A U.A.E. paper has said that developmental projects are in full swing giving, every reason for visitors and residents of Sharjah to smile.
Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has stated that he is personally keen on drafting parks and roads because all these projects would eventually reflect Sharjah’s civilisation and add to the U.A.E.’s beauty.
“A number of projects in celebration of Sharjah as Capital of Arab Tourism 2015 are under way. Sheikh Sultan himself took part in designing the projects, which included Al Qasimiya University, the largest project at the emirate level. The Dibba Water Canal is expected to be inaugurated within 10 days,” said The Gulf Today in its editorial today.
Most projects are likely to be completed before 2015 concurrently with Sharjah celebrations for being selected as capital of Arab tourism. These include Wasit sanctuary, Al Hafiya sanctuary and Maliha museum in which archeological and environmental tourism will be demonstrated.
That is not all. Sheikh Sultan has also announced the establishment of two institutions, one concerned with labour disputes and the other with security and safety as part of a programme titled “Sharjah is a Healthy City.” Besides, land has been granted for building an integrated sports city with a fully equipped stadium on Al Dhaid road in Sharjah City.
“On Sharjah’s travel horizon is the Sir Bu Nair Island tourism project, slated for completion in 2017. The island will harbour a five-star hotel and resort, hotel apartments and an amphitheatre among other attractions,” added the paper.
The emirate has emerged as a favourite holiday destination for visitors from around the world, especially those from Europe and neighbouring Gulf countries. It has been recognised as the home of Arab and Islamic culture and civilisation. It was declared the Cultural Capital of the Arab world in 1998 by UNESCO. Recently, the Arab tourism ministers’ summit in Cairo selected Sharjah as the Capital of Arab Tourism for Year 2015.
According to the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, the first quarter statistics for Year 2014 showed remarkable growth in the tourism sector compared to the sector’s performance during the same period last year.
The total number of hotel guests touched 600,000 against 515,947 guests last year. With hotel apartments recording similar increase, Sharjah has registered a healthy 15 per cent increase in visitors over the same period last year.
“Europe is the top tourism-generating destination bringing in over 251,000 visitors. As always Sharjah welcomed large numbers from visitors in the neighbouring Gulf states. Way to go, Sharjah,” concluded the Sharjah-based English language newspaper.