Page 100 - Shj Tourism Annual Report 2019 English
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 100 Travel Infrastructure: Sustainable development cannot be achieved without strong infrastructure, especially those related to travel. Therefore, the emirate of Sharjah aspires to construct the longest tunnel in the Middle East that connects the eastern and western coasts of the emirate, which will boost both the commercial and tourism sectors. In addition to continued development of the emirate’s road network, improvements to marine facilities and airports remain a top priority. For example, the Sharjah International Airport expansion project seeks to accommodate 20 million passengers by 2027, and results have already been achieved, as the airport recorded more than 12 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 6% over the previous year. On the other hand, the development and modernization processes will enhance the position of Khorfakkan Port as a luxury tourist destination capable of accommodating more vessels and cruises. Hotels and Accommodation sector: Through the contributions of prominent global hotel chains, about 5,000 hotel rooms will be added to the Hotel and Accommodation market in Sharjah by 2021, which will increase the capacity of hotels and resorts in the emirate. Events The Emirate of Sharjah organizes a large number of distinguished events, such as the Sharjah Summer Festival, the Sharjah Light Festival, the Sharjah World Championship Week and many other events. It is also a major conference center, as the Sharjah Expo Centre hosts a number of large-scale events, including the Sharjah International Book Fair, which attracted 2.23 million visitors in 2019, with an increased annual growth expected in the coming years. Furthermore, Sharjah is the ideal location for regional and international events. Meetings, awards, conferences and tourism events in the emirate are another expected growth area. Travel destinations and activities In order to multiply the impressive options for Sharjah’s tourism and eco-tourism platforms, the Sharjah Government and the private sector have made great efforts in developing the tourism sector and devising ways to improve the tourism experience therein. Thanks to the great diversity in Sharjah, there are many family-oriented and adventurous activities, including mountain biking, desert biking, dune bashing, kayaking and snorkeling, which are activities that are steadily growing in popularity in the UAE. Moreover, inbound historical and educational tourism will be enhanced by registering the Heart of Sharjah in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. With dozens of museums, Sharjah expects to welcome thousands of tourists to enjoy the art and artistic and cultural festivals that the UAE offers throughout the year. Chapter 4: Future Outlook 

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