The Dubai Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid, operated by DP World, is expecting 115 luxury cruise ships from 22 ocean-going cruise lines to berth at its terminal over the coming season.
The terminal is one of the world’s top five ultra-luxury ports and a preferred port of call for 650,000 passengers on international cruise liners. The 2017-18 season will kick start on October 25 with the arrival of the ‘Seabourn Encore’ of the luxury cruise brand, Seabourn Cruises, a Wam news agency report said.
Together with its strategic partners, Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs, Dubai Cruise Tourism, Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, and Emirates Airline, DP World is dedicated to supporting the vision of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to maximise Dubai’s potential and establish the city as the leading winter cruise tourism destination in the GCC by providing world class infrastructure and logistics support, it said.
Key to this plan is DP World’s state-of-the-art Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, T3, at Mina Rashid that is set to be the largest terminal in the world capable of handling 18,000 travellers every single day.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, said: “DP World is proud to support and contribute to Dubai’s vision to become the world’s leading cruise tourism hub. With a goal to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020, of which at least one million are expected to be cruise tourists, we are committed to providing facilities that are the best in the world and create a truly luxurious cruise experience catering to the tastes and sophistication of visitors.”
Dubai’s cruise tourism market is growing rapidly as the city is becoming a choice destination for cruise enthusiasts from Europe and the US.
Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, Executive Director of Mina Rashid, said: “We’re expanding our facilities to accommodate more ships by adding new berths while developing our existing two-kilometre long berths in line with the demand from cruise operators. We’re also working on connecting our existing terminals with closed corridors equipped with the best in technology to maximise capacity and provide ease of access for passengers across the port.
“Mina Rashid is the Middle East’s leading cruise port, playing a vital role as a hub for tourists looking to explore this region, and has the capacity to anchor seven ocean-sailing cruise vessels at a time. The port also added a luxury yacht marina facility in response to the high demand from luxury yacht owners from around the world, and offers world class mooring and storage space and other associated services.”
The Dubai Government rolled out various initiatives to support the cruise tourism sector, making it easier and faster for tourists to process paperwork. The Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs also implemented simplified visa procedures, including issuing multiple entry UAE visas exclusively for cruise tourists, it said.