The domestic tourism sector in the UAE and Sharjah is picking up as more UAE residents look to visit destinations that are closer to home amid COVID-19.
Local UAE destinations are witnessing a boost in domestic tourism, as travel restrictions continue to have an impact on the global tourism industry in light of COVID-19.
Following three months of closures across the country, and with people still hesitant to travel abroad for leisure, Sharjah’s cultural venues have had an increase in visitors from the UAE.
Thousands of residents have visited museums under the Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) since the attractions reopened in June.
As many as 300,000 people toured museums in Sharjah between January and August, with the majority of those visiting after reopening.
An increase in visitor numbers was particularly notable during the Eid al-Adha holiday, with many visiting Sharjah from neighbouring emirates such as Abu Dhabi.
“One upside for the crisis is that it has expedited a digital transformation that made museums’ knowledge and collections accessible for all people from the comfort of their homes,” said Manal Ataya, director general of SMA.
Increase in visitors for Sharjah Museums Authority
Ataya also said that the SMA kept its audiences engaged by launching virtual tours, and digitising 100 Islamic collections as part of the ‘Museums With No Frontiers’ portal.
In addition, SMA rolled out various online workshops and lectures covering a wide range of topics, including history, calligraphy and science.
“Our online programs and virtual tours have attracted new audiences and encouraged those who have never been to our museums to come visit and enjoy a unique museum experience,” said Ataya.
SMA implements a host of strict precautionary measures to ensure the safety of visitors and employees, including operating its museums at 50 percent capacity.
Meanwhile, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) is set to start work on four new tourist attractions in Khor Fakkan, Kalba, Al Dhaid and Mleiha.