DUBAI – For the first time in its history, DP World’s Dubai Cruise Terminal has welcomed four mega cruise ships at the same time, underlining its ability to cater to the rapid growth of cruise tourism in the city.
The four vessels, which can carry more than 9,000 passengers, called at Port Rashid over a 24-hour period and were berthed simultaneously.
Cruise tourism has been growing swiftly in Dubai. The award-winning Dubai Cruise Terminal experienced a 30 per cent growth in tourist traffic between 2009 and 2010, from 100 ships and 260,000 passengers to 120 ships and more than 390,000 passengers. The pattern continued in 2011, with 135 cruise vessel calls and 375,000 passengers visiting, according to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, or DTCM. In light of the growing demand, DP World is expanding the existing terminal facilities to serve as many as five cruise ships at one time and plans to eventually expand the terminal to be able to serve as many as seven cruise vessels simultaneously.
Mohammed Al Muallem, senior vice-president and managing director of DP World, UAE Region, said: “Dubai Cruise Terminal’s success in handling four mega passenger vessels at one time confirms Port Rashid’s ability to embrace the growth in cruise tourism in Dubai. This event demonstrates the cruise terminal’s capacity and the readiness of its infrastructure to cater to multiple large cruise vessels at once. DP World is committed to investing long term in the transformation of Port Rashid into the region’s cruise destination of choice with the support and close cooperation of DTCM, our strategic partner in promoting cruise tourism in Dubai.”
Mohammed Al Mannaei, director of Port Rashid at DP World, UAE Region, said: “Accommodating four cruise vessels and handling many thousands of passengers simultaneously was a challenge we were ready for at the port and we succeeded in ensuring smooth anchorage for the large vessels. I would like to thank all those involved for their commitment and cooperation in carrying out this operation.”
Just two weeks ago Dubai Cruise Terminal was voted, for the fifth time, the World’s Leading Cruise Port at the prestigious World Travel Awards 2011, competing against 17 regional winners for the honour.