Dubai is becoming more and more exposed to the cruise industry as more ships visit the region; as cruise liners make the emirate’s terminal their home, Dubai will welcome several hundreds of thousands of passengers who return to Arabian waters.
Director of Cruise Tourism, Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said: “We are still very much on course for the cruise tourism sector to grow…” Dr Ahmad A Belhoul, CEO, Strategy and Tourism Sector Development, DTCM confirmed by mentioning that “there is an eight to nine per cent of annual growth over the sector, with our aim to hit double digit figures by 2020 in terms of GDP contribution of the cruise segment,” as reported Bindu Suresh Rai – Emirates 24|7.
What was once a quiet trading and fishing town, is now a significant commercial center in the area: the Dubai Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid is situated on the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf and is named the ‘City of Merchants’ thanks to the vast volume of business; in recent times, it has become a major cruise departure and arrival port for many travelers on board cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Costa and MSC. Shore excursions are popular for ship passengers who can’t wait to experience all the emirate has to offer in terms of unique experiences and opportunities.
- Port Rashid Cruise Terminal is now homeport of the world’s most famous ocean passenger liner Queen Elizabeth 2 that will serve as a hotel and accommodation landmark. This floating hotel and residence is certainly going to attract many seasonal travelers who simply enjoy being on the sea on a cruise liner to step back into the glamorous days of traditional British voyaging experience.
- The Dubai Cruise Terminals have enough room to host many ships simultaneously from the creation of new harbors to dock in, which means the passenger numbers will increase by a significant amount. This is potentially an opportunity for vast economic benefits and revenue that the tourism sector will contribute to the GDP in UAE.
- Cruise Terminal at Mina Rashid in Dubai, inaugurated in 2015, is “the world’s largest single, covered cruise facility capable of handling 14,000 cruise passengers a day,” says DP World that is actually still planning to expand Mina Rashid’s capacity to cater for the growing demand of tourism in the region. In doing so, is “further strengthening Dubai’s position as the leading regional cruise hub.” To date, the Terminal is one of the Emirate’s most popular sea-borne passenger connections for Ferry ships.
- Jebel Ali Port Container Terminal, operated by DP World UAE Region, cater to the world’s largest container vessels, which is significant for global trade and plays an integral role for the supply chain maritime services and for logistics shipping lines for importers and exporters. The container handling is the company’s core business and generates more than three quarters of its revenue.
Seaports are boosting the tourism and business portfolio of Dubai. The momentum is expected to continue into 2020 with the Expo driving also the cruise business into high gear.