The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has successfully concluded its participation in a global forum on the ‘Renewal of the Arab World', organised by the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.
The forum which was held recently under the patronage of French President Francois Hollande brought together influential personalities from 21 Arab countries, including intellectuals, entrepreneurs, project developers, representatives of key authorities and agencies, to focus on 6 topics: entrepreneurship, education, energy, cities, the voice of women, and culture.
The Shurooq delegation, headed by Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq and included Saud Meqdad Al Suwaidi, Director of International Relations and Partnerships, was received by Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France and the Chairman of the Institut du Monde Arabe, at Quai d'Orsay.
Speaking during the panel discussion, Mr Al Sarkal stated, "Under the wise guidance of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the emirate of Sharjah has focused on sustainable and balanced development, which continues to see all of Sharjah's cities, from the East coast to the West coast grow and develop." He elaborated stating that this focus on balanced development can be seen across a range of sectors in the Emirate, such as the industrial sector, where Sharjah worked to create an environment that fosters the growth by creating 19 areas specifically zoned for small to medium industry. Specific growth points that leverage both the Emirate's strategic location and the opportunities being created by its rapid growth have also been targeted through the creation of free zones in the logistics sector, both in terms of marine and airfreight, as well as healthcare.
"As we have got to focus on human development and education to build a nation, we have also got to be modern without giving up our culture, our traditions and our history. The Sharjah of today is an undeniably cosmopolitan city, yet one that remains deeply rooted in its Arabic traditions and Islamic values. This can be seen in its many landmarks, including its beautiful government buildings that bear the stamp of the Ruler of Sharjah's personal design input. Sharjah's rapidly evolving urban landscape and strategic location has made it an ideal destination for people to live and work, and giving our residents access to top level services are a priority. One of the most important elements in ensuring continued increase in standard of living is of course education, and Sharjah is fortunate to have a leadership who believes passionately in the value of developing and educated nation. This belief led to the development of the Sharjah University City – a truly unique concept in this region," Al Sarkal remarked.
With reference to the role that Shurooq is playing in Sharjah's development, the CEO of Shurooq shed light on many tourism related projects that the Authority has undertaken. These include the development of historical areas such as the Heart of Sharjah, the transformation of key areas in Sharjah as leisure destinations, including Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasba, and Al Montazah.
He also pointed to Shurooq's efforts to put sustainability and conservation at the forefront of Sharjah's development through projects such as the Kalba Eco-Tourism Project and Sir Bu Nuair Island.