Dubai is all set to receive two cruise ships, AidaCara, and Costa Classica, on December 21 and 22, respectively.
One of the ships will have 1524 passengers and 370 crew members.
The luxury vessels will be calling at the Dubai Cruise Terminal to start their hubbing operations from the region for the 2006-2007 winter seasons.
The cruises ships are owned and operated by Costa Crociere, an Italian cruise company and the market leader in Europe and South America Costa. Crociere SpA is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise operator.
Mr. Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Acting Manager of Dubai Cruise Terminal, operated by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: ‘Both the cruise ships will perform 25 trips out of Dubai to different destinations during the 2006-2007 winter seasons.’
He said: ‘We will continue to devote our efforts to further promote this most-promising sector of the tourism industry. Costa Crociere’s decision reconfirms the potential of Dubai as the regional cruise industry hub. 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.’
The DTCM and Dubai Cruise Terminal have been promoting the excellent cruise facilities in the emirate in different trade forums in overseas markets.
In 2005-2006 cruise season, the port of Dubai handled cruise ships with over 23,000 passenger movements, while the year 2006-2007 season is expected to see 85,000 passenger movements while the 2007-2008 season will attract 200,000 passenger movements, mostly from the UK, US and Germany.
The Dubai cruise terminal opened in 2001 at the Port Rashid complex. Thisv 3300 square metre dedicated cruise hub is able to accommodate two ships simultaneously.
It stands out on account of its futuristic ‘mobile’ design; facilities include a VIP lounge, café, palm gardens, duty free shops, Internet corner, giant video screen and meeting room.
In a survey, 80 per cent of the cruise passengers in Dubai revealed that they would extend their visit to the emirate during their next visit and 95 per cent said they would recommend others to visit Dubai to enjoy its all-appealing facilities, pristine beaches and unparalleled shopping options.
The Dubai 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.