Integration of sports with tourism to enhance Sharjah’s global profile
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and Vice Chairman of the Sharjah International Marine Sports Club (SIMSC), has stressed that the integration of sports, tourism, and commercial initiatives in the Emirate is in line with the directives and vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and is aimed at unleashing the Emirate’s tourism and economic potential.
“The Emirate has been the first in the region to invest in various sports, both individual and team sports, to unleash the potential of individuals as well as the entire society, starting with children and young people as well as adults – both men and women. Sharjah today boasts a number of such clubs that cater to various segments of society all over the Emirate, which shows the importance accorded to sports in the Emirate as well as the growing interest of the people in sports,” said Al Midfa.
Expressing his pleasure over the Sharjah International Marine Sports Club (SIMSC)’s realization of the dream to establish the Sharjah Formula 1 Speedboat Team with the support and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the SCTDA Chairman hoped that this would give further boost to water sports in the Emirate and attract more international and regional tourists to the Emirate.
This came on the sidelines of Sharjah’s participation in the Formula 1 World Speedboat Championship being held in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, from March 29 to 30, and during his meeting with the SIMSC board members and the Sharjah Formula 1 team here in Dammam on Saturday.
Sharjah’s newly constituted Formula 1 team led by Sami Selio, the two-time world champion, has successfully debuted in the Dammam round of Formula 1 World Championship.
Al-Madfa pointed out that the formation and participation of the Sharjah team in the rounds of the Formula 1 World Championship will achieve a number of strategic objectives that Sharjah is working on in a number of areas that complement the image of the Emirate.
Sharjah has been successfully organizing and hosting the UIM F1H20 Sharjah Grand Prix World Championship for nearly two decades, establishing itself on the global sports map. The Sharjah Formula 1 team is a key part of the Emirate’s ambitious plans to develop various sports in Sharjah, as well as use these activities to showcase Sharjah’s tourism potential and Emirate as a unique cultural and tourist destination, he added.
The SCTDA Chairman said that a marketing and promotional plan is being developed in partnership with the organizers and promoters of the Formula 1 World Championship as part of these efforts. The organization of Formula 1 championships in major cities around the world will enhance Sharjah’s profile on the global tourism map, he emphasized.
Al Midfa added that this addition to Sharjah’s sports portfolio will provide a fillip to the objectives of the Authority in terms of promoting the Emirate as a diverse tourism and cultural destination.
For his part, Nicola St. Germano, the world promoter of Formula 1 speedboat racing, said that the formation of the Sharjah Speedboat Team and the announcement of its plan to participate in the World Championship tournaments this year is a bold step by the Emirate, which already has extensive experience in organizing such international championships and events.
Germano praised the SIMSC for putting together a distinguished Formula 1 team of experienced professionals who will benefit the Club’s various projects in terms of training national cadres. The Club will set goals that will exceed the participation in the tournaments only to prepare new generations of professionals according to highest professional standards.