Dubai is rapidly emerging as the destination of choice for global cruise liners and passengers alike, with figures showing that the number of cruise tourists visiting Dubai is expected to increase by almost 80% from 2008 to 2010.
And the opening of the new Dubai Cruise Terminal by the end of January 2010 will allow for more passengers and ships than ever before. Located at the crossroads between east and west, Dubai has the location and facilities to rival the competition; offering the epitome of luxury and affordable holidays which offer something for everyone for pre and post cruise stays.
The cruise industry in Dubai is growing rapidly with 250,000 cruise tourists visiting the emirate during 2009; a 37% increase on the previous year. And in 2010, Dubai is expected to host 120 ship calls with over 325,000 passengers when the Dubai Cruise Terminal becomes fully operational by the end of this month.
Spanning an area of 3,450 square metres, the new terminal will further fuel Dubai’s burgeoning cruise industry. Designed to handle up to three to four ships simultaneously, Dubai Cruise Terminal has been built to cater for the emirate’s increasing number of cruise tourists. It is the only cruise terminal in the world operated by a government tourism department, which means it can provide extra attention to every visitor and enhance the experience by including elements such as certified tour guides and a swift entry system with no visa issues for visitors.
Dubai continues to be the destination of choice for many global cruise lines. Costa Cruises provided the up-and-coming cruise industry with a major boost in 2007 when it made Dubai its regional cruise hub. And on 23 February 2010 the latest jewel of the Costa Cruises fleet, Costa Deliziosa, will be inaugurated in Dubai, during her Grand Maiden Cruise, which departs from Savona on 5 February. This will be the first time an Arabian city has hosted a cruise ship christening ceremony and promises to be an unforgettable occasion.
From January 2010 Royal Caribbean International (RCI) will become the second major cruise line to base a ship in Dubai. The US line will be deploying Brilliance of the Seas in Dubai for seven night cruises between January and April 2010. The itineraries will promise holidaymakers an exciting and relaxing break on this popular and innovative cruise ship featuring 13 decks of activity, entertainment and accommodation. Passengers will also have sufficient time to explore Dubai with overnight stays at the beginning and end of the voyage.
Ian Scott, director UK and Ireland for the Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said, “With the UK and Ireland providing almost one million yearly visitors, Dubai is established as a firm favourite with holidaymakers. And with so much to see and do, Dubai is the ultimate cruise destination. Visitors can stopover before or after their cruise and enjoy the pristine sandy beaches, year round sunshine, fine dining and an incredible array of activities to suit all tastes whether it’s shopping or skydiving! Cruise visitors are becoming an increasingly important part of Dubai’s tourism industry and with Dubai Cruise Terminal open for business this month it looks to keep rising further.”