Sharjah keen to tap immense potential of luxury cruise tourism sector
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, January 23 - 2013 at 14:36
- PRESS RELEASE
The Sharjah Commerce and tourism Authortiy is keen to tap into the immense potential of the international luxury cruise tourism in the emirate. Buoyed by the recent surge in arrivals of international luxury cruiseliners with thousands of passengers onboard in Khorfakkan, the deep water port on the East Coast, the emirate is taking bold steps to make the most of the opportunity in the interest of the tourism sector and the economy.
The course was formally opened today by SCTDA Director General HE Khalid Jassim al Midfa at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In view of the phenomenal growth of cruise tourism in the past few years in the emirate, the course entitled, Cruise Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges, seeks to raise awareness about the role and importance of cruise tourism industry for the region in general and Sharjah in particular.
Within this context, Al Midfa said in his opening remarks, close coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders and a clear understanding of the issues of the industry becomes vital and imperative.
Senior officials representing various Sharjah government departments including Department of Seaports and Customs, General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, Department of Culture and Information, Sharjah Transport Corporation, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Sharjah Museums Department are taking part in the training and orientation course.
This is the first time that such an industry overview about cruise tourism and its potential and opportunities is being offered to government entities. The trainer is a cruise industry expert who has been the director of many cruise ships in the past and currently is the sole training provider for major cruise liners like AIDA and Costa Crociere.
SCTDA, Immigration officials meet onboard Costa Atlantica
Earlier in the week, on Monday, Al Midfa visited the Khorfakkan port to hold meetings with senior officials of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs and Sharjah Ports Authority, representatives of the cruise industry and Captain Pietro Sinisi of Costa Atlantica.
Welcoming the Costa Atlantica which arrived with 2000 passengers and 900 crew members in Khorfakkan on Monday, the SCTDA Director General said that Sharjah with its well equipped ports, sunny beaches, endless coastline, rugged landscape and numerous shopping and leisure options was an ideal destination for international luxury passengers.
After reviewing the arrangements at the Khorfakkan port and meeting with Captain Sinisi and senior immigration officials, Al Midfa assured the cruise industry of all possible help from the Sharjah government and federal authorities to make the experience of international luxury passengers in Sharjah as enjoyable as possible.
He said, "The Sharjah government is paying special attention to developing the tourism infrastructure on the East Coast, referring to the groundbreaking ecotourism projects launched recently in Kalba and Khorfakkan."
"The idea is to boost the tourism sector on the East Coast and boost local economy," said Al Midfa. The immigration officials and Khorfakkan Port authorities vowed to extend all possible help to the visiting cruise passengers and make their experience as smooth and memorable as possible.
In recent times, Sharjah has witnessed a surge in luxury cruise tourism with the arrival of numerous international luxury cruise liners in its deep water port on the East Coast. With 40 calls by international luxury ships during the 2012-13 cruise season, an approximately 130,000 cruise passengers are scheduled to visit Sharjah.
With Khorfakkan receiving 23 calls by luxury cruiseliners during the last cruise season, more than 67,000 passengers visited the emirate's East Coast.
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