz Waterfront, which has become one of Sharjah’s most popular destinations for tourists and residents with its range of activities, events and entertainment facilities for families. Its splash park, miniature golf and play areas line up alongside the jogging track and dining experiences. Not only has it provided a key destination for residents and visitors, it has also resulted in an important economic stimulus for the area. In its first year, 2013, its businesses earned a combined AED36.5m ($10m)in profits.
Another major tourism project in a similar vein is Al Montazah Parks, the result of the wide-ranging renovation of Al Jazeera Park into a 126,000-sqm leisure facility. There’s also Al Noor Island, which was inaugurated in 2015 and combines art and nature in an offshore destination that includes a butterfly house, sculptures and art installations, and landscaped gardens.
In terms of hospitality, Shurooq is also behind a stunning range of boutique hotels and eco-lodges that will soon be open and operating in the emirate’s heritage locations. These include the luxury tents of Kingfisher Lodge in the Kalba eco-tourism project, Al Badayer Oasis, The Fossil Rock Lodge in Mleiha and Bait Khalid Bin Ibrahim, two historical houses newly renovated to become a hotel in the centre of Sharjah.
It’s not just tourism and leisure, though. As a facilitator of foreign direct investment and public-private partnerships, Shurooq has also delivered an array of development and infrastructure projects that continue to enhance the lives of Sharjans.