Cruise tourism gains popularity

Cruise tourism gains popularity
Dubai Harbour will have a fully equipped urban port to welcome global cruise liners and a fully serviced passenger terminal which can accommodate 6,000 passengers at one time.

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Wed 28 Jun 2017, 9:48 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Jun 2017, 11:51 PM

Dubai welcomed over 625,000 cruise tourists via a total of 157 ship calls this cruise season, reflecting an increase of 15 per cent and 18 per cent respectively when compared to the 2015-16 season.
This marked the end of a successful season for Dubai Cruise Tourism, which saw Thomson Cruises, the first UK-based cruise line home porting in the region, in addition to inaugural visits from TUI's Mein Schiff 1 Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star and MSC's MSC Fantasia among the eight other maiden ship calls.
The 2016-17 Dubai Cruise season officially concluded with the departure of the season's final ship, the C.S. Sea Princess, from Port Rashid recently. After a stopover in Dubai, the luxury ship's only port of call in the GCC, the C.S. Sea Princess continued her voyage to Aqaba as part of a 104-nights round trip around the world. Her stop in Dubai was in close succession to one made earlier by her sister ship from Princess Cruises; the C.S. Majestic Princess a brand-new vessel, built in Italy earlier this year, making its maiden call to Dubai carrying over 3,500 passengers and over 1,300 crew.
"We are very pleased with the success of our 2016/2017 cruising season, and with the city's sustained popularity as a winter cruise destination," said Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, director of Dubai Cruise Tourism. "We are grateful to DP World, Dubai Airports, Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs, Emirates Airlines and our other key public and private sector stakeholders for their continued cooperation which has led to an ever-increasing number of cruise operators looking to anchor in the emirate. Bolstered by our recent success and our upcoming partnerships over the coming seasons, we are confident we will achieve our strategic goal of welcoming one million cruise tourists to Dubai by the 2020-21 cruise season."
The Dubai Cruise 2017-18 season is set to commence on October 25, with the arrival of cruise ship Seabourn Encore. More recently, Dubai Cruise also announced that P&O Cruises would be home porting in Dubai for the first time during the 2018-19 season. Dubai's cruise tourism will continue to evolve in the coming years, with port operators working on expanding their facilities and developers launching new projects. One such project is the Dubai Harbour, which is being developed by Meraas Holding, and which will play a vital role in raising Dubai's global profile as a cruise ship hub. 
Dubai Harbour will have a fully equipped urban port to welcome global cruise liners and a fully serviced passenger terminal which can accommodate 6,000 passengers at one time. The destination's various luxury facilities, and entertainment, leisure and retail offerings will offer cruise passengers a unique entry experience. The new passenger terminal, spanning an area of 150,000 square feet, will attract tourists due to its unique location between Palm Jumeirah and Ain Dubai, two of Dubai's iconic landmarks.
Meraas has commenced discussions with four of the leading global cruise liners with the aim of offering a strong value proposition for this sector. The company will also tap opportunities presented by Emirates Airlines, which carried 52 million passengers in the fiscal year 2015/2016.

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