After the press conference, the media and guests were given a tour in Sharjah with City Sightseeing's signature red double-decker buses. With their presence on five continents and over 99 top tourism destinations across the world, the launch of City Sightseeing in Sharjah comes as an important leap for the budding tourism sector of Sharjah. Statistics have revealed that City Sightseeing carried more than 9 million passengers in 2011, in cities such as London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Seville, Istanbul, Singapore, Edinburgh, Brussels, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Dublin, Cape Town and Oxford. On the occasion, H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), commented, "At Shurooq we are constantly looking to build and expand Sharjah's tourism infrastructure, as can be seen through our many highly successful projects such as Al Qasba and Al Majaz Waterfront. The addition of a tour bus service was the logical next step to further adding value to Sharjah's tourism experience. City Sightseeing has proven its worth as one of the best tourist transporter by their huge presence in some of the world's most beautiful cities. Extending their services to Sharjah now, City Sightseeing Sharjah will provide an international standard of service to aid us in further developing the emirate's already flourishing tourism sector." Al Sarkal pointed that there will be no need for advanced bookings and guaranteed availability of seats on the spot - and their hop-on hop-off service allows tourists to enjoy a closer look at sites they would like to spend more time in. The 24-hour ticket validity gives passengers a benefit to get off the bus at any point and then to 'hop-on' another bus when they are done with a particular stop, the buses will be operating from 9 a.m till 8p.m during weekdays and running till 10 p.m during weekends and holidays. H.E Mohamed Ali Al Noman stressed on the importance of the initiative to launch the sightseeing tourism buses in Sharjah, by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) as part of the collective efforts to encourage the significant projects that promote the emirate and boost its position on the world tourism map. He went on to add: "We at the Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority are keen to support all events and initiatives that support the tourism sector and help attract more international tourists and visitors to the emirate which currently attracts more than 1.5 million tourists annually. All of us are constantly working to increase this number by various projects and events organized all around the year". Al Noman continued to add: "We have constantly worked and cooperated with different government and private players in the emirate and through our participation in local and international events and exhibitions to promote the emirate with its tourism, cultural and natural attractions as a leading tourist investment destination in the region. The service of these double decker buses can be availed 365 days a year, seven days a week, run non-stop all-year-round at highly affordable rates, with ticket prices at AED 85 for adults and AED 45 for the younger lot valid for 24 hour. The buses have also been specifically designed for Shurooq to accommodate the conditions in the region, with a convertible rooftop that can be removed during the temperate winter months to create an open top tour experience or kept in place to ensure a fully air-conditioned interior for comfortable summer tours. Enrique Ybarra Valdenebro, President & CEO City Sightseeing Worldwide said, "Making travel more enjoyable and memorable for holiday-makers is what we do best. We are truly happy to launch our services in a city like Sharjah, which is considered the cultural hub of the Arab world. With its vast historical and Islamic heritage and its numerous award winning leisure options, Sharjah is the perfect destination for those who want to understand the evolution of this great nation, while enjoying a truly singular tourism experience." The buses will include an audio guide for passengers which can be used through the headphone available inside the buses, explaining the significance of historical places in German, Russian, English, and Arabic and 5 more to be added in the future which are Chinese, Spanish, Urdu, Indian and French. During the conference the bus route in Sharjah has been clarified, in which it will comprise of a total of 15 stops, including the Central Souq, Marbella Resort Sharjah, Al Noor Mosque, Al Majaz Waterfront, Buhairah Corniche, Al Qasba, Sharjah Aquarium, Al Khan Corniche/Beaches, Al Muntazah, the Fish Market, Heart Of Sharjah, Sharjah's Museum of Islamic Civilization, Radisson BLU Resort, Clock Roundabout, and Mega Mall. The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) was established in 2009 as an independent government body tasked with stimulating business activity and encouraging investment in the emirate. The Authority is dedicated to developing Sharjah through a range of quality projects and encouraging domestic and foreign investment by adopting the best international standards in providing services and studies that help attract investors from the region and all over the world. Shurooq's mission is focused on providing the necessary facilities and incentives, overcoming obstacles facing investment in the Emirate, evaluating infrastructure projects related to tourism, trade and industry, and drawing up plans to complete these projects.