Sharjah projects itself as regional tourism and business destination - Emirates24|7

Sharjah projects itself as regional tourism and business destination

Getting market savvy (MUSTAFA KASMI)

Sharjah has launched its re-branded identity as a regional tourism and business destination in a ceremony held at the Expo Centre Sharjah.

The promotion strategy is the result of two years of work to present Sharjah's integrated identity and personality to the public and to highlight the emirate's attractions for tourists and investors alike. While the brand incorporates a new logo for the emirate, it is intended to be an all-inclusive brand that provides a clear direction about the image the emirate hopes to present to the world.

At the launch, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), which created the new identity, said: "Since the establishment of the department we have systematically driven forward our robust promotional strategy, with special focus on highlighting the attractions and uniqueness of the emirate, presenting it as a distinguished tourist destination.

"In the course of our endeavours we have utilised support and resources from every possible source to move our aims forward, and those of the Ruler and the Crown Prince. We have participated in local, regional and international platforms and organised prestigious local events and contributed significantly to enhancing the emirate's position in the global tourism market."

To date, the authority has had success increasing the number of visitors to the emirate. Sharjah received 1.5 million visitors in 2007, a significant increase from the 600,000 tourists who came to the emirate in 2000.

And the average hotel occupancy rate is up to 85 per cent in the emirate's hotels and hotel apartments. Furthermore, the total number of hotels in Sharjah has increased to 96, said Al Qassimi, substantially more than the 20 hotels the emirate had in 2000. "The growth of hotels has helped attract higher-spending tourists and consequently created an even greater economic multiplier effect on our growing economy," he said.

To distinguish itself, Sharjah plans to emphasise its commitment to the conservation of its distinct values, culture and Islamic roots, he said. To get the most out of the new identity, the chairman of the tourism authority in Sharjah said all of the emirate's different government departments and private organisations will have to work together to ensure that a unified vision is projected abroad. the new logo The visuals for the new Sharjah brand consist of a combination of symbols, colours and typography, representing several aspects of the emirate's heritage and modern identity, and will become the standard branding used in all future communications. The emirate's new brand comprises three elements, namely the Sharjah symbol, the Arabic word for Sharjah and the Latin word for Sharjah. These are rendered in a combination of light and deep blue, gold, purple and orange.