Panel discusses strategies for promoting Sharjah as a destination for a global audience
The panel in session at SEF on Saturday. – Supplied photo
Sharjah has posted a 68 oer cent increase in female entrepreneurs recently , said Maryam Bin Al Shaikh, Director of the Sharjah Business Women Council.
She was speaking at a panel discussion entitled “Marhaba: Welcome to Sharjah”, that discussed strategies for promoting Sharjah as a destination for a global audience. The panel discussion was part of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2022.
The panel hosted Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Khaled Al Midfa; Mohammed Musharrakh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah; Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, Group CEO of Arada; Maryam Bin Al Shaikh, Director of the Sharjah Business Women Council; and Kareem Al Jisr, Chief Sustainability Officer of Diamond Developers; and was moderated by broadcast journalist Abdul Karim Hanif.
Khaled Al Midfa stressed the importance of learning and understanding the culture and history of Sharjah in order to effectively welcome and engage with visitors and the fact that more than 50 per cent of the UAE’s museums were located in the emirate and that tourism made up over 12 per cent of the GDP. “By embracing and sharing our culture and heritage, we can create a truly authentic and meaningful experience for visitors,” he said.
Al Midfa mentioned that tourism is rapidly growing in Sharjah and even though the population is around 1.5 million, over 1.8 million people visited and booked hotel rooms in the past year. “Sharjah has a population of over 200 nationalities, we have well diversified economies, we are a dynamic emirate that provides a benchmark for innovation and that exceeds expectations time and time again. We are a hub of possibilities with a strong authentic identity”.
Mohammed Musharrakh highlighted the commitment of Sharjah and its government to provide unique and authentic experiences for both visitors and businesses. “Invest in Sharjah plays a crucial role in facilitating this experience through our partnerships and collaborations with businesses and organisations, including the important work we do with Sheera and Sharjah Investors Services Center for example. The turnout today by entrepreneurs and business people investing their weekend into SEF is a testament to the fact that our work is effectively attracting the next generation to our emirate” he said.
Ahmed Alkhoshaibi of Arada talked about the exponential growth Sharjah has had over the past year in the property market with over Dh700 million transacted in last month alone with 90 per cent of the investments being made by foreign nationals. “Although the increase in purchases made by foreigners has been increasing year-on-year, the investment by locals has held steady and these numbers shouldn’t be seen as a decrease in local investment but rather an example of how Sharjah is becoming an increasingly valued destination for the world.”
Kareem Al Jisr talked about the role that Sharjah Sustainable City has had on the emirate as a project partnered between Sharjah Investment and Development Authority(Shurooq) and Diamond Developers saying, “Sharjah Sustainable City is a home for new ideas and innovations, a place to innovative problem solving. We pride ourselves on being a place for early adopters and a living lab or “sandbox” for development. We provide a space for entities and people to innovate and flourish.”