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Sharjah launches ‘holiday home project’ to diversify sources of growth

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Stunning views of Sharjah, a major destination for local and global tourists.

Staff Journalist, gulf today

The Sharjah Trade and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), in cooperation with several government and private agencies and institutions in the emirate, has launched a regulatory framework – the Sharjah Tourism “Holiday Home Project” – which aims to provide a formal facilitation and control framework in Sharjah residents who wish to rent out places they own as holiday homes to tourists and visitors.

Under the terms and standards approved by the SCTDA as stipulated by the holiday home project, the residential units can be rented on a rotational basis, on a regular basis.

The project is successfully developing a formal facilitation framework in line with international best practice for operating vacation homes, and registering them under a unified umbrella and database. The project will also provide potential users with a new source of revenue recognized by the government of Sharjah, offering official guidance on operating requirements, classification criteria, violations and other mechanisms.

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “With Sharjah Tourism’s holiday home project, the emirate’s aspirations to continue to advance this sector have reached an important milestone, as the initiative not only introduces an innovative new service in the tourism landscape, but also puts Sharjah homeowners at the forefront to enjoy a ride that is poised to attract more visitors from around the world to the emirate.

“Through the Sharjah Tourism Holiday Homes project, we seek to maximize the visitor experience by ensuring high quality classification standards and providing additional options for stay in the emirate of Sharjah. It will further strengthen the cooperation between the Authority and holiday home providers by developing a legislative and regulatory system. This will help diversify the sources of growth in the hotel sector.

It is estimated that there are currently over 300 holiday homes in Sharjah. The first year of the project will see the registration and licensing of 150 holiday homes. Around 15 operating companies will be involved in the process and holiday home owners will have three months to complete the documentation process. The first phase of the project includes the organization of field visits and inspection campaigns, as well as the electronic or digital monitoring of second homes, their operators and owners.

The Authority is also working to strengthen cooperation and coordination with several government agencies in Sharjah for the development of regulatory procedures for holiday homes. These entities include the Department of Economic Development, the Municipality of Sharjah, the Department of Planning and Investigation in Sharjah, the General Directorate of Civil Defense in Sharjah, and the Sharjah Police.

Meanwhile, recently the Board of Directors of Sharjah Asset Management Company, the investment arm of the Sharjah government, approved the new institutional strategic plan for the period 2023-2025, which aims to enhance economic and social development of the emirate of Sharjah, in partnership with various public and private sectors. The promotion of investment and social responsibility is encouraged through the optimal use of resources to meet the needs of the emirate’s society and ensure its sustainable well-being.

The new strategy was outlined in a meeting held recently, chaired by Waleed Al Sayegh, CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, in the presence of Ibrahim Al Houti, CEO of Osool Services, Naila Al Meraikhi, Executive Director of the Strategy Department and of excellence. Senior company executives, executives, heads of departments and sections, employees of the company and subsidiaries were also present.

Al-Sayegh: Practical experience and young national executives are the two main assets of the company.

During the meeting, His Excellency Waleed Al Sayegh said, “Since the launch of Sharjah Asset Management 15 years ago, we have perfected our recipe for success through thoughtful and balanced investments, while setting high standards of sustainability, governance, transparency and flexibility in dealing with local and international events and variables in our considerations. We have further managed to build two core wealth streams, First is the product of the rich experiences and expertise the company has acquired over the past few years in numerous investments, market management, partnerships, support institutional and real estate development, which ultimately became an element of strength for the company. We have been able to continue to develop, invest and take advantage of this wealth to achieve qualitative experiences that enhance the vision and mission of the Emirate of Sharjah. The company strives to contribute to the economic and social development of the emirate, to provide decent living and employment opportunities for citizens, as well as distinctive infrastructure projects.

He added: “The second wealth achieved by the company is that of the young national executives who have made the country proud. The company considers them to be our winning bet, because for the past 5 years, we have been able to invest and support talented and ambitious new graduates. We have qualified as well as awarded many opportunities for them to prove their caliber. Sharjah Asset Management today includes an elite group of ambitious and creative young leaders, whom we rely on to lead the business into the future.