Travel & Leisure


Sharjah’s Travel & Tourism sector benefits from the U.A.E’s international profile as an established tourism destination. Tourists’ and residents’ continuing demand for different experiences provides new opportunities for Sharjah. Additionally, the growing expatriate population, government investment in tourism infrastructure, and rising disposable income all point to a positive sector outlook.


As Sharjah continues to build itself up as an authentic tourist destination, demand for hotel rooms is expected to grow at a rate of 6.2% between now and 2016. Despite new project announcements, demand is expected to outpace supply in the short to medium term.

Three eco‑tourism projects are currently in the pipeline within Sharjah. Each of these projects offers hospitality and service companies an opportunity to develop a range of eco‑tourism products for different customer segments.

Five‑Star Resort Developments
There is a lack of deluxe luxury resorts within the Emirate. Specifically, there is a tremendous opportunity to customise hospitality offerings to meet the needs of the large number of GCC families and visitors. Already the second-largest demographic of tourists to Sharjah, this important segment is underserved.

Cruise Lines
Cruise liners such as Costa Classica and Costa Favolosa have started running routes through Khorfakkan. With additional cruise lines expressing interest, there is an opportunity to develop specific tour packages and experiences targeted to this customer segment.

inforgraphics_hotel room supply5,800
Demand for Hotel Rooms

(2014 – 2020 Projection)

Supply of Hotel Rooms

(2014 – 2020 Projection)


inforgraphics_hotel room supply1.15 Billion AED
Restaurant Revenue

(2014 – 2020 Projection)

inforgraphics_hotel room supply4.66 Billion AED
Residents Expenditure

(2014 – 2020 Projection)


The vast majority of existing restaurants in Sharjah are concentrated around six areas in the city of Sharjah. The sector is still underserved, and there is a strong demand for new food and beverage outlets, from fast-food facilities and coffee shops to fine dining restaurants, throughout the Emirate.

Luxury Restaurants
With only a handful of fine-dining establishments in Sharjah, there are plenty of opportunities to make an impact in the market.

Tourist Offers
Hotels have succeeded in attracting the Eastern European segment of tourists to Sharjah by offering customised packages. Establishing restaurants with a specific value proposition for this and other niche segments is another way to take advantage of this sub-sector.

Established Franchises
The Middle East is a popular and lucrative destination for international franchises, and Sharjah is no exception. The introduction of successful brands in key locations throughout the Emirate is a proven method of success.

Passenger Carriers

The Sharjah International Airport (SIA) dates back to 1932, when it was first used as a stopover point by Imperial Airways – the forerunners of British Airways. Today, SIA is considered the Middle East’s leading air transportation gateway and No.1 cargo hub. It is becoming increasingly popular worldwide as a favourite transit, departure and arrival point for passengers. SIA is also home to the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) – Air Arabia. The airline has witnessed phenomenal growth in a very short timespan and is now directly connected to more than 90 global destinations, making the Sharjah International Airport (SIA) the third-largest airport in the U.A.E (over 8.5 million passengers in 2013). Thanks to its cost-competitive and internationally certified platform, SIA is an attractive alternative for low-cost and regional airlines.

Medium- to Long-haul Itineraries
With some of the most competitive rates in the region, this aviation hub offers opportunities for companies to develop short- and medium-haul itineraries.

Airport Support Services and Equipment
The expected growth in passenger traffic will create a need for additional support services and equipment, such as airport and airlines maintenance and repair services, airport terminal services, food and beverage outlets, and car rental companies.

inforgraphics_passenger carriers7.5%
Passenger Traffic Growth

(2014 – 2020 Projection)

inforgraphics_passenger carriers9.4 Million
Passenger Demand

(2014 – 2020 Projection)


Learn more about opportunities in Sharjah’s travel and tourism sector

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