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KHALEEJ TIMES, Wednesday, Jun 12, 2019 | Shawwal 9, 1440

Dubai welcomes 'Karnika' by Jalesh Cruises to Mina Rashid

Emirates: Dubai has welcomed India's first premium cruise liner, 'Karnika' by Jalesh Cruises, to Mina Rashid as it homeports in Dubai for the season.

Christened in an official naming ceremony in Mumbai, India last month, 'Karnika' is Jalesh Cruises's first liner to homeport in the region, marking a significant milestone for both the Indian domestic and international cruise industry. The vessel will commence the operation of regular Arabian Gulf itineraries from June to mid-September 2019, entertaining both residents and visitors of Dubai. Cruise aficionados can choose from two itineraries a week with Dubai as the home port; the Friday itinerary is set to cover Abu Dhabi and Bahrain while the Monday itinerary will include Muscat and Khasab.

Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, CEO of P&O Marinas and Mina Rashid CEO, said: "Proving its position as the Middle East's leading cruise destination, the Karnika's arrival highlights the value proposition Mina Rashid offers to luxury cruise lines globally. Our world-class quality services have exhibited Mina Rashid to be the preferred tourist destination observing a 172 per cent increase in visitors between 2014 and 2018."

Weighing 70,285 gross tonnes, Karnika sailed its maiden voyage from Mumbai to Goa in April and has since made 15 trips around India. The ship set off on its first international cruise from Mumbai to Dubai in May and will port in the Emirate until mid-September.

Jamal Alfalasi, director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, said: "We are delighted to welcome India's first premium cruise liner 'Karnika' to Dubai for its maiden voyage into the Arabian Gulf. Our support for Jalesh Cruises further cements the enduring bond that exists between India and the Emirate, underpinning our continued commitment to Dubai's top performing source market which brought in more than 564,836 visitors during Q1 of 2019. We look forward to providing travellers from across the Indian subcontinent with even more compelling reasons to visit and revisit Dubai with friends and family, as we continue to position the emirate as the cruise hub of the region."

Jurgen Bailom, president & CEO of Jalesh Cruises, said: "It is an honour and a privilege for us at Jalesh Cruises to bring India's first premium ship Karnika to her second home, Dubai. Karnika is equipped with international level cruise amenities. A beautiful ship designed to enthrall both domestic and international guests with the famed Indian hospitality, our ship will make it possible for both Indians living in Dubai and locals to experience a cruise vacation with a high level of customisation that will delight all those who sail aboard her."

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