Costa Crociere’s new “top of the range” vessel will be the first-ever cruise ship to be named in an Arabian city
Dubai, January 10: Costa Deliziosa will be named in Dubai on 23 February with a charming and innovative event organized by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) together with the leading European cruise company, Costa Crociere.
The naming ceremony will take place during the ship’s grand inaugural cruise, departing from Savona (Italy) on February 5 and calling at Dubai from February 23 to 26.
Costa Deliziosa, the 15th ship in Costa’s fleet, will be the first ever cruise ship to be named in an Arabian city. The ceremony will further strengthen the ties between Costa Cruises, Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s number one cruise company, and DTCM.
Over 3,000 guests are expected to attend the event, including about 2000 Costa Guests cruising on the first leg of the grand inaugural cruise.
This was announced at a Press conference aboard Costa Luminosa at Dubai Cruise Terminal on Saturday.
It was addressed by Fabrizia Greppi, Costa Cruises Vice President for Corporate Marketing and Communications, and Mr. Hamad bin Mejren, DTCM Executive Director Business Tourism. Also present were Mr. Saleh Al Geziry, DTCM Director Overseas Promotions and Inward Missions, and Mr. Tarek Bin Khalifa, Commercial Director of Dubai World –UAE, and the Italian Consul General in Dubai.
“The naming ceremony of our fifteenth ship, Costa Deliziosa, in Dubai confirms again our pioneering spirit in setting “new record” and strengthens the partnership between Costa Cruises and the Dubai Emirate. We are working together the DTCM to create an unforgettable event rich with surprise and atmosphere, combining the charming tradition of an Arabian night with the unique Italian style by Costa Cruises,” said Fabrizia Greppi, Costa Cruises Vice President for Corporate Marketing and Communications.
“Our Italian Company was the first and it’s still the major operator to believe in the value of this new cruise destination, confirming the pioneering spirit of Costa Cruises. Thanks to our four-year-partnership with DTCM, we are boosting our presence in the Arabian Gulf by bringing ships to Dubai, such as Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa, which are ambassadors of the best “made in Italy” in the world. In winter 2009/10 we expect a 40 per cent increase of our Guest cruising to Dubai, with an estimated economic impact of 14 million euro for the city.”
Mr. Hamad bin Mejren, DTCM Executive Director Business Tourism, said: “Dubai is steaming ahead and we look forward to a period of tremendous growth in cruise tourism segment. Cruise tourists are becoming an increasingly important part of Dubai’s tourism industry. Costa Cruises made Dubai its regional cruise hub in 2006 giving the growing cruise industry a major boost. Costa’s decision reconfirms the potential of Dubai as the regional cruise industry hub. We are delighted with their decision and 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.”
In 2009, Dubai played a host to 100 cruise ships that brought 260,000 cruise tourists. This year, Dubai will be hosting 120 ships with over 325,000 passengers after the new Dubai Cruise Terminal gets operational from January 18. Next year, the terminal is expected to receive 135 ships with 375,000 passengers followed by 150 ships with 425,000 passengers in 2012, 165 ships with 475,000 passengers in 2013 and 180 ships with 525,000 passengers in 2014 and 195 ships with 575,000 passengers in 2015.
The new terminal spanning an area of 3,450 square metres will have the capacity to handle four ships simultaneously. The terminal will have facilities like money exchange, ATM machine, post office outlet, duty free shop, souvenir shops, business centre and VIP Majlis.
Costa Deliziosa naming event in Dubai will be sponsored by the Italian Embassy in the UAE, the Italian Consulate in Dubai, the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE) and supported by Alpha Tours, DNATA, Emirates, Grand Hyatt, Gulf Venture and Raiss Hassan Saadi (RHS) Group.
In winter 2009/2010 season, Costa’s ships are expected to bring 140,000 passenger movements to Dubai thanks to the presence of three ships for a total of 32 calls.
Mr. Saleh Al Geziry said DTCM has been promoting cruise tourism in a big way through a variety of tourism exhibitions and road shows it participates in across the world.