Monumental steps are being taken by UAE’s nation-state of Sharjah this week, as they bring their largest delegation, to date, to New York and Washington DC for meetings between September 30, 2013 and October 4, 2013. Often the more quiet of the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah has a lot to offer both tourists and business, and this delegation is now seeking closer cultural and economic ties to the United States. While there are still many who would like to see these ties weakened, their delegations highlights the current successful trade and investment relationship with the US, including more than 300 active US businesses in Sharjah currently.
Sheikh Sultan Al Qassimi, head of the Sharjah delegation and member of Sharjah’s royal family, said, “We pointed out the excellent bilateral relations with the USA as well as the mutual respect, strong friendship and the joint cooperation already in a number of areas. The delegation’s visit is emphasizing our keen desire to expand these relations towards new horizons, driven by the attractive investment climate enjoyed by the UAE, specifically the Emirate of Sharjah, making it a safe haven and an ideal destination sought after and favored by investors from all over the world.”
This delegation consists of more than twenty government and private organization representatives, who arrived to Washington DC over the weekend, and will proceed with these meetings in DC and NY throughout the week. The delegation was organized by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) under the slogan: “Sharjah - Promising Opportunities, Global Horizons,” and hopes to further promote the investment, business and cultural offerings by Sharjah.
“Sharjah is a widely untapped business and cultural gem to the West. Our goal is to change that and show US businesses and travelers what they’ve been missing,” added Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi. “Whether it’s our rich, vibrant culture, our state of the art infrastructure, or the fact that Sharjah offers very attractive investment opportunities in all sectors, the truth is that when it comes to the rapidly growing Gulf region, what we have to offer is hard to beat.”
Bordered by Dubai and Ajmân, Sharjah’s government developed the Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and the Investment and Development Authority to provide the vehicles to further develop this nation-state. Great strides have been made in the past decade, with a number of additional developments due to open in the coming years, including Heart of Sharjah and The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort, by GHM Hotels; making the scheduling of this US tour ideal to continue this level of growth. While Abu Dhabi and Dubai get the vast majority of US travel and business interest in the UAE, Sharjah is the third largest of the seven Emirates, and largely remains an untapped resource.
Led by Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Centre, the delegation is composed of representatives from Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC), Sharjah Media Centre (SMC), the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA), the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), Sharjah Health Authority (SHA), Sharjah Department of Public Works (DPW), The Sharjah Environment Company (Beeah), Sharjah Tatweer Forum, Crescent Petroleum, Crescent Enterprises, Dana Gas, Regional Trade Centre, American University of Sharjah (AUS), and Sharjah Businesswomen Council.
Over the weekend Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi spoke, and stressed the significant role played by the UAE in extending bridges of cooperation and strengthening mutual relations in various fields, as well as the UAE’s keenness to reinforce its relation of friendship and joint action with other countries in the world. He noted, “The vast experiences and diversity of sectors in the USA as well as the desire by US firms to expand to Middle Eastern and Asian markets make this visit at this specific time an opportunity for both sides.” With a full week of appearances and meetings, it will be interesting to determine the long-term successes that come from a business and tourism campaign of this expense, and overall undertaking.