Dubai has concluded its latest cruise season with a record increase of over 51 per cent in cruise tourist footfall and a 38 per cent increase in cruise ship calls season-on-season.
The emirate welcomed through Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal, the award-winning cruise tourist destination in the Middle East, 846,176 cruise visitors via 152 ship calls during the season, compared to 558,781 visitors onboard 110 ships in 2017/2018.
An additional 211 ship calls are now confirmed for the upcoming 2019/2020 season.
The latest season witnessed 14 maiden calls and welcomed leading international cruise liners such as Tui Cruises, Aida Cruises, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean cruise line to the homeport in Dubai, all expected to return in the upcoming season.
The season concluded with the departure of the Karnika, India’s first premium cruise ship from Jalesh Cruises which has recently homeported in Dubai.
Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, chief executive, P&O Marinas & Executive Director, Mina Rashid, said: “We are pleased to move in the right direction in promoting Dubai as a popular destination for international cruise tourists.
“As the Middle East’s premier destination for cruise operators, Mina Rashid offers a value proposition to global luxury cruise liners. “It is reassuring to see the steady double-digit increase in tourist traffic at Mina Rashid each year.
“Central to this stellar performance is our flagship Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, capable of handling 14,000 passengers a day.”
Developing Dubai’s cruise industry to its maximum potential falls in line with the Dubai Silk Road strategy prepared by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation in collaboration with key government entities.
It comprises nine initiatives and 33 projects, which include the enhancement of the strategic and operational connection of logistics services between DP World terminals across the world.
Since its inauguration in 2014, Mina Rashid’s Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal has received over 2.3 million visitors, marking a 172 per cent increase towards the end of 2018.
In December, Mina Rashid won the title of World’s Leading Cruise Port at the World Travel Awards, an honour the facility has taken for the past 11 years.