Cruise line tourism boost for Dubai
Dubai is set for a cruise tourism boom with an anticipated 300,000 visitors expected to sail in on more than 20 leading global cruise lines.
The prediction was made by Dubai Cruise Tourism, an entity of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), which says Dubai is becoming an international hub for cruise tourism.
It says Dubai will continue to offer a diverse selection of destination for holiday makers, including cruises in the Arabian Gulf – taking in the region’s most majestic cities – to longer voyages to the Far East, India and the Mediterranean.
“By selecting the Emirate as a home port, tourists will be able to take advantage of its spectacular attractions – from world-renowned skyscrapers and shopping malls to beaches and leisure venues – at both the beginning and end of their expedition,” read a statement from DCT.
Among the upcoming cruises with Dubai as its home port are Cruise Ship Costa Fortuna and Cost Neo Riviera travelling to two of Oman’s major cities, Muscat and Khasab, as well as Abu Dhabi. Others include the Aida Diva – which visits Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain – and the MSC Lirica – stopping at Abu Dhabi, Khor Fakkan, Muscat and Khasab.
To celebrate the success of the 2012-2013 season, DCT held an appreciation ceremony recently to thank its partners and stakeholders for their crucial role in Dubai’s emergence as one of the world’s most attractive cruise destinations.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “The 2012-13 cruise season reached new heights. We are proud to announce 93 confirmed ship calls this season, which include 63 home porting ship calls: 27 from Costa, 17 from Aida, and 19 from MSC ships. We’re also delighted to welcome seven maiden ship calls, a reflection of Dubai’s burgeoning appeal as a cruise hub.”
More than twenty of the world’s leading cruise lines have Dubai as a port of call in their itineraries. This is testament to the initiatives and tireless efforts of DTCM and its partners, as well as continued investment in Dubai Cruise Terminal’s state-of-the-art facilities and services, including the largest cruise facility in the Middle East: 20,000 square meters, on a 1,900 meter pier stretch.
A planned expansion, which will endow Dubai Cruise Terminals with an additional facility spanning over 27,000 square meters to cater to cruise lines and visitors from 2014, is currently underway. Consequently, Dubai Cruise Terminals will be able to comfortably handle complete passenger turnaround of five cruise ships simultaneously.
HE Helal Saeed Almarri added: “The Middle East is increasingly being recognised as a key growth market, following major commitments to make substantial investments to promote the cruise tourism industry. This, in turn, is further establishing the promising outlook for the region’s cruise sector and helping to boost reciprocal tourism potential in key destinations across the GCC.”
Mr Mohammed Al Mannaei Director, Mina Rashid, DP World, UAE Region, remarked, “Dubai is fast becoming a leading cruise destination in the Middle East, a result of the long standing relationship between DP World and DTCM, that has enabled the awarded Mina Rashid to be the best cruise port in the region for the past five years consecutively. We hope and trust this relationship between us will reach broader horizons in the cruise industry, for the benefit of Dubai and the UAE”.