Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing has undertaken a number of road shows across India in an effort to encourage more Indians to take Arabian Gulf cruises from Dubai.
The number of Indian visitors to Dubai crossed the one million mark for the first time over a six-month period between January and June 2017, registering an increase of 21 per cent over the same period last year.
To encourage more Indian tourists to visit the emirate, the UAE has extended visas-on-arrival to Indian nationals with a valid American visa or Green Card.
The series of roadshows were held in July and saw Dubai cruise officials stopping in five major Indian cities, namely Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
Key Indian travel trade partners and media were also involved, including officials from Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises.
The involvement of Royal Caribbean is interesting as the cruise line last year sailed its first Arabian Gulf cruise season out of Dubai since 2008.
An official with the cruise line told Cruise Arabia & Africa at the time that the line would not be returning to the Middle East in 2018, but might do so in the following cruise season.
Royal Caribbean’s involvement in the Indian road show this year therefore raises the question of whether they are preparing for a 2019/2020 Dubai cruise season.
Cruise Arabia & Africa has reached out to Royal Caribbean for comment.