Costa Cruises has confirmed it is joining nine other leading cruise lines for the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum in Abu Dhabi.
The brand was the first cruise line to launch regular cruising in the Middle East back in 2006 and still the company with the highest capacity during the 2013/2014 season.
Along with cruise line executives from Azamara Club Cruises; Crystal Cruises; Carnival UK; Holland America Line; Princess Cruises; Royal Caribbean International; Silversea Cruises; TUI Cruises and The World, Dario Rustico, director of sales & marketing, Central Europe, Africa, Middle East and India, Costa Cruises, will spend several days in the UAE capital discussing the development of cruising in the Middle East among other key regional issues.
Rustico said: “The UAE and region is a firm fixture in our winter deployment and we are planning to invest more to develop the local source market.
“For the 2013/2014 season, we will deploy two ships in the region – the Costa Fortuna with a capacity for 3,470 passengers and the Costa NeoRiviera which has a capacity for 1,727 passengers - offering cruises calling at Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Khasab.
“The two ships will make a total of 27 cruises in the region and next year we will deploy a larger ship, the Costa Serena, which has a capacity for 3,780 passengers for another 17 cruises.”
The three-day Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum takes place at the five-star Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island from December 9th-11th 2013 and is organised by Seatrade, with the support of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and its Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau.
“The calibre of attending cruise line executives provides us, our regional counterparts and stakeholders, with essential face-to-face time with the decision-makers at the sharp end of the cruise industry so we can hear their concerns first-hand, together identify opportunities and forge stronger working relationships.
“This approach is in line with our strategy of involving stakeholders in the development of our ambitions and we view attendance as a vital investment for the region in realising its cruise ambitions,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, director tourism eco-systems, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Delegates will hear from the cruise line operators and other global experts as they discuss the region’s cruise challenges and opportunities.