Imagine Cruising Dubai, the cruise specialist travel agency acquired by dnata, is offering a unique cruise opportunity to GCC residents who want to try out a cruise experience without committing to a full week at sea.
The one-night cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is exclusively for the Dubai and wider GCC cruise market and includes all the trappings of a full cruise (such as three-course meals, Broadway-style entertainment and even a free outside to balcony cabin upgrade).
It provides the local cruise market with a unique opportunity to take a short cruise break at a fraction of the cost of a full cruise, while also giving new-to-cruise passengers the chance to try out the experience.
“We have established strong cruise interest in the region,” says Peter Shanks, development director, Imagine Cruising. “We have established strong cruise interest in the region.”
This unique cruise experience is an attempt to translate that cruise interest into a larger source market for cruises in the Middle East.
Around 150,000 GCC nationals take a cruise each year, representing less than 1% of the global cruise market (compared to 40% for North America for example).
Part of the reason that the Middle East source market remain relatively small is that residents of the Arabian Gulf countries don’t like cruising in their own backyard, they prefer Europe and the Med, while Muslim passengers have specific requirements that not many cruise lines are able to meet.
However, the number one reason is a lack of awareness among the residents of the Middle East about the cruise options available to them.
The GCC is a heavily under-penetrated cruise market, by making it easier for residents to try out cruising with a one-night mini-break, Imagine Cruising is betting on those passengers enjoying the experience so much that book a longer voyage in future.
According to the FCCA, a not-for-profit trade organisation composed of 19 cruise line operating more than 100 vessels, 92% of cruise passengers return for another cruise when booking their next holiday.
The one-night Dubai to Abu Dhabi cruise aboard MSC Splendida departs March 15th, 2018, and costs AED699 per person.
Categories: Middle East Cruise News