Dubai finished out its 2018-19 cruising season with a record 51 percent increase in tourism traffic and a 38 percent boost in cruise ship calls season-over-season.
The city’s Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal welcomed 846,176 cruise visitors via 152 ship calls during the season, whereas 558,781 visitors onboard 110 ships arrived in 2017-18. The port has also already confirmed an additional 211 ship calls for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
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Mina Rashid saw fourteen maiden calls in the 2018-19 period, with leading international cruise carriers such as TUI Cruises, Aida Cruises, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean docking in Dubai’s homeport.
This past season’s success reflects the joint efforts of several public and private entities to bolster Dubai’s cruise tourism sector, including the Dubai Cruise Committee; Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism); DP World UAE Region, which operates Mina Rashid; Emirates Airline; Dubai Customs office; and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai organization.
Efforts to increase the city’s cruise industry to its fullest potential could also be seen to support the Dubai Silk Road strategy, which was developed by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, in cooperation with key government organizations.
The Khaleej Times cited Hamad bin Mejren, senior vice-president of Dubai Tourism, as having said: “The success of the 2018-19 cruise season stands as a true testament to the robust growth of Dubai’s cruise industry and the city’s growing appeal as a year-round ‘must-visit’ destination. We are delighted to welcome leading cruise lines once again to operate regular international itineraries out of the city. We will continue to actively work with our valued network of local, regional and global partners to further highlight Dubai’s ease of accessibility, driven by efficient cruise terminal operations and continual enhancements that have welcomed an ever-increasing number of operators to anchor in the emirate.”