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SME Advisor Middle East Shurooq hosts Spanish delegation

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), received a Spanish delegation with the aim of encouraging Spanish investment in the emirate. The meeting, which took place at Shurooq s head office in Sharjah, aimed to introduce the Spanish representatives to Shurooq and the services offered by the Authority as well as to familiarise them with the numerous investment opportunities available in the four key investment sectors that have been identified in Sharjah, namely healthcare, travel and leisure, logistics and transportation, and the environment. During the meeting The delegation, which included Jaime Montalvo, Economic and Commercial Counsellor in UAE, Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan at the Embassy of Spain; Manuela Garc a Pascual, Commercial Attach at the Embassy of Spain; Maria Rodriguez, Consultant for the Middle East Countries at the Spanish Tourism Office (TURESPA A); and Rosario Millan, Director at the Office of Andalusia (Spain), was met by Shurooq Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Shurooq Chief Operating Officer Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Director of Business Development at Shurooq, Elie Armaly, and Head of Investment Promotion at Shurooq, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh.

During the meeting Al Sarkal emphasised the distinguished relationship between the UAE and Spain; the UAE is among Spain s major trading partners in the Gulf region, with their trade exchange growing 0.9% from USD 1119.3 million in 2009 to USD 1129.1 in 2011; and briefed the Spanish delegation on Shurooq s mission, vision and strategic goals. He also highlighted the various investment opportunities in Sharjah, with the focus on four key sectors; travel and tourism, transport and logistics, healthcare, and the environment. In a bid to encourage more Spanish companies to invest in Sharjah the Shurooq CEO took the opportunity to stress Sharjah s dynamic business environment, stressing that the emirate s market oriented economy in combination with the many government incentives to industrial and business activities which makes Sharjah an ideal destination for Spanish investors.

He also highlighted the ultra-modern infrastructure and transport network, tax policies, skilled workforce, and political stability of the Emirate. Al Sarkal further underlined Sharjah s interest in strengthening avenues of economic cooperation with Spain and expressed the hope that the visit would yield positive outcomes. Maintaining and expanding trade relations has always been one of our key priorities, and we were very pleased to receive our Spanish friends to discuss and explore means of cooperation, he said.

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Spain grew 21% to more than USD 1.4 billion (AED 5.14 billion) in 2011, and we believe that despite the current economic turmoil in Europe there is great potential for further strengthening our relationship. The visit follows on the recent launch of City Sightseeing Sharjah in collaboration with City Sightseeing Worldwide, the world s leading open top bus tour operator, which originated in Seville, Spain in 1999. The service offers an eighteen-stop hop on hop off tour of Sharjah s major attractions such as Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasba, and the Central Souq, in tour buses that have been specifically redesigned to accommodate the Emirates climate with a convertible rooftop that can be removed during the temperate winter months to create an open top tour experience or kept in place to ensure a fully air-conditioned interior for comfortable summer tours.

Shurooq had visited Seville in February of last year to finalise the agreement between the Authority and City Sightseeing Worldwide. Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah s distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and the world. Shurooq s key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the emirate, evaluate investment-related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.

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SME Advisor Middle East Shurooq hosts Spanish delegation

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