7th edition of Sharjah Hospitality Forum to explore tourism challenges and prospects of recovery and growth

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  • Forum to be held virtually for the first time in line with established precautionary measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 
  • Leading local and international experts and stakeholders to discuss latest developments in tourism and explore ways to accelerate industry recovery 
  • Khalid Jasim Al Midfa: “We will continue our initiatives to support tourism and enhance its role as a vital contributor to the national economy.”
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) announced that it will organize the Sharjah Hospitality Forum (SHF) on November 16, 2020, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of Sharjah Executive Council. Discussions at the event are expected to showcase the latest developments in Sharjah’s tourism sector amid current challenges as well as explore ways to accelerate the sector’s recovery and achieve growth. For the first time ever, the 7th edition of SHF will be held through virtual channels and video conferencing technologies, in line with the precautionary measures adopted to ensure public safety.   

SHF’s virtual sessions are set to tackle current circumstances and their impact on tourism and travel activities while also exploring the possibilities for hospitality companies to achieve new sources of growth amidst unprecedented global challenges. Furthermore, the sessions will highlight various important topics related to the future of the aviation, travel and tourism industry, and the current benefits of work in the tourism sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will also include a review of international protocols for infectious diseases, epidemics and crises, as well as a discussion on domestic tourism in light of the current challenges. Following the discussions, an introduction on the initiatives and incentives launched by the wise leadership to support the tourism and hospitality sector, and to enhance the momentum of the sector, as it represents an important tributary of the national economy.

Featuring pioneers, experts, and stakeholders, SHF’s sessions will present valuable platforms for sharing expertise, ideas, and best practices that will further enhance tourism activities. The speakers’ list will include HE Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Director General, Department of eGovernment, Government of Sharjah, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA; and Natalia Bayona, Director of the Innovation, Digital Transformation and Investments Department, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and other experts and senior officials from local and international organizations. 

H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa reiterated that SCTDA remains committed to launching initiatives that support the continuous development of travel and tourism which play a major role in the growth of the national economy. He noted that the forum is an important strategic platform that will enable the sector to discuss the latest developments in tourism, hospitality and travel, explore ways to accelerate the industry’s recovery, and exchange experiences and best practices among countries.

H.E. commented: “This edition is of particular importance because of the current global situation as the event provides us with the opportunity to discuss topics of interest to all stakeholders, employees and investors in the sector, exchanging information as well as proposing solutions from high-profile experts, decision-makers and pioneers in the tourism and hospitality markets from the local and international arena.”

Al Midfa concluded: “SCTDA has been constantly working to enhance the safety and security of the tourism experience and hospitality services in the emirate and facilitate the arrival of tourists and guests while adhering to established preventive measures. In pursuit of this aim, the authority has launched a number of initiatives and partnerships such as the “Sharjah Safe for Tourism Stamp”, which helps ensure compliance of best health practices in the tourism sector. We also promote the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, a label which indicates that tourism facilities meet the international health, hygiene and safety standards within the industry. We are confident that the tourism and hospitality sector will witness increased momentum during the coming period in view of recently launched mega projects, especially on the eastern coast of Sharjah, Kalba and Khorfakkan in particular, aligned with the gradual easing of travel restrictions.”

Over the last few months, SCTDA launched various initiatives that continue to support the activities of the tourism sector in Sharjah, which include strengthening its partnerships with the private and public sector as well as local and international entities to enhance the safety of the tourism experience, especially for the domestic market, following the closure of many international destinations and the restrictions imposed on movement between countries.