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Dubai Welcomes Second Annual Cruise Season with Mein Schiff 2


Dubai Welcomes Second Annual Cruise Season with Mein Schiff 2


Dubai, a global tourism and hospitality hub, marked the launch of its second annual cruise season with great enthusiasm on October 28, 2023, as the luxury liner Mein Schiff 2 arrived at the Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal at Mina Rashid. The arrival of this impressive vessel signals the commencement of yet another exciting and eventful season for cruise enthusiasts in the Emirates.


Dubai has long been a magnetic attraction for international visitors, with its unparalleled hospitality and an array of world-class attractions. This season, the city anticipates hosting up to 150 cruise ships, further cementing its status as a premier global cruise destination. Travelers disembarking at the Mina Rashid and Dubai Harbour cruise terminals can look forward to diverse experiences and top-notch services, as they have come to expect from Dubai.


The arrival of Mein Schiff 2 on October 28, 2023, marks the commencement of Dubai's much-anticipated cruise season. In an exciting development, Dubai will also host the Resilient Lady Ship, operated by Virgin Voyages, for the first time, offering an opportunity for passengers to embark on two unique routes departing from the city during this season.


Dubai has been a pivotal player in the Cruise Arabia alliance, a collaboration that aims to provide more interconnected and integrated regional cruise services. Comprising key ports in the region, including Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Oman, the alliance is dedicated to promoting the region as a globally renowned cruise ship destination.


Dubai continues to draw major cruise operators, with industry leaders like MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Aida Cruises, Costa Cruises, and Ponant Cruises among others considering it a home port. Furthermore, Dubai is set to receive away port calls from renowned cruise lines such as Cunard, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Cordelia Cruises, to name just a few.


The cruise shipping industry in Dubai has achieved notable success in recent years, solidifying its position as a global leader in the sector. This recognition was further emphasized when Mina Rashid was honored as the Middle East's Leading Cruise Port during the World Travel Awards for 2023. Additionally, Dubai Harbour was acknowledged as the World's Best New Cruise Development during the 1st Annual World Cruise Awards in 2021, solidifying Dubai's growing popularity as a cruise destination.


Dubai places great emphasis on sustainability in the cruise sector, welcoming environmentally conscious cruise liners like the MSC World Europa, which are powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), and the Costa Toscana, featuring new LNG propulsion engines. This underscores Dubai's commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable travel.


Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, expressed his optimism regarding the new cruise season and its contribution to Dubai's position as a leading cruise destination. He stated, "The growth of our cruise industry is a testament to the continuous support and collaboration of our valued stakeholders and partners, resulting in more cruise operators seeking to anchor in the city and capitalizing on its diverse offerings, world-class infrastructure, superior air and sea connectivity, and its prime location between East and West."


Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer of Shamal Holding, the owner and curator of Dubai Harbour, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the impressive growth in the cruise sector. "Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal welcomed 300,000 passengers this past cruise season, roughly four times the numbers from our debut season, with a 40% increase in ship calls," he noted.


Hamza Mustafa, Chief Operating Officer of DP World, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming season, emphasizing the company's commitment to supporting sustainable growth in cruise tourism in Dubai and providing an exceptional experience to passengers from the moment they dock at the city's shores.


Beyond its beautiful ports, Dubai boasts world-class terminal facilities capable of handling the largest international cruise vessels. With strategic air and sea connectivity through DXB (Dubai International Airport) and two cruise terminals, the city has become a major port of embarkation and a sought-after call for cruise lines in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf.

Dubai's exceptional service and state-of-the-art cruise terminals at Mina Rashid and Dubai Harbour make it a seamless and unforgettable experience for cruise tourists. These terminals cater to the largest cruise ships in the world, and Dubai continues to invest in cruise terminal infrastructure, ensuring smooth entry procedures and offering seamless visa facilities for cruise ship passengers.


As Dubai welcomes luxury vessels from eight renowned cruise lines, it brings travelers from around the world to explore the vibrant city. Dubai's rich social calendar, filled with thrilling events, ensures a memorable experience for all visitors.


The second annual cruise season in Dubai is set to further elevate the city's status as a world-class cruise destination, aligning with the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, which aims to solidify Dubai's position as one of the world's top three cities for business and leisure. With its remarkable growth, ongoing investments, and commitment to sustainability, Dubai is poised to continue making waves in the global cruise industry.

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