Category Archives: Cruises

Over 50 industry leaders attend Middle East Yacht Conference 2018

His Excellency Mohammed H. Alshaali (left) and Dr Mohammed Al Barwani (right)

The relaxing of maritime laws and an ever-growing tourist offering have been instrumental in supporting the UAE in its growth as an international superyacht and charter market. That was the view of His Excellency Mohammed H Alshaali, Chairman, Gulf Craft, as he spoke at the region’s 12th Middle East Yacht Conference. Organised by Dubai International Boat Show, the conference gathered more than 50 leaders from across government, business and tourism to dissect how both the yachting industry and the GCC’s regulatory authorities are working together to reinvigorate the region as a global yachting hub. Four panels of distinguished speakers agreed that recent changes to maritime and tourist laws were changing the standing of the Middle East – Dubai in particular – as a chartering hotspot. But while he conceded that the superyacht market was turning in favour of the chartering industry, Alshaali insisted that work still needs to be done to solidify the region’s yachting reputation. He said, “The revising of regulations such as the recent extension of crew visas is very important. I am glad that a lot of things are being looked at in regards to the regulations of visiting yachts, superyachts, crew and captains. But still there are challenges to overcome. Other countries rely on this type of tourism, and we should do the same.” Asked about his business outlook on the industry, Alshaali said, “I have seen growth in the region’s industry in regards to people shifting from mid-sized to larger yachts. There are more people in the market for bigger yachts nowadays. I think the market in the region is stable. That allows us to look further towards the international market, where we are seeing …

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Dubai Maritime City Authority attends Middle East Yacht Conference 2018

Dubai MArine image spokesperson_4X3

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has joined the Middle East Yacht Conference 2018 to explore the future of luxury yachts alongside the requirements of the 21st century. The DMCA representatives, together with a group of decision makers, regional and international experts, and industry leaders, looked into key emerging trends and future prospects for the luxury yacht industry at the local and regional levels. Apart from highlighting trends over the past decade, the 12th edition gave the attendees a platform to discuss ways to enhance confidence in the Middle East’s luxury yacht industry through  relevant marketing strategies. Hamed Hassan, Director – Registration and Licensing, DMCA, said, “The luxury yacht sector has proved to be a key contributor to Dubai’s achievements as one of the five most competitive and attractive maritime clusters in the world, thereby boosting the growth of the local maritime sector. The local maritime segment currently hosts more than 7,400 companies and at least 13,000 maritime and investment activities, contributing to the creation of over 76,000 jobs. Expectations are high that the sector’s share in the emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) will reach 25 per cent over the next few years. Overall, the total value of the maritime sector in the UAE is expected to hit the USD 66-billion target by the end of 2018 and the value of the leisure boat industry will range between USD 1.3 billion and USD  1.5 billion. The UAE ranked ninth worldwide in the number of luxury yachts manufactured so far this year, solidifying further its leading position in the leisure maritime sector. To date, we have locally implemented 14 new luxury yacht projects with a combined length of 611 meters.”

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Air Arabia selects Thales for its fleet electronic flight bag system

Air Arabia selects Thales for its fleet Electronic Flight Bag system

Air Arabia has selected Thales for its new Aviobook Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) system that allows pilots to operate efficiently in the cockpit with digital manuals and charts. The signing happened at the side-lines of Bahrain International Airshow that took place this week in Bahrain. Air Arabia had already implemented the Aviobook electronic flight bag system years back that helped the airline reduce the amount of paper required to be carried on board while bringing robust efficiency into its operations. Thales Pads will now replace existing electronic devices on board ensuring latest technology is adopted. The new EFB, lighter in weight, includes enhanced features and provides highest level of reliability and performance on board. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said, “Efficiency has been at the heart of Air Arabia operations since the carrier launch 15 years ago. Adopting the Thales Pads into our cockpit reflects Air Arabia’s innovative approach towards investing in technology and business intelligence to continue driving operational reliability and efficiency higher. We look forward to working with Thales to successfully implement this new project”. Roger Daix, VP-Thales, Middle East, said, “Thales is proud to have been selected by Air Arabia, and we are honoured to equip the airline with the new Aviobook electronic flight bag system. This selection represents a major win for Thales in the Middle East reinforcing our presence within the region. Thales is committed to support Air Arabia in driving innovation at the highest standards.”

