Sharjah plans massive hotel industry expansion

Guest Writer

Sharjah revealed plans at ATM to boost the number of hotel rooms available in the emirate by 75% before 2014.The emirate, which is one of seven in the UAE, has heavily promoted its cultural and heritage attractions in recent years, in direct contrast to its glitzier neighbour Dubai.Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), said the rise in the number of hotel rooms correlated with the expected increase in the number of hotel facilities in the emirate over the next four years, as well as the sustained growth that the tourism sector in Sharjah is witnessing.”SCTDA statistics show that Sharjah is preparing for 33 new hotel facilities by 2014, with the total number of hotel facilities in the emirate reaching 143 comparing to 110 in the emirate currently. With 7387 hotel rooms expected to be added, the number of the hotel rooms in the emirate will reach 15 141, compared to the current number of 8727,” he explained.The SCTDA expects 14 hotel apartments with 2162 rooms, as well 19 hotels with 4225 rooms, to be constructed in Sharjah over the next four years. This will raise the number of hotel apartments from 69 to 83, while the number of hotels will increase from 41 to 60.In addition, the next four years will also see 14 new five star hotels with 3550 rooms, and seven luxury hotel apartments with a total of 1685 rooms, opening their doors in the emirate, according to the Authority’s statistics.”Tourism is a great source of income for the emirate, and Sharjah is working hard to develop tourism projects, cities and tourist villages in order to attract tourists and investors. Sharjah also seeks to host and participate in various international festivals and activities, such as the recently announced Sharjah Light Festival, and to undertake further promotional campaigns organized by the SCTDA, which always has, and continues to contribute greatly to attracting visitors and tourists to Sharjah.”

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