Proposals to develop and build tourism and sports facilities
During the visit, HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) CEO, held a series of meetings with senior officials headed by HE Mohammed Sultan bin Huwaidin, Chairman of Al Dhaid Municipal Council, Mr Ali Musabah Al Tunaiji Director of Al Dhaid Municipality and Eng. Humaidi Ali Humaidi Al Tamimi, Deputy Director of Directorate of Town Planning and Survey in the Central Region. Shurooq's delegation also included Ahmed Abdullah Al Humadi, Project Manager, Ahmed Al Houti, Government Relations Coordinator and Mussab Al Baloushi, Administrative Assistant. A number of projects that aim to develop the city and improve sources of income as part of the Emirate's overall strategy were presented during the meetings. Projects include plans to preserve the city's heritage areas, build new markets, sporting, leisure and tourist facilities and amenities that will serve residents and tourists, alike. A presentation about the city's major geographical and historic attractions was delivered. Attendees commented that the presence of such attractions as Al Hisn Fort, the oldest castles in Sharjah, and the largest poultry, livestock, fish and dates market, as well as Al Dhaid's status as the oldest city in Sharjah would enable the city, with renovation and development, to be an attractive tourism and business destination and capable of attracting both local and international tourists. HE Marwan Al Sarkal added, "Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the city will be home to numerous projects and developments. We are looking forward to developing Al Dhaid into a family and tourism destination that will feature prominently in both the local and international tourism agendas. The city is in position to play this role due to its rich historical and archaeological offering and the hospitality of its people. We are about to enter a new phase of tourism and heritage development in Al Dhaid, which will ensure huge economic development and job creation in the city". Al Sarkal indicated that the proposed plans intend to capitalise on the city's potentials by encouraging the development of the many farms around into tourist accommodation, building horse stables to attract equestrian enthusiasts, the upkeep care of sporting facilities, and focusing on oasis and camel racing to attract visitors. Al Sarkal called for increased efforts and cooperation in supporting the development projects, which aim to highlight the city's urban and natural beauty and preserve its heritage attractions, saying that the city will be a promising tourism and business destination due to its attractive potentials. He said that the development projects require collective efforts by all departments and authorities to ensure creating a fertile investment environment. Shurooq's CEO clarified that the meeting discussed a number of constructive suggestions and proposals that are of interest to the city. He expressed thanks and appreciation for the efforts exerted by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah to develop the city by launching a comprehensive development projects across the cities of the emirate of Sharjah and also thanked the representatives of the authorities in Al Dhaid for their efforts and feedback, which are sure to deliver positive results shortly. Al Dhaid has a population of 37,000, most of them are expatriates and is located 48 km to the east of the city of Sharjah. The city was an oasis and is distinguished by fertile lands and a multitude of farms. It consists mainly of lowland filled with orchards and large farms and is considered as one of the major agricultural centres in the UAE. The city enjoys a relatively dry climate, therefore, it was prior to the invention of air conditioning a retreat for people seeking a safe haven from the high humidity of the coastal cities. Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah's distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and the world. Shurooq's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the Emirate, evaluate tourism and investment related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.