KHALEEJ TIMES, Thursday, Aug 8, 2019 | Zul Hijjah 7, 1440
Dubai cruise sector posts record increase in tourist numbers
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
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
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.