Cruise vis­i­tors sail in

New sea­son will see 600,000 ar­rive in Dubai

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS -

The new cruise sea­son will see a pro­jected 600,000 tourists ar­rive in Dubai via 157 ship calls – an 18 per cent in­crease over the pre­vi­ous year.

Fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful 2015/2016 run, which saw pas­sen­ger num­bers grow by 19 per cent and ship calls in­crease by 24 per cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year, two new lines – Nor­we­gian Cruise Line and Thom­son Cruises – will de­but in the re­gion with a maiden call.

Also, Thom­son Cruises will be the first ever UK-based cruise line to home port in Dubai, con­tribut­ing more than 12 calls and more than 25,000 cruise tourists.

Dubai’s cruise sec­tor has ex­pe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant growth since 2014, af­ter the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Mul­ti­ple En­try UAE visa, which opened up po­ten­tial emerg­ing source mar­kets such as In­dia, China, South Amer­ica and Rus­sia.

With more than 23 of the world’s lead­ing cruise op­er­a­tors – in­clud­ing six home- port­ing lines – an­chor­ing in Dubai for an overnight stay or pas­sen­ger turn-around, and an es­ti­mated 10 maiden ship calls, the 2016/2017 sea­son is ex­pected to con­tinue the up­ward tra­jec­tory, con­tribut­ing to Dubai’s goal of 20 mil­lion vis­i­tors a year by 2020.

Ja­mal Hu­maid Al Falasi, Di­rec­tor of Dubai Cruise Tourism, said: “Through our cruise tourism strat­egy, we aim to bring in one mil­lion tourists to Dubai by 2020 and we are head­ing in the right di­rec­tion, hav­ing wel­comed over half a mil­lion cruise tourists to Dubai last sea­son.

“Dubai’s grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity as a des­ti­na­tion is un­der­pinned by the di­ver­sity of its at­trac­tions as well as its ac­ces­si­bil­ity. With such a broad mar­ket of vis­i­tors choos­ing the emi­rate, cruise of­fers trav­ellers the chance to view the city from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.”

The ex­panded line-up in­cludes Royal Caribbean In­ter­na­tional’s Ova­tion of the Seas and MSC’s 4,500 pas­sen­ger ca­pac­ity Fan­ta­sia.

IN THE LINE UP: Ova­tion of the Seas

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