The number of passengers to Dubai via the cruise industry is expected to increase by 50,000 year-on-year for the forecast period until 2015, according to Majid Al Marri, director – hotel classification, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
Speaking at Wednesday’s Great GM Debate, hosted by Hotelier Middle East, Al Marri said that this year’s cruise season, ending late summer 2011, is expected to bring a 425,000 passengers to the emirate via 120 cruise ships.
DTCM expects cruise passengers to increase to 135 ships with 475,000 passengers in 2012; 150 ships with 525 passengers in 2013; 165 ships with 575,000 passengers in 2014, and 180 ships with 625,000 passengers in 2015.
“The establishment of Dubai Cruise Terminal in March 2001 marks a milestone in the history of cruise tourism in the region. It opened the doors to a gulf of opportuntiies for the industry,” said Al Marri in a keynote speech at the region’s largest networking event for general managers.
“In 2009, a total of 87 cruise ships visited Dubai, bringing in 262,740 passengers and by the end of 2010, a total of 103 cruise ships would have visited Dubai, bringing in 390,225 passengers,” he added.