TBY talks to Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO, Hospitality Management Holdings, on the sector.

Laurent A. Voivenel

What trends have you seen in the construction and hospitality sectors in both Sharjah and the UAE as a whole?

We have witnessed a rapid advancement in technology at every level, which has completely changed the dynamics of our business. The exponential growth of airline networks, a growing middle-class worldwide, emerging source markets, new tourism and family attractions, and the enhancement of infrastructure have contributed to the success of our industry. The Middle East is currently facing some challenges. However, we will recover. Sometimes it takes a crisis to rethink the way we all do business, because it forces the sector to readjust rates and the type of hotels we need to attract mass tourism

How would you rate the work of Sharjah's tourism authorities?

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has been doing a phenomenal job in promoting the Emirate and its various attractions at local, regional, and international events and we have been working closely with it in its various marketing initiatives. To help drive Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which is to attract more than 10 million tourists, SCTDA recently revealed plans to open five overseas offices to promote the Emirate as a tourism destination.