Sharjah to build green hotels and eco-destinations

Sharjah wants to increase the number of tourists to the emirate

Sharjah offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in the UAE.
Sharjah offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in the UAE.

Sharjah is to build two green hotels and a number of eco-tourist destinations in a move to increase the amount of visitors to the emirate to 3.5 million by 2012.

In an interview with Emirates Business, the CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) announced plans to fast-track two hotel builds - one on the east coast of Khor Fakkan, and the other within the city of Sharjah.

"We are working with other governmental entities in Sharjah to develop eco-tourism destinations within the emirate,” Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal told the daily.

“Careful studies are currently taking place to master plan areas within the emirate for such purposes by maintaining a sensitive balance to save the environment and the habitat and also defining commercial areas for development."

"Sharjah's east coast offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in the UAE - sandy golden beaches, steep, rocky mountains and crystal clear waters, ideal for those who enjoy active pursuits such as swimming, snorkeling and hiking, and one of the things we are currently looking at is how to maximiseon this natural richness."

As well as the two hotels, the first of which is in its advanced design stage, Shurooq is also preparing the master plans to tunr Khorfakkan into a waterfront and family sports tourism destination.

It is also finalising and approving the plans for developing the Khor Fakkan Cornice, and looking at options for transforming Kalba.

This is in addition to other key developments in the emirate such as the Heart of Sharjah and the Al Majaz Waterfront, also aimed at attracting tourists.

As it stands, Sharjah is already attracting an increasing number of visitors, partly through events such as the Sharjah Light Festival and Abu Dhabi's F1 Grand Prix, partly due to Shurooq’s participation in international tourism events to promote the emirate.

In December, statistics released by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) showed an 8% growth in international tourist flow last year, with hotel occupancy rates reaching 73% in 2010 compared with 69% in 2009.

Al Sarkal added: "We will also continue with the collaboration of other government and private entities in Sharjah to increase the number and improve the quality of hotels and other tourism attractions in the emirate in the hopes of not only attracting new visitors to the emirate, but also encouraging those who do visit to keep returning."

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