Sharjah holds first multi-city roadshow in India post pandemic

Indian top foreign guests in Sharjah hotels in Q2 2022: SCTDA Chairman
/ New Delhi
Sharjah roadshow New Delhi
Sharjah holds first multi-city roadshow in India post pandemic

India is the largest source market for Sharjah, says Khalid Jasim Al Midfa (Photo: India Outbound)

Latest data by SCTDA says that in the second quarter of the current year, that ended on June 30, Sharjah’s hospitality sector saw an all-round growth in terms of guests, revenues as well as average daily rates earned by hotels. India was the largest foreign source market, just behind domestic tourists. In order to preserve the growth momentum, SCTDA delegation is currently on a visit to India for roadshows.
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Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) that is in charge of promoting Sharjah as a business and tourism destination, is leading a sizeable delegation on a string of roadshows in India, covering Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai for the first time since the pandemic outbreak three years ago.

Al Midfa says that besides reconnecting with the Indian travel trade partners, the objective of the roadshow is to inform the Indian stakeholders about the developments in Sharjah since the last roadshow.

Sharjah Tourism roadshow

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA (Photo: India Outbound)

“This is the first roadshow after the pandemic and building on our relations here, since we started from 2014. Even during the pandemic we did not stop, our representative office was here. We were present always in this market. Lot of interesting things happened during the pandemic for us in Sharjah. The developments, the pace was much faster than it used to be. So, it was a very good opportunity for us to develop the nation in terms of infrastructure, road network, connecting different cities,’’ Al Midfa tells India Outbound.

Sharjah is focusing on eco-tourism and Al Midfa says that the government has taken several initiatives along those lines. “Many other new projects and new experiences have come up. We have many new hiking trails with facilities.  We want people to come and see and learn and recreate memories for people and educate them as well. Because people want to learn something, especially the Indian traveller. They like to go and learn something not just to go for fun and come back and forget everything. People who go with their friends and families, they want to learn something about the culture, something about the history of the place, the people in addition to water parks and the leisure activities. They are aware of it. But the important thing is to come back with something, some value and this is what we offer,’’ Al Midfa adds.

As with many other destinations in the neighbourhood, for Sharjah, too, India is the largest source market, says Al Midfa. “We have new products and that is why we are adding it to our portfolio and we are promoting it because it is very interesting for people from all around the world. India is now the number one international market for us,” he says.

India dominates Sharjah hospitality market, too

The rising number of Indians travelling to Sharjah is also being witnessed in the Emirate’s hotel sector. According to a report by SCTDA, in the second quarter of the current year, ended on June 30, the hospitality sector saw an all-round growth, with revenues rising 14 pc to AED 97 million and the average daily rate of a room rising 10 pc to AED 181.

Sharjah Tourism roadshow

The rising number of Indians travelling to Sharjah is also being witnessed in the Emirate’s hotel sector (Photo: India Outbound)

Indian visitors were the largest segment, besides the domestic UAE clients, says SCTDA report, as almost 35,000 Indian guests stayed in Sharjah hotels in the period, up from 29400 in same period in 2021 and behind only the UAE clients who numbered just over 38,000. Al Midfa says that with this year’s performance, India has displaced Russia at the top of the hotel guests list. “The Indian market share is about 14 pc of our total hotel guests, which is very high. This is the first half of 2022. The domestic market is 17 pc. The numbers from India increased in comparison to the same period last year. This is also because of the Russia-Ukraine war as earlier Russia was the number one market for us and the Russians were mainly coming to Sharjah for the beaches,’’ says Al Midfa. Indeed, the number of Russian tourists has collapsed from over 38,300 in 2021 to 21,000 this year. With 81500 room nights, Indian guests topped the list of top 20 countries for hotel stays in Sharjah, almost 20 pc more than even the domestic travellers from other parts of the UAE, says the report by SCTDA.

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