Fujairah needs more trained guides to assist people at its tourist sites.
One can get an informative tour at the Fujairah Museum and the Bidyah Mosque (if you ask for it) but at most other Fujairah tourist sites, unless you are part of a private tour group, you have to make sense of the place yourself.
Few Fujairah Guides
Most of the tour group operators who show tourists around Fujairah are from Dubai and Sharjah. Where are the Fujairah-based tourist guides sharing all their local knowledge with visitors to their emirate?
Few Emirati Guides
The Fujairah heritage sites are intertwined with Emirati culture and the Arabic language so ideally visitors to Fujairah would benefit from having Emirati tourist guides who have lived in this emirate, who know it well and are trained and certified. Where are the Emirati tourist guides lining up to show off their emirate with pride?
Lessons from Our Neighbours
The United Arab Emirates means learning from each other and in this regard Fujairah can learn much from the emirate of Sharjah.
Sharjah’s Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has just concluded a training course for tourist guides (see picture of those at the Sharjah graduation ceremony). The number of people graduating illustrates that local people do want to show others around their emirate.
Best in the World
Their training initiative has arisen because Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, has vowed “to turn the tourism industry in the emirate into one of the best in the world.”
This means making it the most interesting and memorable experience for the tourists. But Al Qassimi knows how the tourism industry has been one of the major contributors to the economic growth of Sharjah and the UAE.
With Fujairah having more heritage sites than any other emirate and having already established that tourism is to be one of the main economic drivers, it is essential to get working on a Fujairah Tourist Training Course. Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Why not learn from Sharjah and adapt their course to the unique characteristics of Fujairah tourism?
When visitors to Fujairah weave in and out of Sharjah at Kalba, Khor Fakkan and Dibba it seems logical, economically sensible and beneficial to tourists if Sharjah and Fujairah Tourism Authorities worked together on showcasing the tourist sites on the UAE’s East Coast.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: The New Sharjah Tourist Guides in a Group Photo with H.E. Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority. (Photo courtesy of Dr Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf, one of the newly certified tourist guides in Sharjah)