DUBAI: Dubai’s new cruise season marked its launch on October 28, 2023 with the arrival of the luxury liner Mein Schiff 2. The ship docked at the Hamdan bin Mohammed cruise terminal in Mina Rashid, marking the beginning of another period exciting for cruise enthusiasts.
Dubai, which attracts international visitors year-round with its unparalleled hospitality and host of world-class attractions, anticipates visits by up to 150 cruise ships this upcoming season, reinforcing its position as a premier global cruise destination. Travelers arriving on cruises to Mina Rashid and Dubai Port will be able to enjoy a variety of diverse experiences and world-class services, as always. The arrival of Mein Schiff 2 on October 28 is the first stop in Dubai this cruise season.
Dubai will also welcome for the first time the Resilient Lady Ship operated by Virgin Voyages, which will embark on two routes from the city this season.
Dubai has been a major player in the Cruise Arabia alliance, working closely with the latter for more interconnected and integrated regional cruise services. The alliance, which comprises key ports in the region including Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Oman, strives to promote the region as a global cruise destination.
Dubai continues to attract major cruise operators, with MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Aida Cruises, Costa Cruises and Ponant Cruises, among others, considering it their home port. Additionally, Dubai will host port calls from renowned cruise lines such as Cunard, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Cordelia Cruises, to name a few.
The cruise shipping industry in Dubai has achieved notable success in recent years, consolidating its position as a global leader. Mina Rashid was recognized as the Middle East’s leading cruise port during the World Travel Awards 2023. Dubai Port had previously been ranked as the world’s best new cruise development during the first annual World Cruise Awards 2021. These awards further highlight Dubai’s growing popularity as a cruise ship. destination. Sustainability is a key aspect for Dubai as a cruise destination. The city welcomes environmentally friendly cruise ships, such as the LNG-powered MSC World Europa and the Costa Toscana, which features new LNG propulsion engines, for increasingly sustainable voyages, highlighting the commitment of Dubai with environmental responsibility.
Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Corporation, said: “The new cruise season will further strengthen Dubai’s position as a leading cruise destination in line with the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. , Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, to further cement Dubai’s status as one of the world’s top three cities for business and leisure.
“The growth of our cruise industry is a testament to the continued support and collaboration of our valued stakeholders and partners, resulting in more cruise operators looking to anchor in the city and capitalize on its diverse offerings, world-class infrastructure and services.” superior air and sea. connectivity and its privileged location between East and West. “We anticipate another successful season with the arrival of Mein Schiff 2, marking a significant step in our efforts to promote Dubai as the region’s cruise hub.”
Abdulla Binhabtoor, Director of Portfolio Management at Shamal Holding, owner and curator of Dubai Port, said: “The 2022/23 season confirmed the encouraging momentum for growth and development in the cruise sector, demonstrating that the industry Dubai Maritime is well placed to support a new era of tourism for the city. Dubai Port Cruise Terminal welcomed 300,000 passengers last cruise season, approximately four times more than our debut season, with an increase of 40 % in ship calls By 2023/24, we are encouraged by the number of larger vessels operated by reputable companies arriving at the Dubai Port cruise terminal and, as the largest cruise terminal in the region, we expect “Actively contribute to the region’s dynamic and rapidly growing maritime offering and provide an extraordinary experience to all our passengers.”
Hamza Mustafa, COO of DP World, said: “We look forward to welcoming travelers from around the world to our state-of-the-art cruise terminals for the 2023-2024 season. Our investment in terminal facilities at Mina Rashid underlines our commitment to supporting the sustainable growth of cruise tourism in Dubai and providing an exceptional experience to passengers from the moment they dock on our shores. “Dubai has become a major shipping port and popular stopover for cruise lines in the Middle East and Arabian Gulf, and we expect to record another strong season, with 28% more visitors expected compared to 2022-2023.” .
Dubai’s appeal as a cruise destination extends beyond its beautiful ports. The city has world-class terminal facilities, capable of serving the largest international cruise ships. It enjoys a strategic location as a gateway to the region, connected by DXB (Dubai International Airport) and two cruise terminals. Dubai continues to invest in cruise terminal infrastructure, ensuring hassle-free entry procedures and providing visa facilities for cruise passengers. Luxury vessels from eight renowned cruise lines dock in Dubai, bringing with them diverse groups of travelers from around the world.
Main cruise terminals
Exceptional service across the board reinforces Dubai’s reputation as a cruise hub, building on its appeal as a year-round destination with a vibrant social calendar peppered with exciting events. The city guarantees a seamless experience for all travelers with two main cruise terminals: Mina Rashid, capable of hosting up to seven cruise ships simultaneously, and Dubai Port, an extraordinary coastal district that boasts one of the most advanced cruise terminals in the world. region. which is also the largest in the Eastern Hemisphere, capable of accommodating even the largest cruise ships.
Mina Rashid, a globally acclaimed cruise destination, is home to the Port Rashid Marina, offering a variety of dining, shopping and entertainment options. The terminal has been recognized as the leading cruise port in the Middle East on multiple occasions. Mina Rashid offers a seamless, efficient and opulent travel experience, setting the benchmark for its international peers.
Opened in 2021, Dubai Port is a state-of-the-art cruise terminal that was also the first to host a new LNG-powered ship. Located at the intersection of the iconic Palm Jumeirah and Bluewaters Island, Dubai Port offers a number of comprehensive docking facilities along with a wide range of shopping, dining and entertainment options. A wide range of luxury yacht marinas and world-class shipping facilities add to its charm, giving cruise tourists a world-class experience from the moment they disembark in Dubai.
Tariq Al Fahaam