Cruise Arabia & Africa discussed the Dubai Harbour project’s impact on cruise tourism in the region earlier this year, and now there are reports that the project is seeing results already with four of the world’s largest cruise lines considering homeporting in Dubai.
The Dubai Harbour Project is a waterfront destination that will be 20-million square feet in size, or roughly the size of the Principality of Monaco, and will seek to put Dubai on the map as the Monaco of the Middle East.
The development will include a cruise terminal capable of berthing the largest cruise ships in the world.
Nestled between Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) and Palm Island, the new cruise terminal at Dubai Harbour will give cruise passengers direct access to the city’s major tourist attractions, as the development will be integrated with Skydive Dubai, the Dubai International Marine Club and will sit on the doorstep of JBR and the Palm Jumeirah.
The new development will also include a shopping mall covering 3.5 million sq. feet, an events arena, luxurious residential buildings, hotels, offices, retail stores, public services, restaurants and cafes and ‘Dubai Lighthouse’, which appears to be Dubai’s modern nod to the fabled Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Meraas are spearheading the development and operation of the new tourist, retail and residential island and there are reports that the company has commenced discussions with four of the leading global cruise lines with the aim of offering a strong value proposition for the cruise sector.
This information comes via a press release sent out by Dubai Cruise Tourism, the official cruise arm of the Dubai Tourism department. The world’s four leading cruise lines are Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises.
MSC Cruises already homeport in the Middle East every winter, suggesting they may be considering switching out Port Rashid and Dubai Cruise Terminal for Dubai Harbour once it is ready.
Royal Caribbean sailed a new Middle East cruise season out of Dubai this year, but an official with the cruise line said it would likely only return after 2019 (the same year Dubai Harbour is scheduled to launch).