More than 900,000 visitors expected as Dubai's cruise season starts

Tourism chiefs predict a bumper 2022-23 for the sector, as tourism rebounds from the coronavirus

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More than 900,000 passengers and crew are expected to arrive in Dubai during the coming cruise season, which begins at the end of the month.

The season begins on October 29 with the arrival of TUI Cruise Line’s Mein Schiff 6 at the Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal at Mina Rashid.

Major cruise liners are scheduled to visit both Mina Rashid and Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, which welcomed its first passengers last year.

Dubai Harbour is the region’s largest stand-alone dedicated twin cruise terminal centre and is capable of simultaneously handling two of the largest cruise ships currently operating globally.

Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed, chairman of the Dubai Border Security Council, said the cruise industry played a vital role in cementing the emirate’s status as a global tourism hub.

“Dubai’s robust port infrastructure and state-of-the-art terminal facilities can handle some of the world’s largest cruise ships, underpinning the city’s reputation as one of the world’s most advanced cruise destinations and a key gateway for regional and international cruise itineraries,” said Sheikh Mansoor.

“The scheduled increase in cruise liners and passengers visiting the city’s shores this season is driven by Dubai’s exceptional maritime infrastructure and the availability of some of the world’s most outstanding tourist attractions.

“Dubai’s position at the forefront of the rebound in international tourism underscores its emergence as a hub for cruise tourism.”

The emirate received 98 cruise ship calls, with 338,697 passengers and crew, during the 2021-2022 cruise season.

“Dubai continues to chart a steady course to enhance its position as the region’s leading cruise destination, in line with the leadership’s vision to make the city the world’s most sought-after travel destination,” said Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

“With the world’s top luxury liners heading to Dubai during the new cruise season, we will work with our partners to encourage cruise travellers to enjoy the destination’s diverse offerings, especially our unique winter sun proposition.

“Dubai remains a blueprint for global tourism recovery. We look forward to another successful cruise season as the launching pad to generate further momentum across the regional cruise industry and maintain Dubai’s position as a global tourism hub.”

Updated: October 10, 2022, 1:06 PM