Dubai presents a unique touristic destination with its wide variety of iconic projects and futuristic landscapes.
The emirate is a magnet for business and investments and has also drawn hundreds of luxury cruise ships on the appeal of the city garnering strong international interest from luxury aficionados.
In support of this, Dubai Tourism said that it had exhibited at Seatrade Europe, an event for cruise tourism held in Hamburg last month, under the Cruise Arabia banner, which brings together the tourism authorities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain on a unified stand with the goal of promoting the region as a whole.
“Dubai Tourism’s latest promotional drive was aimed at attracting more cruise tourists, specifically from Europe and India,” it said.
And starting October 25, Port Mina Rashid will be hosting 115 luxury cruise ships from 22 ocean-sailing cruise lines over the coming season, having already welcomed the arrival of 650,000 passengers on international cruise liners during 2016-2017.
Being the Middle East’s leading cruise port for 9 consecutive years since 2008 as per the World Travel Awards gives a hint why luxury cruises are drawn in, but what really makes this port special?
Luxury and technology
According to DP World, the operator of the Dubai Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid, the port plays a vital role as a hub for tourists looking to explore this region and has the capacity to anchor seven ocean-sailing cruise vessels at a time.
It said, in a statement, that the port also added a luxury yacht marina facility in response to the high demand by luxury yacht owners from around the world and offered world-class mooring and storage space and other associated services.
“We’re expanding our facilities to accommodate more ships by adding new berths, while developing our existing two-kilometre long berths, in line with the demand from cruise operators. We’re also working on connecting our existing terminals with closed corridors equipped with the best in technology to maximise capacity and provide ease of access for passengers across the port,” said Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, Executive Director at Mina Rashid.
According to Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at DP World, DP World aims to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020, of which at least one million are expected to be cruise tourists.
According to DP World, the Dubai Government rolled out various initiatives to support the cruise tourism sector, making it easier and faster for tourists to process paperwork.
It said that the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs also implemented simplified visa procedures, including issuing multiple entry UAE visas exclusively for cruise tourists.
The World Cruise Industry Review reveals that more than 20 cruise lines currently include Dubai in their itineraries for a variety of reasons, including the availability of visas on arrival for 46 nationalities, a simplified online visa process and the implementation of the multi-entry UAE-visit visa.
It added that Dubai Cruise Terminal was not far from Dubai International Airport, which connects travellers to more than 240 destinations around the world.
Haven for amenities and services
The World Cruise Industry Review says the port includes various other attractive facilities, including duty-free outlets, shops selling everything from souvenirs and electronics to jewelry, spa, aerial and coach tour-operator outlets, currency exchange and ATMs, a VIP business centre, a complimentary shuttle bus service to shopping malls and free Wi-Fi. The Dubai Cruise terminal also houses offices for police, customs, immigration, security and shipping agents to ensure the safe and swift turnaround of cruise ships.