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Dubai Cruise Industry

Dubai cruise terminal capacity to be expanded

Feb 14, 2011

DUBAI - Dubai has planned to expand the capacity of its cruise terminal, which will be able to handle up to five ships simultaneously with around 10,000 passengers after the expansion, a top executive of the emirate’s tourism department said.

In February last year, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) opened its new cruise terminal in Dubai, which is regarded as the most advanced in the Middle East.

“The current capacity of the cruise terminal is three ships and we are expecting five big ships at the same time after the completion of expansion plan,” Hamad bin Mejren, DTCM Executive Director for Business Tourism, told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a news conference on Monday. One big ship accommodates on average around 2,000 passengers that means around 10,000 passengers at the same time with five big ships, Mejren said.

He did not provide further details of the expansion plan, but said full details will be announced soon. Cruise tourists are becoming an increasingly important part of Dubai’s tourism industry, he added.

Mejren mentioned that DTCM is working with other regional ports for more facilities to cruise passengers as its important attract more cruise tourists in the region.

It is expected that the number of cruise ships in 2011 will increase to 120, with 425,000 passengers.

In the coming years DTCM expects the following in terms of cruise ship and passenger arrivals: 135 ships carrying 475,000 passengers in 2012; 150 ships carrying 525,000 passengers in 2013; 165 ships with 575,000 passengers in 2014; and 180 ships carrying 625,000 passengers in 2015.

The number of ships dramatically increased in 2008 to reach 82, carrying 182,023 passengers and to 87 ships carrying 262,740 passengers in 2009. The number of ships in 2010 broke the 100 barrier and touched 103, bringing in 390,255 passengers.

Earlier at the news conference, it was announced that TUI Cruises, a joint venture of TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, becomes the newest operator to offer cruise services in the Gulf from Dubai.

This will be the fourth cruise operator to offer such services in the Gulf that is gradually becoming a new cruise destination in the global cruise 
tourism map.

Welcoming the move, Mejren said, “It will be the fourth cruise operator to use Dubai as a regional hub for cruise tourism in the Gulf which is becoming a popular destination for international cruise tourists.”

Starting in November 2012 the cruise line TUI Cruises will for the first time use Dubai as its home port and offer cruises to Abu Dhabi, Muscat and to Bahrain. TUI Cruises will be operating the Mein Schiff 2 (My Ship 2) cruise liner in the Gulf. TUI Cruises will offer its services through Dubai Cruise Terminal, operated by the DTCM.

From November 4, 2012 to March 24, 2013 TUI Cruises has a total of 20 one-week cruises on its programme. Two Trans-Arabian cruises, one that takes the feel-good ship from the Mediterranean to Dubai in October/November 2012 and one that retraces the same route back to the Mediterranean in March/April 2013 round off the new timetable. 

Dubai cruise terminal capacity to be expanded
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