Sharjah welcomes 1.7 million guests in 2018
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) continues to remain on track to drive the emirate’s tourism sector after its major 2018 accomplishments revealed a steady rise in the number of visitors and improved hotel revenues.The total number of hotel guests in 2018 reached 1,738,543, their combined revenue of $172.3 million. Hotels and hotel apartments witnessed 65 per cent and 60 per cent occupancy rate, respectively. In 2018, guests from Russia, the Commonwealth and the Baltics region posted a 41 per cent growth compared to the previous year, while tourists from Africa increased by 4 per cent. China has kept its market share to 7 per cent. The top five nationalities who travelled to the emirate in 2018 were Russians and they include the Russia, the Commonwealth and the Baltics region at 392,691; Omanis, 145,413; Chinese, 122,328; Saudis, 117,074; and Indians, 113,300 visitors. SCTDA, which won the ‘Best Tourism Authority’ award at the Arabian Travel Awards 2018, also received three ISO certificates last year, namely ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 18001. Apart from debuting Sharjah Summer Festival, new hotels were also unveiled during the previous period to accommodate the growing number of tourists visiting the emirate. The new world-class establishments include the recently opened Al Bait hotel, a 5-star luxury destination which has 52 rooms; and Four Points by Sheraton Sharjah, which embraces 225 modern hotel rooms equipped with the latest amenities and luxury, along with a number of hotels expected to open in the third quarter; Sharjah’s Anantara Resort, a premier beachfront property; Novotel Expo Hotel Sharjah, a business hotel; the Four Points by Sheraton Sharjah, which boasts 225 modern, comfortable and spacious guest rooms; and Pullman Hotel Sharjah, which will offer 188 rooms and suites. The government unveiled a host of environmental attractions as well. These are the eco-friendly Kalba Kingfisher Lodge and Al Faya Lodge, both of which seek to deliver exceptional experience in terms of luxury and sustainability.