SHARJAH: The Khorfakkan Port on Sharjah’s East Coast has been witnessing a surge in international cruise passenger traffic since the 2014-2015 cruise season began.
This week, two major cruise ships, TUI Mein Schiff 2 and Costa neoRiveria have arrived with an estimated 4,000 passengers on board the two ships.
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority made special arrangements to welcome international cruise passengers at the Port of Khorfakkan. The visitors were then taken on a tour of the Heritage Village in the city and were treated to traditional hospitality at an Emirati house.
The guests got a warm reception from their Emirati hosts who welcomed them with dates and traditional Arabic coffee.
The visitors in various groups also got an opportunity to learn about the Emirati customs, traditions, food, culture, traditional attire and the beautiful art of henna painting. The guests also saw the making of local handicrafts and traditional hunting tools.
Over the past few years, Sharjah has registered significant growth in visits by international cruise ships with thousands of passengers on board.
Since the 2014-2015 season got off to a flying start, the Khorfakkan port has received 13 major cruise-liners with more than 30,000 tourists on board. During the current season, more than 36 international cruise ships are scheduled to visit the emirate, bringing in more than 80,000 tourists.
Sharjah has been working closely with various destinations, government and private entities involved in the cruise tourism sector to attract more international cruise ships and tourists to the Eastern Region.
The Emirate has been paying special attention to developing and strengthening the tourism infrastructure, facilities and services in the region as part of its efforts to attract visitors from all over the world.
The East Coast has registered massive development and growth in recent years. A number of world-class tourism projects and high-end hotels such as the Chedi Khorfakkan and the massive Kalba ecotourism initiative have been unveiled to bolster the tourism industry in the region and prepare it for greater number of visitors in years to come.
The increase in international cruise traffic to Khorfakkan reaffirms the growing global interest in Sharjah, particularly in its picturesque East Coast, and opens attractive opportunities for investment in the hospitality and tourism sectors in the region.