Wednesday 04, January 2017 by Jessica Combes

Sharjah plans for a bold new future

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)’s plans to boost the economy of Sharjah will be outlined at the Second Sharjah Forum, which will be held on 8 January.

Titled ‘The Future of Sharjah,’ the event will take place at the Mleiha Archaeological Centre, one of Shurooq’s key eco-tourist attractions and a prime example of the authority’s strategy to develop all of Sharjah’s key areas. The event will see around 150 senior decision-makers gathering to discuss the opportunities and challenges presented in continuing with the emirate’s diversification policy.  

Four key sectors have been identified as being important to Sharjah’s economic growth; transport and logistics, the environment, tourism, and health care. These areas are expected to receive a financial boost following the recent announcement that Sharjah has set its 2017 budget at AED22 billion, the largest in the emirate's history, with approximately 30 per cent allocated to infrastructure and 41 per cent to the economic development sector, in line with the Sharjah government’s plan to make the emirate more competitive next year.  

The forum will also examine ways to further the creation of an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship to continue establishing a sustainable knowledge-based economy. The platform aims to explore potential opportunities and find solution to obstacles identified as hindering growth, thereby facilitating Sharjah’s transition to the next level and enabling the emirate to become a preferred destination for residents, tourists, investors and businesspersons. 

Key note addresses will be delivered by Jared Cohen, Founder of Google Ideas; President of Jigsaw and Chief Advisor to Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt; Alec Ross, a distinguished visiting fellow at Johns Hopkins University and the author of the New York Times bestseller ‘The Industries of the Future.’

Aside from an overview of Sharjah’s economic landscape given by PWC,  a significant aspects of the day-long programme include brainstorming sessions, workshops and group presentations, with the group work designed to get the attending decision-makers to think of ideas and innovative recommendations on specific topics, such as how to enhance the Sharjah brand, how to deliver a better investor journey and how to promote tourism, connectivity and the business environment.



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