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Dubai to receive largest cruise ships in the world

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Costa Favalosa and Aida Blu will offer weekly regional itinerary with Dubai as home port

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) organised a grand welcome ceremony at the Dubai Cruise Terminal to mark the maiden calls of   Costa Favalosa and Aida Blu cruise ships to Dubai.

The newly-inducted cruise ships will offer weekly regional itinerary with Dubai as the home port, it was announced at a ceremony attended by  senior officials of Dubai Customs, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), DP World and World Security at the terminal and DTCM Director-General, Khalid A bin Sulayem, among others.

Costa Favalosa is a new ship of Costa Crociere of Italy, inaugurated on July 2, 2011 in Trieste. The 114,500 tonnage ship has a carrying capacity of 3800 passengers and 1110 crew. Aida Blu is a new ship from Aida Cruises, a German cruise liner, with a capacity to carry 2050 passengers and 607 crew members.

Costa Favalosa and Aida Blu will operate weekly cruise itinerary in the Arabian Gulf with Dubai as their home port. Favalosa will bring more than 100,000 passengers in 19 calls to Dubai and Aida Blu will account for more than 50,000 cruise passengers to Dubai in 13 calls to Dubai in the 2011/12 cruise season.

Dubai will close this year by receiving 135 cruise ships with 375,000 tourists while 2012 is expected to bring in 150 cruise ships with about 425,000 passengers.

A tour of the ships was also organised for media representatives. Addressing a Press conference, Hamad bin Mejren, DTCM Executive Director for Business Tourism, said: “It has been over a decade since DTCM began to promote cruise tourism to Dubai. Our continued efforts in conjunction with our 18 overseas representative offices and the opening of the first state-of-the-art cruise terminal in Dubai in 2001 began to draw the attention of the cruise lines around the world when we received 17 ship calls and 6,900 passengers in the first year.”

He said DTCM was already in collaboration with its partners, DP World, to  build additional cruise terminal facilities to cater the anticipated growth of the business. We forecast 150 ship calls with a passenger turnaround of more than 600,000 passengers by 2015, he added. 

© Emirates 24|7 2011


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