SHARJAH, 26th June, 2022 (WAM) — The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) organised a business meeting with the Embassy of the Republic of North Macedonia in the UAE and the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), in the presence of a group of elite businessmen and tourism sector representatives.
The meeting was held due to the visit of an economic delegation from North Macedonia to the Emirate of Sharjah, during which SCCI highlighted the emirate’s tourism attractiveness and promoted its distinct place on the safe global tourism map.
The recently held meeting at SCCI was headed by Waleed Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, Second Vice-President, SCCI; Khalid Jasem Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA); Ambassador Igor Popov, Director of the Directorate of Economic and Public Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-chair of the UAE-Macedonia Joint Task Force on Trade and Investment; Abdul Qadir Mimidi, Ambassador of the Republic of North Macedonia to the UAE; Nasser Musbah Ahmed Al-Taneiji and Halima Hamid Ali Al-Owais, Members of SCCI’s Board of Directors; Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, Director-General, SCCI; Ibrahim Rashid Al Jarwan, Director of Economic Relations and Marketing at SCCI; and Fatima Khalifa Al Mokarrab, Director of SCCI’s International Relations Department.
In his remarks, Waleed Abdul Rahman Bukhatir said, “The areas of bilateral cooperation between Sharjah and North Macedonia are highly diversified. There are numerous potential opportunities to expand this cooperation in several different fields, including the tourism sector, which is undergoing a significant transition. As this sector continues to recover following the COVID-19 pandemic, global tourism is also recovering and accelerating its growth trajectories.”
“Furthermore, both countries possess competitive and distinct features as prominent tourist destinations, with Sharjah’s development tourism model representing a novel and innovative approach to establishing tourist strategies with long-term development implications. As a result, the tourism sector’s contribution to the Emirate’s economy constitutes 15 percent of its output, and the Emirate is eager to develop creative initiatives that promote tourism services and products,” Bukhatir added.
For his part, Mimidi highlighted his country’s ambition of expanding ties with the Emirate of Sharjah in all areas, particularly tourism, owing to the fact that both nations are known for their distinct and diverse tourist attractions. He also emphasised the significance of such a meeting in exploring the emirate’s tourism features and strengthening cooperative relations.
“The strategy of the Republic of North Macedonia is to attract tourists from the Arab Gulf countries, with a target of 2.6 million visitors this year and 3.2 million visitors in 2023. This is due to the fact that it is ranked fifth in the world for attracting foreign tourists,” Memedi further pointed out.
Moreover, Ahmed Rashid bin Sheikh, Head of the European Market Division at SCTDA, highlighted Sharjah’s most important tourism features, stating that the emirate has witnessed a tremendous transition in such a vital sector in the last few years, with many of the leading environmental, heritage, and investment tourism projects being established.
He added that Sharjah has also developed the hotel sector, with over 100 hotel facilities, more than 10,000 rooms, and a variety of hotel categories; as a result, hotel occupancy reached more than AED120 million in the first quarter of this year.
In addition, Sharjah has an international airport that will be expanded in 2024 to accommodate more than 20 million passengers instead of 8 million.