Bolstering its position as a premier international cruise destination, Dubai concluded its 2018-19 cruise season with a record increase of over 51 percent in cruise tourist footfall and a 38 percent increase in cruise ship calls season-on-season.
Dubai welcomed through Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal 846,176 cruise visitors via 152 ship calls during the season, compared to 558,781 visitors onboard 110 ships in 2017-18. An additional 211 ship calls are now confirmed for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
This growth reflects the committed joint efforts to boost the cruise sector by the Dubai Cruise Committee made up of leading industry partners: Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism); DP World UAE Region, operator of Mina Rashid; Emirates airline; General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai; and Dubai Customs.
The 2018-19 season witnessed 14 maiden calls and welcomed leading international cruise liners such as TUI Cruises, Aida Cruises, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, PandO Cruises and Royal Carribean 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, CEO of PandO marinas and 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...