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New cruise alliance launched to promote Gulf ports 

Officials at the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding at ITB Berlin travel trade convention

Cruise Arabia, a new alliance formed by Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Oman’s maritime and tourism authorities, is to position the Arabian Gulf as a global cruise destination.

The alliance solidified its commitment through a memorandum of understanding signed at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin industry event in Germany.

The alliance will foster partnerships to enhance the cruise experience for passengers, attract more cruise liners to the region, improve infrastructure at ports, and drive economic growth in the regional cruise tourism sector. 

They will also work to improve stakeholder relations and conduct joint marketing efforts on both regional and international fronts.

Dubai has been a significant player in the Cruise Arabia alliance, working closely with its partners to establish an interconnected and integrated regional cruise service. 

“The Cruise Arabia alliance will further reinforce Dubai’s position as the cruise hub of the region, aligned with the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, to further consolidate the emirate’s status as one of the top three global cities for business and leisure,” said Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing.

Dubai has two cruise ports – Mina Rashid (Port Rashid) and Dubai Harbour – which can accommodate nine mega-cruise vessels simultaneously.

The emirate’s 2023-2024 winter cruise was launched on October 28, 2023, with the arrival of the luxury liner Mein Schiff 2, docking at the Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal at Mina Rashid. 

Mina Rashid can handle seven mega-cruise vessels or 25,000 passengers at the same time, while the Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal can handle 14,000 passengers daily.  

Inaugurated in 2021, Dubai Harbour has two terminals on a 910 metre quay. The terminal received 300,000 passengers in the 2022-2023 season, a fourfold increase from its debut season, with a 40 percent increase in ship calls.

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