SHARJAH- Under the umbrella of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) will participate in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) – the region’s most prestigious travel and tourism exhibition and networking event – for the seventh consecutive year, from 5-8 May at Dubai’s World Trade Centre.
SMD’s attendance represents a longstanding strategic effort to promote the Emirate’s many museums as unique travel destinations for tourists from all over the world.
ATM will provide a remarkable opportunity to interact with around 2,500 exhibition booths and some 20,000 participating professionals from more than 100 countries. Through this participation, SMD aims to target new tourism markets and solidify existing relationships with established industry leaders.
SMD will activate the ATM 2014 platform to connect with top players in the cultural tourism sector, which focuses on visits to those sites that best represent a country’s rich cultural heritage, museums being of primary importance. As this year marks Sharjah’s designation as the Capital of Islamic Culture, the emirate and its museums will be in the spotlight for all related events, activities, and historic firsts taking place for its celebration.
In conjunction with this year’s ATM, SMD will announce an exciting partnership with Cozmo Travel/ Air Arabia Holidays. The collaboration, which was only recently formalised, aims to increase the number of tourists to Sharjah and to familiarize international visitors with UAE identity by introducing them to the rich history and vibrant culture exhibited at the 16 museums that fall under Sharjah Museums Department’s direction.
Commenting on SMD’s participation at ATM 2014, Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department, said, “The Arabian Travel Market is the region’s largest international tourism forum. It provides a strong platform for promoting Sharjah’s museums and their cultural riches to a wider audience of industry experts and tourism organizations. The annual event will provide a chance to meet and reconnect with other organizations and industry experts to brainstorm, exchange ideas and best practices, and further expand our established network.”
Ataya added, “SMD has accomplished a lot already this year in its unwavering mission to promote the Emirate’s rich cultural heritage and contributions in the fields of art, technology, science, and education through an exciting lineup of museum exhibitions, events, and workshops. With its designation as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014, Sharjah has been put on the world map as a top international cultural tourism destination.”
For the second year in a row, SMD is collaborating with tour bus operator City Sightseeing Sharjah to provide convenient and reliable transport for ATM attendees to visit the Emirate’s star tourist landmarks and attractions, including several SMD institutions, named Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah Aquarium, Sharjah Maritime Museum and other museums located in Heart of Sharjah.
SMD is preparing to announce the re-opening of Sharjah Hisn, set to open to the public at end of this year. Built in 1823, Sharjah Hisn stands majestically in the heart of Sharjah, reminding tourists and locals alike of the old days when it once served as the seat of Sharjah Government. Over the years Sharjah Hisn also acted as the residence of the Al Qasimi ruling family. This historic landmark will reopen to offer a fascinating collection of artefacts aimed to connect museum visitors with Sharjah’s illustrious past.
SMD will also be introducing ATM participants to important exhibitions during 2014 at the museums, both ongoing and upcoming, particularly, “So That you Might Know Each Other: The World of Islam from North Africa to China and Beyond,” an exhibition running at Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization through 14 June from the collections of the Vatican Ethnological Museum. SMD on the whole, and this exhibition in particular aims to create opportunities for increased intercultural dialogue and understanding, which is also a main aim for many of the tourism companies and insiders participating at ATM 2014.