Mukesh Sharma

Mukesh Sharma
Committee Member for Northern Ireland
Mukesh Sharma, born in England, was raised in Northern Ireland within the Indian community.

He is a respected figure in the travel industry with over 30 years’ airline, travel industry and tourism experience in the UK, Irish and international markets.  

Mukesh has exceptional breadth of experience in areas of business growth and acquisition, organisational change, partnership working and advocacy in developing international partnerships for which was he recognised when he was awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List for Services to the Travel Industry in Northern Ireland. He also holds the title of Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast, having been commissioned in 2015 by the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast to assist her in carrying out her civic duties on behalf of HRH Queen Elizabeth.

Mukesh is former managing director of World Travel Centre, Northern Ireland’s largest travel company. Over several years, through several mergers and acquisitions, he formed one of Ireland’s largest travel agencies.

Along with other senior figures in the travel industry, Mukesh founded the Northern Ireland Forum for the Travel and Tourism Industry. He is proactive in ensuring that increased international connectivity is recognised as a vital economic and social activity for growth in Northern Ireland. In May 2016, Mukesh received an Outstanding Contribution Award at the Aer Lingus Viscount Awards in London for his significant contribution to the local economy.   

In a voluntary capacity, Mukesh has served and still serves as a board member of a number of charities namely ArtsEkta, Moving on Music, The Indian Community Centre and most recently Barnardos. He has led many initiatives across Northern Ireland to promote the arts, community cohesion and the prevention of racism, sectarianism and hate crime.

A founder member of ArtsEkta, which is now recognised as the region’s leading ethnic arts organisation and widely considered as a pioneer in the development of intercultural arts for Northern Ireland, Mukesh continues to serve on the organisation’s Board of Directors. Since 2006, he has been a festival director of the Belfast Mela which is now one of the most celebrated cultural events in the Northern Ireland festival calendar and is attended by around 20,000 people. The organisation has also delivered two major heritage projects supported by HLF; South Asian Dance Academy and Sanskriti.

During the period 2006-2013, Mukesh held the position of Chair of Newtownabbey Borough Council Good Relations Partnership. Mukesh worked with a variety of stakeholders and community leaders to achieve the Partnership’s primary objective which was to tackle exclusion and safeguard a stable society where communities of different cultural and religious backgrounds can live together, share their differences without conflict and enjoy and maintain their cultural identity without compromising others.

In 2016, Mukesh was appointed as Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Executive Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition, a commission made up of political and non-political representatives which has been tasked to undertake an important programme of work to shape a Northern Ireland free from segregation and division.