The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), is the driving force behind the transformation of Sharjah. Guided by the heritage and traditions of Sharjah and inspired by innovation, (Shurooq) is committed to enhancing Sharjah’s appeal as an investment, tourism, and business destination.
An independent government body based in Al Qasba, Sharjah, (Shurooq) issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is chaired by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, with HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal as CEO.
Shurooq’s aim is to achieve social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah’s distinct Arab and Islamic identity, to create new investment opportunities within the Emirate, and to encourage investment by adopting the best standards in providing world-class services to attract investors.
The Authority’s key mission is to evaluate and follow up on investment related infrastructure projects, as well as to overcome obstacles facing investment related activities in the emirate of Sharjah, and to provide all the possible facilities and incentives to help attract more investors to the Emirate. As an independent government entity, Shurooq has been empowered to work with investors across different sectors to develop tailor-made investment and development opportunities that are aligned with the strategic objectives of Sharjah and that further diversify the Emirate’s economy.
Shurooq is responsible for establishing new infrastructure projects, developing investment-related infrastructure projects, modernising already existing projects, and setting up special investment zones. The Authority’s mandate furthermore includes suggesting and drawing up investment-related legislation, investing in investment projects, and signing and concluding partnership agreements and memoranda of understanding that help increase the investment rates and economic activities within the Emirate with investment bodies and leading organisations, both within and outside the Emirate, while focusing on building Sharjah’s economic structure within the framework of sustainable development and environmental friendliness, in line with international standards.
Through setting up a comprehensive information centre that highlights investment opportunities, Shurooq has facilitated development targets with other bodies and organisations and has set up special investment zones and suggested investment-related laws to further facilitate these endeavours. This includes enhancing integration with government and private organisations to ensure achievement of short-, medium-, and long-term goals as well as encouraging free circulation of information and data between legal, tourism, and economic bodies. Shurooq believes in the principles of transparency, the exchange of information, and support experiences.
Capitalising on Sharjah’s burgeoning tourism investment sector, Shurooq has developed, and is continuing to develop, a range of world-class tourism and leisure projects. Shurooq’s portfolio of unique mixed-use developments – combining retail, cultural attractions, and F&B, including Al Qasba, the Al Majaz Waterfront, the heritage and leisure restoration project the Heart of Sharjah, the Kalba Eco-tourism project, the Al Jabal Resort - The Chedi Khorfakkan, Al Montazah leisure and waterpark, and most recently the Al Bait hotel project, which will be the first authentically Emirati hotel development in the UAE.
In recognition of its overall accomplishments, Shurooq was named The Banking Awards 2013 – and 2014 FDI Agency of the Year in the MENA region, in the European’s Global Banking and Finance Awards.
Tourism and Travel
The unique diversity of cultures, heritage, and leisure activities that distinguish Sharjah makes this sector a key part of the Emirate’s economy. In 2011 Sharjah’s tourism and travel market stood at Dh1.1 billion and is expected to reach Dh1.49 billion in 2016, with the accompanying increased demand for luxury hotels, international brand restaurants and retail outlets. The Emirate is also known for its family friendly ethos and world-class sports facilities and venues, making it an extremely attractive leisure destination for a diverse range of travellers. The tourism and travel sector is also being further stimulated thanks to several unique tourist projects undertaken by Shurooq.
Transport and Logistics
The Emirate’s logistic service sector has seen remarkable growth in the past decade alone, due to the Sharjah’s strategic location and excellent infrastructure. Sharjah has two ports on the Arabian Gulf and one on the Indian Ocean. In addition, Sharjah International Airport is the third largest airport in the UAE and the 2nd largest Middle East airfreight hub in terms of cargo tonnage. The Emirate also boasts 18 industrial zones and two highly successful free zones. In 2011, the transport and service sector’s volume stood at Dh3.1 billion, a figure that is expected to double over the next five years to reach Dh6.23 billion in 2016, supported by Sharjah’s strong industrial sector.
The Emirate registered roughly 3.3 million visits to its medical clinics and hospitals in 2010 and with youth constituting the largest age category in the Emirate’s demographic population, growth of the healthcare sector on the long run is a certain matter. His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi has also set up Sharjah Healthcare City (SHCC) as a medical free zone authority by Amiri decree. Furthermore the success of institutions such as the University Hospital Sharjah, which is increasingly garnering international recognition, is paving the way for Sharjah to become a regional hub for medical treatment.
Sharjah places a high premium on both preservation and environmentally sustainable practices, as can be seen in are various conservation projects, such as the Kalba Eco-Tourism project and the recently announced Sir Bu Nair Island project. The Emirate is also home to the UAE’s the largest waste management and treatment factory, making it an ideal market for environmental technology and equipment, in addition to self-innovation in the area of green technology.