The panel discussed strategies for promoting Sharjah as a destination for a global audience
The SEF panel session on Saturday. – Photo provided
Sharjah posted a 68 oer cent increase in women entrepreneurs recently, said Maryam Bin Al Shaikh, Director of the Sharjah Business Women Council.
He spoke at a panel discussion titled “Marhaba: Welcome to Sharjah”, which discussed strategies to promote Sharjah as a destination for a global audience. The panel discussion is part of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2022.
The panel hosted the Chairman of 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 Sharjah Business Women Council; and Kareem Al Jisr, Chief Sustainability Officer of Diamond Developers; and hosted by broadcast journalist Abdul Karim Hanif.
Khaled Al Midfa emphasized the importance of learning and understanding the culture and history of Sharjah in order to effectively welcome and interact with visitors and the fact that more than 50 percent of the UAE’s museums are located in the emirate and the tourism constitutes more than 12 percent of 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 growing rapidly in Sharjah and although the population is around 1.5 million, more than 1.8 million people visited and booked hotel rooms last 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 after time. We are one 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 visitors and businesses. “Investment in Sharjah plays an important role in facilitating this experience through our partnerships and collaborations with businesses and organizations, including the important work we do with Sheera and Sharjah Investors Services Center for example. Today’s turnout of entrepreneurs and businessmen who invest their weekend in 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 spoke about Sharjah’s exponential growth last year in the property market with over Dh700 million transacted last month alone with 90 percent of the investments made by foreign nationals. “Although the increase in purchases made by foreigners is increasing every year, investment by locals remains constant and these figures should not be seen as a decrease in local investment but an example of how Sharjah is a valuable destination for the world.”
Kareem Al Jisr talked about the role played by Sharjah Sustainable City in the emirate as a project in partnership with Sharjah Investment and Development Authority(Shurooq) and Diamond Developers saying, “Sharjah Sustainable City is a home for new ideas and innovations, a place to innovate problem solving. We pride ourselves on being a place for early adopters and a living lab or “sandbox” for development. We provide a place for entities and people to change and evolve.”