Dubai Cruise Tourism has revealed that 600,000 tourists are projected to arrive in Dubai via 157 ship calls, recording an 18% increase over previous season.
Following a successful 2015/2016 run, which saw passenger numbers grow by 19% and ship calls increase by 24% compared to the previous year, two new lines – Norwegian Cruise Line and Thomson Cruises are making their debut in the region during the new cruise year, with their maiden call to Dubai this season. Thomson Cruises will be the first ever UK-based cruise line to home port in Dubai contributing over 12 calls and over 25,000 cruise tourists to Dubai this season.
The new season is projected to record an 18% increase in ship calls, leading to 157 ship calls and an estimated 600,000 cruise tourists arriving in the city.
Since 2014, Dubai Cruise has experienced significant growth following the implementation of the Multiple Entry UAE visa, which opened up to new source markets such as India, China, South America and Russia. With over 23 of the world’s leading cruise operators, – including six home porting lines anchoring in Dubai for an overnight stay. The 2016/2017 season is expected to continue the upward trajectory, contributing to Dubai’s strategic goal of achieving 20 million visitors per year by 2020.
Commenting on the role Dubai Cruise has played in bolstering the efforts to advance the city’s tourism credentials, Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism said: “Through our cruise tourism strategy, we aim to bring in 1 million tourists to Dubai by 2020 and we are heading in the right direction, having welcomed over half-a-million cruise tourists to Dubai last season. Dubai’s growing popularity as a destination is underpinned by the diversity of its attractions as well as its accessibility. With such a broad market of visitors choosing the emirate, cruise offers travellers the chance to view the city from a different perspective.”
As part of its strategy to advance cruise tourism’s contribution to the overall tourism strategy, Dubai Cruise Tourism is working in collaboration with Emirates Airlines, DP World, Dubai Customs, Dubai Immigration and other relevant stakeholders in order to provide comprehensive support and increase flexibility for the cruise lines and travellers.