Press Dossier   News Category    Economy    Dubai cruise sector posts record increase in tourist numbers

KHALEEJ TIMES, Thursday, Aug 8, 2019 | Zul Hijjah 7, 1440

Dubai cruise sector posts record increase in tourist numbers

Emirates: Bolstering its position as a premier international cruise destination, Dubai concluded its 2018-19 cruise season with a record increase of over 51 per cent in cruise tourist footfall and a 38 per cent increase in cruise ship calls season-on-season.

Dubai welcomed through Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal 846,176 cruise visitors via 152 ship calls during the season, compared to 558,781 visitors onboard 110 ships in 2017-18. An additional 211 ship calls are now confirmed for the upcoming 2019-20 season.

This growth reflects the committed joint efforts to boost the cruise sector by the Dubai Cruise Committee made up of leading industry partners: Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism); DP World UAE Region, operator of Mina Rashid; Emirates airline; General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai; and Dubai Customs.

The 2018-19 season witnessed 14 maiden calls and welcomed leading international cruise liners such as TUI Cruises, Aida Cruises, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, P&O Cruises and Royal Carribean cruise line to the homeport in Dubai, all expected to return in the upcoming season. The season concluded with the departure of the Karnika, India's first premium cruise ship from Jalesh Cruises which has recently homeported in Dubai.

Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, CEO of P&O marinas and executive director, Mina Rashid, said: "We are pleased to move in the right direction in promoting Dubai as a popular destination for international cruise tourists. As the Middle East's premier destination for cruise operators, Mina Rashid offers a value proposition to global luxury cruise liners. It is reassuring to see the steady double-digit increase in tourist traffic at Mina Rashid each year. Central to this stellar performance is our flagship Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, capable of handling 14,000 passengers a day."

Hamad bin Mejren, senior vice-president of Dubai Tourism, said: "The success of the 2018-19 cruise season stands as a true testament to the robust growth of Dubai's cruise industry and the city's growing appeal as a year-round 'must-visit' destination. We are delighted to welcome leading cruise lines once again to operate regular international itineraries out of the city. We will continue to actively work with our valued network of local, regional and global partners to further highlight Dubai's ease of accessibility, driven by efficient cruise terminal operations and continual enhancements that have welcomed an ever-increasing number of operators to anchor in the emirate."

Developing Dubai's cruise industry to its maximum potential falls in line with the Dubai Silk Road strategy prepared by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation in collaboration with key government entities.

Page 1 Of 1