With the start of a new cruise season last month, Dubai has stepped up its drive to attract more cruise travellers keen to explore and enjoy the city’s winter sun offerings, as part of efforts to further strengthen its position as a leading ‘cruise hub of the region’.
The upcoming 2019/2020 season is expected to welcome more than 200 ship calls and an estimated one million cruise visitors. This follows a successful 2018/2019 cruise season when the city witnessed a record increase of over 51 per cent in cruise tourist footfall with nearly 850,000 tourists and 152 ship calls, a 38 per cent increase compared to the previous season.
The new cruise season commenced on 19 October with the arrival of TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 5, carrying over 6,000 passengers. This will be followed by five maiden calls from leading international cruise liners throughout the season, including Costa Cruises’ Costa Diadema, MSC Cruises’ MSC Bellissima, Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas, Croisieurope’s La Belle Des Oceans and TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 6. The cruise liners will homeport at Dubai’s award-winning Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal, with world-class facilities capable of handling seven mega-cruise vessels at one time. In fact, the terminal will receive five cruise vessels in a single day on 11 occasions throughout this season and six cruise vessels in a single day twice throughout the season.