Sharjah welcomes 1.5m guests in 2023

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, shares Sharjah’s performance updates at the recently concluded ATM 2024

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) revealed a robust 11 per cent increase in hotel guests numbers in 2023, with the emirate welcoming over 1.5 million guests.

The sector’s sustainable growth was further underscored by a significant surge in guests from diverse regions: Russian and the Baltics led with a 36 per cent increase, followed by the GCC countries at 17 per cent, and Australia and the Pacific at 15 per cent.

Sharjah continues to attract a growing number of Arab and international guests, supported by its extensive hospitality infrastructure that includes more than 100 hotel establishments providing more than 10,000 rooms. This capacity is set to increase as the emirate rolls out additional high-calibre tourism projects, ensuring readiness to accommodate anticipated increases in hotel guests numbers.

Data from the authority indicates a significant uptick in hotel guests from the GCC countries (excluding the UAE) in 2023, with nearly 250,000 guests visiting, marking a 17% increase from the previous year’s 211,000 guests. Oman and Saudi Arabia were the leading sources of Gulf guests, with nearly 140,000 and 75,000 hotel guests, respectively, demonstrating Sharjah’s strengthening cultural and economic bonds with its regional neighbours.

Speaking on the 2023 tourism sector performance, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “Sharjah undergoes significant and visible transformations in its tourism industry each year, reflecting the vision of the emirate’s wise leadership. The data from 2023 highlights the rapid growth this vital sector is experiencing. Notably, tourism has played a crucial role in bolstering infrastructure, boosting the local economy, and generating new employment opportunities, thereby reinforcing its strategic contribution to the emirate’s economic advancement.”

He added: “Sharjah has solidified its position as a global tourist hub, affirming its leading role in sustainable development, innovation, and technological advancement in the sector. We are committed to enhancing its tourism sector through a comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy. This involves building a cohesive tourism ecosystem in collaboration with various organisations and institutions.”