Posted by Bob Brunskill
The northern emirate of Sharjah has recorded a seven per cent increase in tourist numbers during the first five months of this year.
According to a report by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), the total number of guests staying in the emirate's hotels and hotel apartments reached 637,390 during the period - up on the 594,105 guests reported for the first five months of 2009.
In addition, SCTDA found that the average hotel occupancy rate for the period in 2010 stood at 70 per cent compared to the 67 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of last year.
SCTDA's director-general Mohamed A Al Noman said the figures clearly demonstrated steady progress due to firm and well-studied steps.
"There is no doubt that the first five months of this year have seen diverse activities by the authority, which was keen on intensively and carefully targeting local, regional and international markets so as to meet the demands of the emirate's rapidly growing tourism market," he added.
Meanwhile, a recent report issued by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum ranked the UAE 23rd in its Global Competitiveness Index among 133 countries.