Business 24/7 reported recently:
“Two tourism promotion boards in the UAE – Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) and Fujairah Tourism and Archaeology Authority (FTAA) – are exploring areas of co-operation for tourism promotion.”
This teamwork makes sense as the UAE's tourism sector is increasingly one of the most important contributors to the country's GDP, with a total of Dh125 billion in travel and tourism revenues in 2007. A combination of the resources of Sharjah and Fujairah makes good marketing sense.
Vital for the Tourist
Partnering together will be better for the tourist who is probably oblivious most times when crossing the borders of the seven emirates.
Driving to Fujairah from Dubai and neighboring Sharjah, then venturing down to Kalba and up to Al Aqah beaches, one crosses back and forwards between Fujairah and Sharjah many times. They don’t advertize state borders in the Emirates as blatantly as they do in the United States of Amercia.
Look at the map (pictured-CLICK FOR MAGNIFICATION) that I obtained recently from John Chilton of The Emirates Economist. Identify the emirate of Fujairah and then see the many enclaves of the emirate of Sharjah within its domain. No wonder Chilton entitled his post on the UAE Community Blog (5 July 2009), ‘the Crazy Quilt that is the UAE.’
To add to the craziness, the white blob within Fujairah is an enclave of Oman. On the coast at this point is the crazy little town of Dibba, parts of which are in Fujairah, Sharjah and Oman! Maybe while teamwork is on the table it would be good to discuss greater UAE/Omani cooperation in tourism.
Both Rich in Beaches and Beauty
I live in Fujairah and I love this emirate but if I am asked what tourists might see in Fujairah over a weekend, I would encourage them to also go to Sharjah. For instance look at these articles:
Things to See and Do Along the Fujairah Corniche, FIF.
Best Beaches in Fujairah and on the East Coast of the UAE, FIF.
Khor Fakkan Beach Delights, FIF.
Both Rich in Conservation and Wild Life
Sharjah has got magnificent wild life conservation areas and superb places for bird watching and Fujairah has got numerous wadis such as the newly protected, Wadi Wurayah, FIF.
Both Rich in Heritage
Fujairah and Sharjah are extremely rich in terms of their history and heritage attractions that can be showcased to tourists.
Big Tourism Showcase
Special packages could be put together for those who arrive on the east coast via Cruise Ships at the Fujairah Port.
The Fujairah airport, which is developing domestically and internationally, is becoming a larger doorway for tourists to come to Sharjah and Fujairah and they represent a growing market to which to pitch the many combined attractions.
Practical Moves to Develop Cooperation
In November 2007 I wrote an article entitled, ‘Greater Sharjah and Fujairah Tourism Cooperation: I’d Like to See That!’ FIF.
This article argues for greater cooperation in tourism and offers some practical starting points.
Sheikh Al Sharqi Promotes Fujairah’s Tourism and Archaeology, FIF, 2 June 2009.
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted at geoffpound(@)gmail.com, on Facebook and Twitter.
Image: "No wonder Chilton entitled his post...‘the Crazy Quilt that is the UAE.’