Middle East Cruise News

Dubai enters Top 50 busiest cruise ports, on track for Top 30 by 2020 cruise season

With its current 2019/2020 cruise season, Dubai has become one of the Top 50 busiest cruise ports in the world, welcoming more than 800,000 cruise tourists between November, 2019 and March, 2020.

The port is already home to Dubai Cruise Terminal 2 and Dubai Cruise Terminal 3 (officially called the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal). T3 is the biggest cruise terminal in the world in term of size and handling capacity.

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That infrastructure was deployed in 2014 when Dubai cruise tourism officials set a 1-million cruise passenger target for the city by 2020, a target it is on track to achieve in the 2020/21 cruise season.

“Dubai is fast-becoming a favoured cruise destination amongst international cruise lines and cruise tourists, and we are dedicated to showcasing the robust growth of the city as an established cruise hub for the wider region,” said Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President, Stakeholders, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

“This season, every weekend from December, 2018 through to March, 2019 we will have four ships in-port simultaneously,” he said, which is a reflection of the growth of the port as a cruise destination, as well as the infrastructure in place for next year’s even bigger cruise season.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director-general, Dubai Customs, has previously indicated to Cruise Arabia & Africa that all the necessary capacity is already in place for Port Rashid to handle 1-million cruise tourists in 2020.

Since the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal was launched, it has received 2.3-million cruise passengers, according to port operator DP World, which says the numbers have been growing exponentially.

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In 2014, 233,000 cruise tourists visited Dubai aboard 94 cruise itineraries. That number ballooned to 600,000 in 2017 with 120 itineraries, and more than 800,000 in 2018.

For the 2019/2020 cruise season between November, 2019 and March, 2020, a record number of eight cruise lines will homeport nine cruise ships in the city, while a total of 212 cruise itinerary will feature Dubai as a departure port this year.

With more than 1-million cruise tourists visiting the city and cruising from it in the 2020/21 season, Dubai will become one of the Top 30 cruise ports in the world according to the List of Busiest Cruise Ports in the World.

This will put it ahead of Monaco, Tampa in Florida and even the Port of New Orleans, according to current data.

“DP World’s cruise terminals can accommodate up to seven cruise ships at a time carrying more than 18,000 passengers,” said Mohamed Abdulaziz Al Mannaei, Executive Director Mina Rashid and CEO of P&O Marinas. “This number of cruise visitors arriving in one day can be smoothly handled with 36 big buses able to park in the 70,000sqm car park, as well as 150 taxis.”

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