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Beginning October 29, Dubai’s cruise tourism is heading for one large post-pandemic comeback

Dubai: Dubai’s cruise tourism is all set to make a decisive comeback beginning tomorrow (October 29), with greater than 900,000 passengers anticipated to drop in throughout this peak winter season.

This yr’s cruise season formally begins with the arrival of TUI Cruise Line’s Mein Schiff 6 at Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal in Mina Rashid. Final yr, Dubai acquired 98 cruise ship calls, with 338,697 passengers and crew, because the trade made a comeback of types from the devastating hit caused by COVID-19.

Thus, within the coming weeks, Dubai and the UAE is ready to welcome the most effective years for cruises for the reason that area turned a default trade itinerary in 2006.

Stock - Dubai Harbor

One among Dubai’s two large cruise terminals, the Harbor welcomed its first passengers final yr.
Picture Credit score: Equipped

Dubai cruise terminal capability

Main cruise liners are scheduled to go to Mina Rashid and Dubai Harbor Cruise Terminal (DHCT), which welcomed its first passengers final yr. “At DHCT, we count on the primary cruise liner to reach on November 17, with 46 ship calls and greater than 300,000 guests anticipated till April 2023,” mentioned Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Administration Officer of Shamal Holding.

Dubai Harbor is owned-operated by Shamal Holding, which additionally manages Kite Seashore, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Skydive Dubai, Deep-dive Dubai, X Dubai and Dubai Movies, amongst different leisure and leisure points of interest.

Binhabtoor mentioned: “The 2022-23 cruise season is broadly thought-about a ramp-up season for the worldwide cruise trade and really related to our area. Occupancy ranges on the cruise ships are anticipated to extend considerably, and the cruise trade’s suggestions additionally helps this.”

Following the debut of the biggest standalone devoted twin cruise terminal within the Jap hemisphere final yr, Binhabtoor mentioned DHCT is totally geared for the upcoming season.

The Mina Rashid cruise terminals expect 123 calls from among the largest cruise operators, which is a 100 per cent enhance over final season. Moreover, passenger and crew inflows are forecast to rise to round 600,000, greater than double the earlier season

– Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World

Main cruise liners on their manner

Binhabtoor mentioned DHCT would welcome two maiden ships – the CS Aida Cosma and CS Costa Toscana, homeporting at Dubai Harbor Cruise Terminals, each working five- to seven-night itineraries across the Arabian Gulf. The cruises shall be staying till April 15 subsequent.

DHCT will even have cruise ships from six worldwide cruise traces throughout the season, resembling P&O and Princess Cruises, welcoming guests from the Mediterranean, Europe and past. “We will even have a ship name for the first-time manner into June 2023 with in a single day port keep and passenger turnaround, extending the cruise season into the summer time months,” he added.

In Abu Dhabi, Jasem Zaiton, CEO of Zaitoncorp and a cruise vacation spot professional, mentioned, “Cultural and leisure actions in Abu Dhabi are encouraging cruise traces to increase their port keep on the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port.”

The pandemic has modified how cruises function. Providing smaller itineraries turned important for the survival of cruise liners.

‘Thrilling traits’

“As worldwide tourism totally rebounds and we get able to see full fleets again in service, we imagine cruising tourism will proceed to witness extraordinary progress on this area,” mentioned Binhabtoor. “This implies extra locations, enhanced experiences and new sorts of cruise vacationers resembling millennials and Gen Z.”

Is cruising a ‘sustainable’ exercise?

“A number of cruise liners arriving in Dubai have additionally outlined their dedication to sustainability and decarbonization, assembly buyer calls for for ‘inexperienced cruising’ and ships with low-impact,” Binhabtoor mentioned. “This would be the first yr we’ve two brand-new, LNG-powered cruise ships homeport in Dubai.” (LNG (Liquid Pure Gasoline) is without doubt one of the trade’s cleanest-burning, non-electric marine fuels and may scale back emissions by as much as 30 per cent.)

In accordance with MSC Cruises, one of many large trade names, there have been important reserving numbers from Italy, the UK and Germany for UAE, Gulf and regional ports. “For winter 2022-23 season, we’ve ready a wealthy program together with a brand new Crimson Sea 7-night itinerary with MSC Splendida, with 33 shore excursions on supply, together with Cairo,” mentioned Gianni Onorato, CEO at MSC Cruises.

Friends can select three embarkation ports, from Sokhna and Safaga in Egypt, plus Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. “The much-anticipated MSC World Europa shall be named in Qatar after which set sail on her maiden voyage, providing 7-night cruises and docking at Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Dammam,” mentioned Onorato. “That is along with MSC Opera, which is able to homeport within the UAE.”

Ahoy there, soccer followers

Up in Doha, soccer followers will even have cruise liner keep choices, with three vessels providing short-stay cabins throughout the FIFA World Cup part. The opposite large development is lodge teams such because the Ritz Carlton and 4 Seasons Group making a foray.

“Cruises are most positively again. This previous summer time season, passengers from the GCC flocked on-board Royal Caribbean ships in Europe and the US in numbers that surpassed 2019,” mentioned Mohamed Saeed, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean Worldwide, Celeb Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises – Center East.

“The UAE and Saudi are our largest regional buyer base, as we’re ideally suited for households. Earlier this yr, we launched Surprise of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, and he or she’s traveled each the Caribbean and Mediterranean this season.

“We have simply introduced the launch of Icon of the Seas, a brand new class of cruise ship, which begins crusing in January 2024 and shall be one of the transformational ships ever envisioned in addition to the most important in our fleet.”

The ships and the passengers are prepared – beginning Saturday (October 29), Dubai will see the primary of them come calling.

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