Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal has grown to become one of the most exciting destinations not only in Dubai, but in the entire Middle East. At ITB Berline Breaking Travel News catches up with Mohammed Al Muallem from DP World to discuss what comes next for the location.
Breaking Travel News: Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal in Dubai is undergoing significant developments for both the cruise liners which sail in and out of Dubai and the guests who sail on those liners. Could you give us an overview on the developments taking place?
Mohammed Al Muallem: In line with Dubai government’s strategy to position the city as the region’s leading tourist destination DP World took the initiative to expand the cruise facilities at Mina Rashid in the heart of Dubai.
The construction of the new 24,000 square metre Cruise Terminal 2 is expected to be completed in the first half of 2014 and is planned to be the best of its kind in the region, with world class duty-free outlets, retail shops, currency exchange, ATM machines and a VIP business centre. A 50,000 square metre car park will accommodate 36 buses and 150 taxis, in addition to private cars parking bays for employees and visitors.
The new terminal also provides office facilities to various authorities and stakeholders including DTCM, Dubai Police, Customs, Immigration, shipping agents and airlines. The ultra-modern facilities will strengthen Mina Rashid’s position as the largest cruise hub in the Middle East.
BTN: When completed what will be the increase in capacity for the number of liners berthed at any one time and the number of passengers handled each year?
MM: When fully operational, Mina Rashid will be able to handle more than 14,000 cruise passengers a day, more than doubling the capacity. More than 410,000 cruise tourists passed through Mina Rashid during the 2012-2013 season alone.
Mina Rashid is designed to receive seven mega cruise vessels simultaneously. The on-going expansion plans of the new facilities will enable Dubai to welcome those vessels and their passengers to its shores in greater numbers.
BTN: What are the services provided by DP World to the cruise operators and their passengers using the Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal?
MM: Mina Rashid offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of services to cruise operators and their passengers anywhere. Luxury is not a problem for us at Dubai Cruise Terminal, where passengers will find competent concierge service, world class Duty Free outlets and retail shops, authorised money exchanges, a post office, a big screen entertainment centre, special conveniences for the physically challenged including wheel chairs, electric carts, ramps and wide entrances.
In addition, the operators will find under one roof tour agents with knowledge of local heritage and cultural destinations.
Dubai Cruise Terminal also offers business assistance to cruise tourists who choose to combine a bit of work with leisure such as a business centre with Internet connectivity and other communication facilities, conference rooms and support services. The entire site is surrounded by a perimeter fencing monitored by 24x7 security systems.
Mina Rashid is home port to major global cruise operators such as Costa Crociere, Aida Cruises and now TUI Cruises, which commenced operation from Mina Rashid in the 2012-2013 season.
BTN: The Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal has been the Middle East’s Leading Cruise Port at the World Travel Awards for six years in a row, what does this accolade state about the facilities and the services offered and finally, what does it mean to the team involved?
MM: Since 2008, Mina Rashid has been voted the Middle East’s Leading Cruise Port at the prestigious World Travel Awards every year, reflecting our long-term commitment to developing Mina Rashid as the regional cruise destination of choice.
This means a lot to Dubai, DP World and the cruise tourism industry at large and the on-going development at Mina Rashid supports Dubai’s long-term strategy to stimulate growth and development in the traditionally strong tourism sector.
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