A tourist takes a selfie at the Mleiha Archaeological site in Sharjah. WAM
Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has readied all of its hospitality, ecotourism and leisure destinations to receive visitors and tourists from around the world, while strictly adhering to the UAE government’s health and safety protocols to ensure the highest levels of protection of all their visitors, residents and staff.
Keen on welcoming visitors and guests to its destinations across Sharjah city, and the Central and Eastern Regions of the emirate, the authority has sought to create an unparalleled experience for them with an exciting package of cultural, heritage and entertainment activities. It also offers unique adventures for thrill seekers in the pristine deserts of the emirate, and vast green spaces for families to enjoy quality time with each other at its parks, which include children’s play areas.
In an exclusive interview, Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Chief Operating Officer of Shurooq, said that the authority had strictly adhered to the recommended precautionary measures at its hospitality, ecotourism and leisure destinations to ensure the safety of all visitors without any intrusive measures to encourage all segments of society to visit their favourite Shurooq destinations.
A kid drives his toy car at Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah as his parents look on. WAM
Al Qaseer assured that all destinations were working at 30 per cent capacity and provided thermal scanners at entrances in addition to continuous sterilisation efforts, and ensured that visitors wore masks and gloves. Additionally, a medical team was available in each destination in case of emergencies.
He pointed out that the destinations were open to families and individuals from all age groups, from 9am to 9pm until further notice.
In addition to common precautionary measures, Al Qaseer noted that each destination had its own set of safety procedures according to the nature of activities and events at that particular destination.
He said that all restaurants and cafes in Al Qasba, Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Noor Island, The Flag Island, Heart of Sharjah, Mleiha Archaeological and Ecotourism Project, Al Montazah Parks and other luxury hospitality destinations, followed a physical distancing policy that limited the number of guests at a table to four. Seats are placed two metres apart, and only disposable cutlery is used. Warning signs have been put up in all open areas to ensure visitors comply with the 2-metre distancing rule.
The authority has put in special measures for destinations that feature children’s play areas. Al Majaz Waterfront will limit entry to its water park to 30 children at a time, while the children’s play area in Al Qasba will be limited to 23 children. The Kids Fun House will accommodate a maximum of 61 children at a time. Meanwhile, Al Noor Island Butterfly House will be limited to 5 visitors at a time.
A tourist spot in Sharjah. WAM
City Sightseeing Sharjah's tour buses which operate between 9 am and 5pm are sterilised after every tour, passengers’ temperatures are checked before boarding and the seating ensures a safe distance between passengers. Currently, only one passenger is allowed per row, with the maximum capacity of having 20-35 passengers on board.
Shurooq has stressed that its hospitality and ecotourism facilities comply with all precautionary measures, in addition to daily medical tests of the tour guides to ensure their as well as the guests’ safety. The facilities adhere to strict physical distancing rules across events and services.
For Mleiha Archaeological & Ecotourism Project, only three guests are allowed inside the destination’s 4x4 transport cars which are sterilised pre- and post-use and modified to include a plastic separator between guests and staff members. Regulations allow guests from one family or first-degree relatives to be seated together, with a two-person limit in tents. Corporate bookings are limited to a maximum number of 4 persons in a group.
Khorfakkan Beach, the first fully-serviced beach front destination in the city of Khorfakkan by Shurooq, has been welcoming guests and visitors from all across the UAE, who are looking to enjoy remarkable stay in Sharjah’s eastern region and enjoy the summer season.
'There is no better place than Heart of Sharjah - an area steeped in history — to host Sharjah Heritage Days, which is why we choose this venue every year. It offers us an ideal platform to showcase not only local cultural and artistic traditions, but those of several countries who join us from all over the world.'
Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi has commended the great role played by GDRFA in preserving the history of UAE and organising the registration of citizens and residents' data, in a way that documents the genealogy, history, and legal status of residents and visitors.
The decision came as part of the municipality’s keenness on maintaining the health and safety of the individuals of the society through its preventive and precautionary measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and urge the individuals of the society to stay at home and not to mix with others.
Like in the previous years, a 10-minute long fabulous fireworks show will light up the night sky in Al Majaz Waterfront, counting down to the New Year. The leisure destination known for diverse dining experiences has been a favourite spot for families during New Year’s Eve.
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