Another leading European cruise operator has placed Dubai on its cruise itineraries calendar.
This was announced by Mr. Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Acting Manager of DTCM-operated Dubai Cruise Terminal at the end of his talks with the Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines delegation headed by Ms. Colleen D Crisp, Contracts Manager.
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) officials took the visiting delegation on a tour of the Dubai Cruise Terminal facilities.
Black Watch, one of the five vessels in Fred.Olsen’s fleet, will make a debut port of call at Dubai on February 26 next year. The 28492 tonnes -cruise ship will depart Dubai on February 28.
Mr. Al Ketbi said: ‘The decision reconfirms the potential of Dubai as the regional cruise industry hub. We assure of our whole hearted cooperation and support to make the initiative successful. We are confident that this will help expand the cruise tourism industry in the region and stimulate other cruise operators to use the emirate as a cruise hub.’
He said the cruise industry players were always looking for interesting destinations and Dubai was climbing up the ladder of fascinating ports of call for major cruise liners.
Fred. Olsen is a family-run company, with 150 years of seafaring traditions. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is the 2006 recipient of ‘Best Classic Ship Operator’ and ‘Best European Cruise Operator’ awards.
Black Watch, refurbished in June 2005, is the Flagship of the Norwegian-origin company. The refitted vessel has 435 cabins, over 90% of them offering sea view, a 150-seat film theatre, two swimming pools, a fitness centre, deck sports, and a health and beauty salon. It has 300 crew members.
In 2005, Dubai handled cruise ships with nearly 13,000 passenger movements. Dubai expects 20,000 cruise passengers in 2006 and 30,000 in 2007.
The state-of-the-art Dubai cruise terminal, opened in 2001 at the sprawling Port Rashid complex, measures 3300 square metres and is able to accommodate two ships simultaneously.
The ship-shaped cruise terminal is the world’s first to receive ISO-9002 certification and also the world’s only cruise facility run by the government tourism body