ON THE OTHER HAND
With neighboring Dubai struggling to cope with the sheer volume of passengers coming and going, Sharjah International Airport looks set to become a welcome alternative and gateway to the UAE.
Over 78 million passengers visited Dubai International Airport in 2015. To put that in relative terms, that is the equivalent of the whole population of Turkey passing through one airport, or 213,698.6 passengers a day. These astonishing statistics have earned Dubai International Airport the title of “busiest airport in the world" in terms of international passenger traffic, and third busiest in absolute terms. With competition for berths increasing, it goes without saying that both airlines and passengers are starting to look for less hectic alternatives.
The neighboring Emirate's airport, Sharjah International Airport, is just a mere 24 minute drive away via Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed road. Traditionally, the Emirate has not drawn the attention of tourists, but after years of developing a unique cultural offering, Sharjah is gaining more and more attention as a city break destination and business transfer option, especially among Middle Eastern tourists.
The Emirate has worked hard to create a business friendly environment, with legislation designed to improve ease of doing and establishing business. And now, Sharjah's untapped investment potential is catching more eyes. This, with the overcrowding at Dubai International, is bringing more and more business to the Emirate.
Sharjah International Airport is home to multi-award winning low-cost carrier Air Arabia. The airport is spread across 3,800 acres of land and has one terminal. That being said, it is served by 43 airlines and is used by another 70 for long-haul flights.
In 2015, the airport handled 12 million passengers, which represents an 82% increase compared to five years before (in 2011 the airport saw only 6.6 million passengers). Passenger traffic at the airport is expected to increase steadily, a strong sign that Sharjah is rapidly establishing itself as a new gateway to the UAE.
Air Arabia is the big name behind the development of Sharjah's airport from a quiet provincial airport to the third biggest in the UAE. Founded in 2003, the low-cost carrier has been profitable since its first year of operations and has been nominated “Low Cost Airline of the Year," and “Airline of the Year–Middle East." Its CEO, Adel Abdullah Ali, told TBY that the company's ambition is to further expand its fleet and add numerous international destinations.
Saleh Al Aroud, Chairman of another Sharjah-based company, RUS Aviation, said in an exclusive interview with TBY; “in Dubai, you get slots and you have to be on time. This is not the case in Sharjah, where the airport is smaller in commercial terms and has a friendlier environment."
Key to Sharjah International's growth is that Dubai's business-aviation sector is being crushed by large operators such as Emirates and its sister-company, budget airline flydubai. Martin Ringrose, Managing Director at Gama Aviation, serving Sharjah, told TBY that “for business aviation, Dubai airport is a victim of its own success, as the busier it gets the harder it is to operate business aircraft."
For companies in need of a speedy and efficient service with more flexibility, Sharjah's airport is providing a convenient and practical alternative. Airlines and passengers are becoming increasingly conscious of the problems linked to Dubai's jam-packed airport, and are starting to realize they have a very convenient alternative a stone's throw away. The idea of Sharjah International being a key gateway to the UAE has now become a reality.
ON THE OTHER HAND
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler, Sharjah
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been an inspiring leader of the Emirate since 1972, carefully watching over its development into the cultural capital of the Islamic world.read article
Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman, Department of Government Relations
TBY talks to Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, on his department's role in coordinating the delivery of information to key stakeholders and the important part it plays in cultivating sustainable development.read article
HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman , Sharjah Economic Development Department
TBY talks to HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, on the resilience of Sharjah's economy and building on its well-diversified foundations.read article
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Sharjah Media Corporation
TBY talks to HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation & Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, on competitiveness in the sector, its influence on the other Emirates, and expectations for the future.read article
HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General , Sharjah's Finance Departmen
TBY talks to HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah's Finance Department & CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, on fiscal policy direction and initiatives being introduced to increase efficiency and transparency from the top down.read article
Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman , Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA)
TBY talks to Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA), on the challenges facing the Emirate's plan to reach 30% water re-use by 2020, and changing the attitudes through education.read article
Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General , Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC),
TBY talks to Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General of Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC), on the company's performance, government support of the private sector, and forecasting occupancy trends.read article
Focus: Reducing water and power consumption
Under Dr. Rashid Al Leem's stewardship, Sharjah is aiming to become the first City of Conservation. This principally encompasses supplying electricity and water through sustainable avenues with technological efficiency while raising awareness of sustainability practices.read article
Ted Young, Project Head, Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties
TBY talks to Ted Young, Project Head of the Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, on the reasons behind the market's resilience and the future of housing demands in the Emirate.read article
Focus: Mixed-use Developments
Cities within Cities
Sharjah's real estate sector is undergoing important transformations, with the government and developers focusing on megaprojects to attract investors. For this purpose, mixed-use developments are increasingly preferred to purely residential or commercial developments.read article
Focus: Fighting Cardiac Disease
The UAE Ministry of Health has stated that over half of all deaths in the UAE are the result of four oft-occurring issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, road traffic accidents, and congenital abnormalities. A survey from the Emirates Cardiac Society showed that almost 9 in 10 Emiratis are at risk of heart disease, with one in three unaware of that fact.read article
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman , Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)
TBY talks to HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), on the growing tourism sector in the Emirate, its strategies to boost cruise tourism, and the incredible progress in Sharjah.read article
Manal Ataya, Director General , Sharjah Museums Department (SMD)
TBY talks to Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), on cooperating on international exhibits, its educational festivals, and the challenge to ensure that museums are accessible to all.read article
Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director, Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC)
TBY talks to Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director of Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC), on the appeal of Sharjah as a MICE destination, plans for expansion, and the projected benefits of Expo 2020.read article