The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has made a presentation to a select audience of more than 60 leaders and representatives of the hotel industry to seek their input on new hotel classification criteria.

The new criteria are being put together by the authority in a bid to boost tourism in the emirate.

SCTDA chairman HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman said the hotel classification process aims to upgrade and improve quality standards in the emirate’s hospitality sector and to strengthen its growth.

"The proposed norms are aimed at improving the experience of the growing number of international visitors to Sharjah, offering the consumers better quality services and greater number of choices. They will help create new investment opportunities and attract new tourism market segments," Al Noman said.

According to SCTDA, the norms are in accordance with the latest trends and developments in global tourism markets and Sharjah’s domestic market requirements.

"Providing better quality services and facilities to tourists will in turn enhance the standard of the tourism sector and boost the tourist flow to the emirate," Al Noman added.

"Leading representatives of the hotel industry have welcomed the new initiatives."

Leading representatives of the hotel industry have welcomed the new initiatives, promising to cooperate fully with the authority in its efforts to boost Sharjah’s tourism sector.

At present, there are 102 hotel establishments in Sharjah – 47 hotels and 55 hotel apartments. The emirate now boasts 9,178 hotel rooms, comprising 5,191 hotel rooms and 3,987 serviced hotel apartments.

In recent years Sharjah’s hospitality sector has been observing a steady growth in hotel occupancy and the number of international visitors year on year, directly contributing to the emirate’s economy.