Promoting Cruise Arabia to the world
Oman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have joined forces to promote the local cruise industry to the world.
Oman Tourism together with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing are highlighting their new, joint Cruise Arabia partnership at Cruise Shipping Miami, the cruise industry’s leading global event currently underway in the United States.
They hope to use Miami as the international launch pad for their new campaign to promote the Arabian Peninsula as a cruise tourism hotspot.
Also attending the Cruise Shipping Miami event are 12 other Dubai participants, including Emirates Airline, Dubai Maritime City Authority and DP World in addition to tour operators Arabian Adventures, Sharaf Tours, Alpha Tours, Gulf Ventures, Orient Tours and SNTTA Emir Tours; and shipping agents RHS Group, Gulf Agency Company and Seamaster Maritime.
A number of Omani tour operators and port authority spokespeople are also attending alongside the Oman Ministry of Tourism.
During the World Cruise Tourism summit workshops on 10th March, Hamad bin Mejren, Executive Director, Business Tourism at DTCM, appeared on a panel session focusing on cruise geography and itinerary development and discuss the opportunities for cruise tourism and the development of cruise itineraries within the Gulf region.
“Cruise Shipping Miami is the pinnacle of the global cruise industry’s calendar and for this reason we are delighted to attend this year’s event for the first time as Cruise Arabia, together with our partners from Oman and Abu Dhabi,” Mejren said.
“In recent years the Dubai leadership has invested heavily in the development of the cruise sector, resulting in Dubai becoming recognized as a leading cruise hub. By partnering with Abu Dhabi and Oman to encourage a new generation of cruise tourists in the Gulf and to showcase all the region has to offer, we are looking forward to further evolution of this dynamic industry and increasing the number of cruise tourists that disembark at our ports,” he added.
Salim Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, Oman Ministry of Tourism, says Oman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are emerging cruising destinations in the Middle East with immense potential to give strong competition to established global destinations.
“In fact, we already offer a highly developed tourism and hospitality infrastructure. New strategic policies and frameworks are currently being developed to help attract more tourists towards our cruise lines and their offerings. There are many aspects that work in Oman’s favour such as its rich cultural heritage and history, unique landscape diversity, including mountains and wadis, favourable weather for sailing, clear waters and pristine beaches and strong government support,” Al Mamari said.
Cruise Shipping Miami is the leading international exhibition and conference dedicated to the cruise industry, gathering together industry experts, decision makers, buyers and suppliers for a week of networking, sourcing, education and innovation. More than 11,000 attendees and 900 exhibitors are expected to attend the event this year.
Promoting the cruise industry within the UAE and the wider region is a key mandate of Dubai Cruise Tourism, in line with the Dubai Government’s Tourism Vision for 2020: to double the emirate’s annual visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020.
The current 2013-14 season (which runs from October to June) sees Dubai being the home port of Costa, Aida and Royal Caribbean, and when TUI and MSC return to their traditional home in the Emirate within the next two seasons, Dubai will once again be the home port of five of the world’s leading cruise lines. With Dubai government’s long-term strategic focus on developing the cruise industry, the aim is to reach 450,000 cruise tourists by 2016, increasing from just over 386,000 in 2013.
The port’s proximity to the centre of the city and excellent transportation links means that the attractions of Dubai are within immediate reach of cruise passengers. Investment in new infrastructure combined with guaranteed sunshine and warm weather; must-see attractions such as Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah, and the Burj Al Arab; the desert and coastline; and the contrast between the ultra-modern skyline and the traditional souqs and heritage areas make Dubai an ideal cruise destination.