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Five cruise ships dock in a day for the first time in Dubai

19000 passengers and crew from various nationalities onboard 
Dubai to receive 71 cruise ships and 275000 cruise tourists in H1 2012 

Dubai, April 12, 2012: For the first time in its history, five cruise ships docked in Dubai on a single day reflecting the strong emergence of the emirate as the Middle East region's cruise tourism hub. This also marked the first-ever handling of such a large number of tourists by Dubai tourism industry on a single day. 

The cruise ships which docked at the Dubai Cruise Terminal – the Middle East's largest and well-equipped cruise tourism facility – in the Port Rashid complex are Queen Mary 2 -one of the world’s largest cruise ships- Costa Victoria, Costa Favolosa, Pacific Princess and Silver Whisper 

The cruise ships belonged to the UK, Italy, USA and Monaco, respectively. The cruise ships have on board 15,000 passengers and 4000 crew members. 

DTCM, which manages the Dubai Cruise Terminal organised a grand ceremony to welcome the cruise ships and to mark the major milestone in the history of cruise tourism in the emirate. The programme provided insights to the visitors about the emirate's rich culture and traditions while Dubai Police band gave performance. 

Mr.Hamad bin Mejren, DTCM Executive Director of Business Tourism and Dubai Cruise Terminal, expressed happiness at the distinction that Dubai cruise tourism industry had achieved with the arrival of such a large number of tourists on board the cruise ships. He said 71 cruise ships with 275,000 cruise tourists are expected to dock during the first half (January-June) of 2012. 

During October 28-December 15, 2011, 20 cruise ships with thousands of passengers and crew members were hosted by the Dubai Cruise Terminal in a two weeks period. Between April 10 and 13, Dubai Cruise Terminal received six cruise ships. 

DTCM hosted separate pre-arrival meetings for each cruise ship calling Dubai to discuss the ship requirements, operational matters, docking preferences, passenger turnaround operations and shore excursions. The meeting comprised representatives from the shipping agents, tour operators, ground handlers of the cruise liners and government departments such as Dubai Customs, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), DP World and Dubai Police. 

Since 2006, Costa and Aida have been using Dubai as a cruising hub and in 2010 Royal Caribbean also started using it as the regional hub. The German company, TUI, is due to start using Dubai as the hub from November, 2012. During the ITB-2012 in Germany last month, FTI, which entered the cruise tourism sector recently, announced that it will launch its FTI Berlin cruise ship from Dubai during the next cruise season. 

Cruise tourism has been growing steadily in Dubai due to DTCM efforts and growing interest of cruise liners to tap Dubai’s strong tourism infrastructure, air connectivity and strategic location at the crossroads of the East and West. Dubai has emerged as the destination of choice for many global cruise providers who are now using the emirate as a regional hub for their operations, creating a major boost to the growth of the region’s cruise tourism. 

Dubai’s Cruise Terminal reported five-fold growth since launching its new facility in 2010 – as well as being named the World’s Leading Cruise Port for the fifth consecutive year at the World Travel Awards 2011. Dubai bagged four awards at an industry event in Miami last month in recognition of the stellar performance of its cruise tourism sector and for the high standards of operations of the Dubai Cruise Terminal. The categories in which Dubai was selected are: Most efficient terminal operations, most efficient port services, Best turnaround port operations and most improved port facilities. 

The Dubai Cruise Terminal, which completed 10 years of successful operations last year, has been witnessing significant increase in the number of cruise ships and cruise passengers each passing year. DTCM established the Dubai Cruise Terminal in 2001 and the facility was expanded in 2010 to meet the growth expectations. It is being expanded further to accommodate five Ocean-going ships simultaneously. The terminal is managed and operated by the DTCM. 

In 2011, Dubai Cruise Terminal played host to 108 cruise ships with 396,554 passengers. This year, Dubai is expected to see 420, 000 cruise tourists to the emirate, giving a big push to the tourism growth and the economy. The projections for 2013 are 125 cruise ships and 450,000 passengers and in 2014 the number of cruise ships and passengers will be 135 and 475,000, respectively. In 2015, this number will go up to 145 cruise ships and 500,000 passengers.

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