Dubai Tourism highlights the city's position as a leading winter cruise destination; on track to welcome 1 million cruise tourists by 2020/2021 cruise season
Dubai, UAE 20 March 2018: Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) highlighted Dubai's growing popularity as a global cruise destination viable for pre-cruise and post-cruise stopovers and an apt homeport in the region at the Seatrade Cruise Global in Florida, USA, a leading event for the cruise industry. Dubai Tourism exhibited under the Cruise Arabia banner, bringing together the tourism authorities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain on a unified stand with the goal of promoting the region as a whole, and improving business sustainability and development.
The 3-day event also saw successful networking and business opportunities with leading brands in the global cruise industry, including world-class cruise lines, to discuss deployments and homeporting opportunities in Dubai to heighten the awareness of the destination's cruise offerings to a global audience across Spain, Brazil, UK, USA, in addition to the traditional source markets across Germany, Italy, France and over 40 other countries.
Speaking about Dubai Tourism's presence at this year's Seatrade Cruise Global, Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President, Dubai Tourism, said: “Cruise Tourism is certainly a key industry for the Gulf and we are dedicated to educating consumers around the world about the region as a key winter cruising destination. With year-round sunshine, an ever-evolving ‘must-visit' destination proposition, and a winter home port for multiple international cruise lines operating regular international itineraries out of the city, Dubai is perfectly placed for its cruise tourism offering to become a major global attraction. With that in mind, we have been working to highlight Dubai's ease of accessibility with the latest introduction of a multi-entry UAE visit visa exclusively for cruise tourists, as well as simplified immigration and cruise-specific visa procedures on our online portals to ensure that citizens from over 50 countries can take advantage of Dubai's cruise tourism offering with visas on arrival.”
“The city's efficient handling of port and cruise terminal operations and customised services, in conjunction with world class infrastructure and continual enhancements, are only a few of the key success factors that have reinforced the emirate's reputation as one of the world's leading cruise destinations. Working with a strategic network of leading industry partners, such as DP World, Dubai Airports, Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs, Emirates Airlines and our other key public and private sector stakeholders, we are committed to working in line with a comprehensive strategy to boost the growth of the emirate's cruise industry and tourism sector at large.” he added.
The city has been instrumental in pioneering cruise tourism in the region, fast becoming a favoured destination amongst the international cruise lines and cruise tourists, despite only gaining momentum in 2001 with the opening of the first cruise terminal in the Gulf. The emirate welcomed over 625,000 cruise tourists to the city during the 2016/2017 season, reflecting an increase of over 15 per cent when compared to the 2015/2016 season, via 157 ship calls – including more than 20 world-class cruise lines.
Looking ahead, Dubai's cruise industry is set for another strong performance during the ongoing 2017/2018 season, working in line to achieve its goal to welcome 1 million cruise tourists by the 2020/2021 season and serving as the winter home port for 10 of the world's leading international cruise lines.