Page 8 - SCCI Annual Report 2021 English NEW
P. 8

Success has its standards, tools and indicators; and what the UAE achieved in the past two years in terms of managing the COVID-19 crisis is a translation of the wise vision of the country's leadership, where the guidance from His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council immensely impacted and supported the significant achievements in promoting the tourism sector’s potential and achieving its goals. Since its establishment, the UAE has been distinguished by its resilience and ability to address many challenges, setting it as a role model on regional and international levels; and here we are today, reaping the fruits of the country’s efforts to maintain its leadership, potential and resources. For instance, in 2021, many countries around the world witnessed widespread recession in their tourism sectors, which form a cornerstone of modern economy and a vital source of income for some countries. Nevertheless, the UAE was one of the first countries to open its borders for tourists and achieve significant improvement in the numbers of tourist groups. The UAE offered a safe travel destination when most countries closed their airports and stayed in complete isolation from the rest of the world. Indeed, the UAE succeeded in overcoming the crisis, with the number of travelers passing through the country’s airports growing by 15.8% in 2021. Furthermore, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai airports witnessed improved performance in terms of the number of travelers, which exceeded 41,370,000 passengers, at an increase of 15.8% compared to 2020, which registered around 35,370,000 travelers. These statistics prove the country’s ability to address challenges facing travelers around the world due to the COVID-19 crisis and recovering to its numbers prior to the crisis. In its turn, the tourism sector in Sharjah witnessed a YTY growth in the number of visitors by 16% in 2021. Furthermore, Sharjah ranked second in the world in the health and safety indicator of the Euromonitor International “Top 100 City Destinations” of 2021. It also ranked fourth in the 2021 list of Top 10 Tourism Cities in the Middle East and Africa. To stimulate the tourism sector and build its potential, SCTDA intensified its promotional efforts by participating in exhibitions and promotional tours in main tourism markets, most notably its participation in the World Travel Market London; the Russian Promotional Exhibit from 4-10, October 2021 in Moscow and Petersburg; in addition to the November 2021 sales mission which included: Ukraine - Kiev, Georgia - Tbilisi, and Armenia – Yerevan; and the promotional campaign of December 2021, which included Kazakhstan - Astana and Almaty and Uzbekistan - Tashkent. Finally, I extend my gratitude to the Government of Sharjah for its continuous efforts in supporting the Emirate’s tourism sector, by developing new tourism destinations in record time, especially in Khorfakkan and Kalba on the east coast, and Al Dhaid and Mleiha in the central region. Furthermore, there are other projects under development which, once completed, are expected to enrich Sharjah’s tourism products’ high quality and diversified options. With that, we are confident that the tourism sector will soon recover its status prior to the crisis. 

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