Experts discuss how successful strategies have been in building a strong entrepreneurial in Sharjah
Sharjah, 17 December 2022
On the opening day of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2022, the Impact Stage did exactly that — made a huge impact on all in attendance. A panel discussion titled 'Marhaba: Welcome to Sharjah', featuring experts in the fields of tourism and business development, discussed strategies for promoting Sharjah as a destination for a global audience, lauded SEF’s efforts in gathering such a large number of entrepreneurs to learn and enrich their businesses.
The panel hosted Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Khaled Al Midfa; Mohammed Musharrakh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah; Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, Group CEO of Arada; Maryam Bin Al Shaikh, Director of the Sharjah Business Women Council; and Kareem Al Jisr, Chief Sustainability Officer of Diamond Developers; and was moderated by broadcast journalist Abdul Karim Hanif.
Khaled Al Midfa stressed the importance of learning and understanding the culture and history of Sharjah in order to effectively welcome and engage with visitors and the fact that more than 50% of the UAE’s museums were located in the emirate and that tourism made up over 12% of the GDP. 'By embracing and sharing our culture and heritage, we can create a truly authentic and meaningful experience for visitors,' he said.
Al Midfa mentioned that tourism is rapidly growing in Sharjah and even though the population is around 1.5million, over 1.8million people visited and booked hotel rooms in the past year. “Sharjah has a population of over 200 nationalities, we have well diversified economies, we are a dynamic emirate that provides a benchmark for innovation and that exceeds expectations time and time again. We are a hub of possibilities with a strong authentic identity”.
Mohammed Musharrakh highlighted the commitment of Sharjah and its government to provide unique and authentic experiences for both visitors and businesses. “Invest in Sharjah plays a crucial role in facilitating this experience through our partnerships and collaborations with businesses and organisations, including the important work we do with Sheera and Sharjah Investors Services Center for example. The turnout today by entrepreneurs and business people investing their weekend into SEF is a testament to the fact that our work is effectively attracting the next generation to our emirate” he said.
Maryam Bin Al Shaikh talked about the role of women entrepreneurs in the ensuring holistic development of Sharjah society. 'Sharjah has had a 68% increase in female entrepreneurs recently and as the market grows and expands we will continue cultivating an environment that is inclusive and supportive. None of this would have been possible without the important role that people in the top level of government play and the support we have from Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.'
Ahmed Alkhoshaibi of Arada talked about the exponential growth Sharjah has had over the past year in the property market with over AED 700 million transacted in last month alone with 90% of the investments being made by foreign nationals. “Although the increase in purchases made by foreigners has been increasing year-on-year, the investment by locals has held steady and these numbers shouldn’t be seen as a decrease in local investment but rather an example of how Sharjah is becoming an increasingly valued destination for the world.”
Kareem Al Jisr talked about the role that Sharjah Sustainable City has had on the emirate as a project partnered between Sharjah Investment and Development Authority(Shurooq) and Diamond Developers saying, “Sharjah Sustainable City is a home for new ideas and innovations, a place to innovate problem solving. We pride ourselves on being a place for early adopters and a living lab or “sandbox” for development. We provide a space of 67 hectors for entities and people to innovate and flourish.”
The panel discussion was part of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2022, a celebration of innovation and business growth in the emirate. The festival will continue on December 18, featuring a range of events and workshops aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, youth, and leaders to share ideas for creating a brighter future.