The tourism authorities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain exhibited together at the recent Seatrade Europe event in Hamburg, Germany, where they showcased the UAE and Bahrain as ideal winter cruise destinations.
The Seatrade Europe event was held during a time of year when major cruise lines begin planning their subsequent season ship deployments and the UAE and Bahrain wanted to try and entice them to homeport more cruise ships in the Arabian Gulf.
“Our participation at Seatrade Europe came at the opportune time when cruise lines traditionally hold their discussions with destinations and service providers to plan for the subsequent seasons,” said Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism. “We are pleased to have participated in the event under the Cruise Arabia banner, as it underlines the members’ commitment to further develop the cruise tourism business in the region.”
Dubai wants to attract more passengers to the region, positioning it as a fly-cruise hub, and has for the past several years been targeting the European and Indian cruise markets. These efforts have paid off, with Germany, the UK and India now positioned as the primary source markets for Middle East cruises.
Dubai has become the winter homeport for multiple international cruise lines operating regular cruise itineraries out of Dubai of 5 nights (Costa Cruises), 7 nights (Costa, MSC, TUI and AIDA Cruises) to 14 nights and longer (Celebrity Cruises).
Dubai has become a popular cruise destination for international cruise lines and cruise tourists, and is now traditionally used as a turnaround port on the Eastward and Westward legs of most cruise line’s World Cruise itineraries.
Its position as the cruise hub of the region is affirmed by the number of overnight ship calls.
In the coming 2017/18 cruise season (running from November to March), more than 20 major cruise lines will use Dubai as a turnaround port.