Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)has opened a new tourism office and information center in Khorfakkan, in advance of the winter tourism season. Located on Sharjah’s Indian Ocean coast, Khorfakkan Port has been a destination for luxury cruise-liners since the early 1980s and has become an increasingly popular tourist destination and a focus of Sharjah’s tourism development strategy.
Sharjah is investing in a number of tourism infrastructure projects in Khorfakkan such as Al Jabal Resort, Chedi Khorfakkan, Khorfakkan Flag Square, Khorfakkan Corniche and a new cruise ship terminal to increase the Khorfakkan Port’s capacity in order to handle more cruise lines and cruise tourism throughout the year.
Normally disembarking some 60,000 – 70,000 passengers throughout the December to April cruise season, cruise tourism forms an integral part of Sharjah’s tourism development strategy, Tourism Vision 2021, which aims to attract more than 10 million tourists to the emirate by year 2021.
Among the cruise ships expected during the coming season is MSC Cruises‘ newly refurbished 333 metre (1,039 ft.) MSC Splendida, which is equipped with 1,637 cabins and able to carry more than 3,300 passengers. Khorfakkan also expects to welcome TUI Cruises‘ 293 metre (961 ft.) Mein Schiff 5 and Costa Cruises‘ Costa Mediterranea, which are able to carry 2,534 and 2,114 passengers respectively.
The new SCTDA office will also be responsible for promoting the nearby coastal town of Kalba, where there are already a wide range of projects being developed to enhance the east coast’s tourism appeal. The largest integrated infrastructure development is Kalba Eco-Tourism Project, led by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), which combines modern tourism facilities and attractions with environmental conservation.
The new tourism office is expected to offer a comprehensive range of services to help increase awareness about Sharjah’s tourist attractions, provide assistance for tourist groups and tourism companies, while acting as a tourism information centre.
Source: SCTDA, various