Dubai is gearing up for a tourist-filled cruise season of 2013-14. The cruise hub is set to welcome more than 20 global cruise lines anticipated to bring in as many as 300,000 tourists to the Emirate, according to Dubai Cruise Tourism (DCT).
The cruises will offer travellers short breaks to longer voyages covering the Far East, India and the Mediterranean. Among the upcoming cruises with Dubai as its home port are Costa Fortuna and Cost Neo Riviera travelling to two of Oman’s major cities, Muscat and Khasab, as well as Abu Dhabi. Others include the Aida Diva – which visits Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain – and the MSC Lirica – stopping at Abu Dhabi, Khor Fakkan, Muscat and Khasab.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “The 2012-13 cruise season reached new heights. We are proud to announce 93 confirmed ship calls this season, which include 63 home porting ship calls: 27 from Costa, 17 from Aida, and 19 from MSC ships. We are also happy to welcome seven maiden ship calls.”
A planned expansion will see the Dubai Cruise Terminals with an additional facility spanning over 27,000 square meters to cater to cruise lines and visitors from 2014, is currently underway.
Dubai is currently home port for five of the world’s leading cruise lines – Costa, Aida, Royal Caribbean, TUI and MSC. Three of these– Costa and MSC Cruises from Italy and Aida cruises from Germany – will be operating Gulf Cruise itineraries out of Dubai this season, representing a total deployment of four ships. TUI Cruises from Germany will resume their operations from the 2014/15 season and the Emirate is looking forward to welcoming Royal Caribbean again in the 2015/16 season.