Cruise Dubai plans to expand

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dubaiterm.jpgIt’s just under a year since the Dubai Cruise Terminal building (above) was officially opened. Its operators claim it can handle three ships and up to 7,000 passengers at a time, although I did raise the question a couple of weeks ago as to why arrivals and departures can’t be spread across the week.
In any case, passengers embarking Brilliance of the Seas were being checked in at a glorified marquee – even if it does have a terrazzo-tiled floor – while Costa Deliziosa and Luminosa’s passengers were handled in the main building.
They will need even more space at Port Rashid later this year when MSC Lirica and TUI’s Mein Schiff start cruising the Arabian Gulf.
Dubai handled 390,000 passengers in 2010, and the number is expected to increase to 625,000 by 2015. New facilities, announced this week, will extend its capabilities to up to five ships at once.
“We’ve had a successful first season, ” said Royal Caribbean’s Lakshmi Durai. Almost all our sailings have been going full. The second season has been far more successful and is already fully booked.”
Richard J Vogel, of TUI, said average expenditure per passenger per day is estimated at about £100 to $150 including shore excursions and souvenirs. “With 2,000 people on each cruise ship, it’s a very good business for the local economy.”
Costa Cruises generated an estimated £12 million during the 2009-10 season.
Hamad M. Bin Mejren, executive director of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, says: “Cruise tourists are becoming an increasingly important part of Dubai’s tourism industry.”
He accepts, however, that the region as a whole has some problems that need addressing. One challenge is the lack of facilities at some ports. Fujairah, for example, is a cargo port with little to offer the cruise passenger.
“The main challenge is that most of the ports are not 100 per cent focused on cruise ships,” said Vogel. “We don’t have cruise port facilities as developed as the ones in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. This is something which will be developed in the next year or so.”

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:10+00:00 15 February 2011|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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