Sharjah, the home of culture, looking forward to making the most of the high-profile global travel and tourism exhibition and networking event, will participate in World Travel Market (WTM) 2012, to be held in London from Nov.5 to 8, 2012. The Sharjah delegation to WTM 2012 comprising various government bodies and key players of the tourism and hospitality industry will be headed by Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). Others joining the team include top officials and senior representatives of the Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority) Sharjah Airport Authority, Sharjah Media Centre, Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah Museums Department, Orient Tours and Time Ruby Hotel Apartments etc. “The participation is a chance to view marketing plans that meet the requirements of tourism market in Sharjah which will be showcasing itself at the London exhibition not just as an authentic model of rich Arab and Islamic civilization but as a complete family tourism destination,” said SCTDA Chairman Al Noman pointing out that the number of European and Western tourists to the emirate has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. He hoped the recent decision by the Council of Arab Tourism Ministers, Cairo to declare Sharjah the ‘Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015’ would further enhance the emirate’s profile on the global tourism map and would help it attract more visitors from new and emerging tourism markets. The emirate was declared the Capital of Arab Culture by the UNESCO in 1998 and the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 by cultural ministers of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) member states. Underscoring the importance of being part of the 4-day London exhibition, Al Noman, said, “Since Europe remains our main feeder market after the GCC, London tops the SCTDA’s international events agenda. Our presence at the WTM for the ninth consecutive year is part of our strategy to put Sharjah in global spotlight and at the same time keep ourselves abreast of the latest trends and developments in the industry. “The WTM 2012 offers us an international platform and a great opportunity to showcase all that Sharjah has to offer before a fast and dramatically-expanding global marketplace,” he added.