Cruise ships exempt from UAE’s Qatar shipping ban
Cruise ships homeporting in Dubai’s Mina Rashid Port, as well as other international cruise vessels visiting the Arabian Gulf, have been made exempt from the UAE’s ban on shipping between the country and Qatar, according to officials at the recent Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum.
When the UAE and other GCC nations announced the trade and maritime restrictions on Qatari-flagged vessels and ships sailing from UAE and other GCC ports to Qatar, it was anticipated that the regional cruise industry would be impacted.
But according to the Dubai cruise website Cruise Arabia & Africa, officials at the recent Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum confirmed that cruise ships were in fact free to sail between Qatar and the UAE as part of their pre-existing itineraries.
Seabourn Encore departed Dubai Wednesday and docked in Qatar on Thursday morning, despite a stated ban on all marine traffic between the UAE and Qatar.
Azamara Club Cruises, TUI Cruises, Crystal Cruises, and MSC Cruises are all scheduled to visit Doha this year, all of them on cruise itineraries departing from Dubai, it now appears that those itineraries are in fact safe from any adjustment.
In 2018 there are at least 48 scheduled port calls for Doha by these cruise lines.