H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa: “We are committed to working together to develop and enhance the quality of tourism facilities in Sharjah and preserve historical edifices that reflect the emirate’s rich history”
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UAE Youth Hostel Association and the Sharjah Archaeology Authority, with the aim of enhancing the guidelines, standards and mechanisms in managing youth hostels and improving the quality of services provided to the youth tourism sector while preserving the traditional houses of the emirate. The new initiative comes in line with Sharjah’s continuing efforts to strengthen its leading position on the global tourism map.
The SCTDA has been tasked to take charge in the management, supervision and development of services of youth hostels located in the emirate, while the Sharjah Archaeology Authority oversees the maintenance and preservation of the facilities.
The agreement was signed by H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA; H.E. Dr. Sabah Aboud Jasim, Director General, Sharjah Archeology Authority; and H.E. Jassim Rajab, Chairman, UAE Youth Hostel Association.
The MoU supports SCTDA’s commitment to forming strong and strategic partnerships as part of its bid to enhance and invest in the emirate’s tourism resources to increase the economic contributions of the tourism industry. The move is moreover part of the strategy to promote Sharjah’s heritage and historic sites, providing tourists and visitors with world-class tourism venues underpinned by unique tourism experiences.
Under the terms of the agreement, SCTDA will supervise the management of youth hostels in coordination and cooperation with the UAE Youth Hostel Association, as well as exchange information and experiences to achieve the common vision and aspirations. The Sharjah Archaeology Authority, meantime, is tasked to carry out maintenance and management of the facilities.
The UAE Youth Hostel Association, for its part, will supervise the management of youth tourism facilities in cooperation with SCTDA, including the provision and distribution of information and the preparation of account lists, among other relevant tasks.
H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, pointed out that the newly signed MoU demonstrates the SCTDA’s commitment to work in accordance with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to develop and enhance the quality of the emirate’s tourism facilities and preserve the historical landmarks that bear witness to the rich history and heritage of Sharjah.
Al Midfa stated: “We are honored to sign this new MoU with the UAE Youth Hostel Association and the Sharjah Archaeology Authority, which represents an advanced step in the move to unify and direct joint efforts that will promote our local tourist sites and heritage areas. This will ultimately benefit the local tourism sector and cement Sharjah’s position within the ranks of the most prestigious and distinguished tourist destinations in the world. We look forward to working closely with both entities, especially in the move to improve the quality of youth hostel services and the preservation of traditional houses. Our collaboration will help reinforce Sharjah’s reputation as a distinct destination that combines the past traditions with the present age in an urban setting.”
“We are confident that this agreement, which will further enrich the tourism experience of Sharjah, will help strengthen our initial efforts to promote youth tourism. There is no doubt that improving youth hostels will have a positive impact on the tourism community, as they provide distinguished services that will help establish the emirate as an ideal destination for those looking to experience luxurious but cost-efficient holidays. The youth hostels offer multiple options to meet the different tastes and requirements of various social and age groups–whether they are university students, families, tourist delegates or athletes from inside the Emirates or other global destinations. This drives us to provide the necessary support needed to be a vital source of growth for other tourism segments, including domestic, cultural, environmental and solo tourism,” added Al Midfa.
Issa Yousef, Director of Department, Sharjah Archeology Authority, said: “Our strategic partnership with the SCTDA encompasses all fronts, including in the area of promoting our traditional youth hostels. These beautiful facilities are one of the most powerful features that enrich the attractiveness and competitiveness of our local tourism sector. In line with our mandate to manage Sharjah’s archaeological sites, we remain keen to strengthen our cooperation and collaboration with SCTDA and all concerned parties to continuously preserve and maintain the traditional youth hostels based on the highest international standards and best practices. This commitment is aligned with our efforts to protect our archaeological sites and our rich cultural heritage and monuments in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. Doing so enables us to fully perform our initial task of preserving and promoting the identity and heritage of our people.”
H.E. Jassim Rajab, Chairman, UAE Youth Hostel Association, concluded: “We are honored to sign this MoU with SCTDA and Sharjah Archaeology Authority. The MoU will further bolster our shared initiatives to increase the economic contribution of youth tourism and attract more international young travelers and tourists to the UAE. The new agreement is an integrated framework that will unify and direct our efforts towards the improvement of the traditional youth hostels in Sharjah, thereby providing our young travelers with an ideal place to meet new acquaintances while at the same time appreciating the local culture. This is fundamental as travelers, especially young visitors, flock to the UAE to visit its prominent sites that reflect the uniqueness of the Emirati civilization and heritage. Our MoU is aligned with our vision at the UAE Youth Hostel Association to develop and manage our youth hostels to match the best in the world based on the ideals of leadership, sustainability, quality and innovation.”