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Dubai set to become global capital for luxury yachts marinas

Dubai Harbour

In partnership with Dubai Holding, Meraas has signed an agreement with D-Marin to attract international investments in the yacht sector and various supporting sectors to promote Dubai as the preferred destination for luxury yachting and boating internationally.  The joint venture agreement was signed at MB92 premises in Barcelona by His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman, Meraas and Chairman, Dubai Holding; and Ferit Şahenk, Chairman, Doğuş Group. The newly-established joint venture will manage and operate the existing and future marinas being developed by Meraas and Dubai Holding, including marinas in Port de la Mer, Dubai Harbour and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The partnership seeks to also establish a regional centre with global standard for renovation, service and maintenance of luxury yachts and boats in Dubai, similar to D-Marin backed MB92, which is currently serviced by branches in Barcelona, Spain and La Ciotat, France. Al Habbai said, “The success of the two companies in attracting a global operator such as D-Marin to invest in the luxury marinas sector is aligned to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister, the UAE and Ruler, Dubai, to promote Dubai as a leading international tourist destination and position the UAE at the forefront of world’s most business-friendly countries. This agreement will contribute to attracting new foreign investment to Dubai, which has high rates of direct investment growth in high value sectors.”

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RTA launches first electric service in Dubai Creek

RTA tourist transport in Ras Al Khor

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched the first electric service in Dubai Creek, which starts from Al Seef, Baniyas and Festival City as part of its efforts to expand the maritime transport network and enhance the tourism sector in Dubai. Nazem Faisal, Director of Maritime Transport at the Public Transport Agency, said, “The launch of the maritime transport service in Ebraat is achieving several objectives, including expansion of the maritime transport network and revitalizing the tourist side of the Dubai Creek because of its tourism heritage, which attracts more The service was launched in cooperation with a number of developers and strategic partners. Customers can pay 60 dirhams for a half hour trip or 120 dirhams For One piece. He added that the launch of the Ibra electric service enhances the RTA’s directions using clean energy in the city. Transportation, which provides an ideal marine environment, and embodies the fifth strategic objective “Sustainability and Environmental Safety”.

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‘Dubai Cruise Terminal’ approved as main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai

dubai cruise terminal

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has said that mega projects being implemented in the UAE are reinforcing the country’s profile globally as a model for sustainable growth driven by diversification, innovation and productive partnerships with the private sector. He also said the tourism sector is key to the development of the UAE’s economy, due to the value it adds through key projects and its ability to attract millions of visitors every year. “We welcome visitors from across the world and provide them with an exceptional tourism experiences. We want them to leave with lasting memories that they can share in their countries and communities. The continuous development of infrastructure has enabled our country to be a destination of choice in the region. Supported by the talent and creativity of our people, I am confident that we will be able to establish global leadership in several sectors. The UAE will continue to be a symbol of progress and prosperity,” Sheikh Mohammed added. His remarks came as he approved the ‘Dubai Cruise Terminal’ as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai. His Highness also attended the signing ceremony of a strategic partnership agreement between Meraas and Carnival Corporation & plc that aims to transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub.

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Dubai Maritime City partners with Dubai Tourism to boost maritime traffic

Maritime

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) supported by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism)  has organised a workshop for key government entities, yacht operators and manufacturers as part of wider efforts to develop Dubai’s maritime industry. The workshop was held following the announcement of the economic stimulus by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai to reinforce Dubai’s economy. This important sector has significant potential to grow by expanding into the lucrative luxury yachts sector plus ensuring leisure maritime pursuits are easier to enjoy with the overall aim to further broaden Dubai’s tourism offering. With the global yacht industry expected to reach $74.7 billion by 20221, driven by luxury cruising among high net worth individuals, Dubai aims to be well-placed to ensure maritime regulations and infrastructure match the demanding expectations of this significant sector. Already the world’s fourth most visited city2, Dubai’s existing tourism proposition is hugely attractive for global visitors and is perfectly positioned to capture an increasing share of the high-end superyacht market. The leisure maritime sector is also expected to continue on an upward curve due to an easing of regulations encouraging recreational boating activities. Local stakeholders have highlighted a number of challenges that are being addressed to facilitate easier access and drive increased visitation from maritime enthusiasts who seek sea based experiences.

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Dubai signs MoU at ATM to launch Dubai Cruise Committee

Representatives of Dubai Cruise Committee

In keeping with its strategy to receive 1 million cruise tourists by 2020-21, Dubai Cruise Tourism has signed an MoU at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to launch the Dubai Cruise Committee, which confirms the implementation of a collaborative framework designed to consolidate the city’s position as ‘cruise hub of the region’. The Dubai Cruise Committee is a strategic network of leading industry partners; Dubai Tourism, DP World UAE Region FZE, Emirates Airline, The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai, and Dubai Customs. This newly-signed MoU demonstrates each organisation’s commitment to work together to increase the number of cruise tourists to Dubai. As well as agreeing to work together to sustain the emirate’s position as a leading winter cruise destination, the Dubai Cruise Committee discussed and approved business development strategies to secure long term contracts with existing clients and attract new cruise lines to use the emirate as their winter home port in the region. The committee also agreed to work to extend Dubai’s cruise season further into the summer months, to appeal to additional market segments around the world. Commenting on the newly-signed MoU, Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President, Dubai Tourism, said, “Dubai has been instrumental in pioneering cruise tourism in the region, and our success could not have been achieved without our close working relationships with both the public and private sectors. This landmark agreement signed by the Dubai Cruise Committee will ensure that international cruise lines will receive an end-to-end support for their plans in Dubai.”

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Dubai to welcome one million cruise tourists by 2020

Hamad Bin Mejren JPG

Highlighting Dubai’s position as a leading winter cruise destination, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is on track to welcome 1 million cruise tourists by 2020-21. DTCM also emphasised on the city’s growing popularity as a global cruise destination viable for pre-cruise and post-cruise stopovers, and an apt homeport in the region at the Seatrade Cruise Global in Florida, USA, a leading event for the cruise industry. Exhibited under the Cruise Arabia banner, Dubai Tourism brought together the tourism authorities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain on a unified stand with the goal of promoting the region as a whole, and improving business sustainability and development. The three-day event also saw networking and business opportunities with leading brands in the global cruise industry, to discuss deployments and homeporting opportunities in Dubai to heighten the awareness of the destination’s cruise offerings to a global audience. Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President, Dubai Tourism, said, “Cruise Tourism is certainly a key industry for the Gulf and we are dedicated to educating consumers around the world about the region as a key winter cruising destination. We have been working to highlight Dubai’s ease of accessibility with the latest introduction of a multi-entry UAE visit visa exclusively for cruise tourists, as well as simplified immigration and cruise-specific visa procedures on our online portals.”

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Cruise Arabia & Abu Dhabi tourism participate at Seatrade Cruise Global in Florida

Cruise Arabia and the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Lead Delegation Participating in SeaTrade Cruise Global in Florida, USA 3

Cruise Arabia, in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), spearheaded the Abu Dhabi delegation that recently participated at Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Abu Dhabi’s participation in this international event is just one in a series of initiatives aimed at further promoting the cruise tourism sector in the Arabian Gulf and positioning Abu Dhabi as the leading cruise destination in the lead up to the 2018-19 cruise season. The Abu Dhabi delegation included Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Airways and the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi. Seatrade Cruise Global is the leading annual global business-to-business event for the cruise industry. Bringing together buyers and suppliers for a four-day conference and three-day exhibition, the forum draws more than 11,000 registered attendees, over 700 exhibiting companies from 113 countries and more than 300 international journalists to become the cruise industry’s epicentre of ideas, products and services.

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