Category Archives: Cruises

Sharjah expects 72,000 cruisers during 2016/2017 season


Sharjah’s east coast port of Khorfakkan is expected to welcome 28 luxury cruise ships disembarking some 72,000 tourists during the 2016/2017 cruise season, according to Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). Among the vessels expected, three international cruise ships will make their maiden calls at Khorfakkan, while the management of US-based luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises are meeting the SCTDA and visiting tourist destinations across in Sharjah emirate this month.TUI Cruises, Thomson Cruises and MSC Cruises all have cruise ships visiting Sharjah this season. The 15 deck, 293 metre TUI Mein Schiff 3, equipped to carry 2,500 passengers and 1,000 crew, arrived in Sharah on 10 December, carrying mostly German nationals. Thomson Celebration, a 10 deck, 215 metre vessel able to carry about 1,800 passengers and crew will visit Sharjah on 16 December carrying passengers from the UK and Europe. Meanwhile, MSC Fantasia, MSC Fantasia flagship 18 deck, 333 metre luxury cruise ship able to carry about 5,700 passengers and crew, will disembark at Khorfakkan on 21 December.

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Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum on Dec 13 & 14


Abu Dhabi is set to host 15 of the world’s leading cruise line executives and representatives who join an impressive line-up of industry speakers for this year’s Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, hosted by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi). The Cruise Forum, scheduled for December 13 and 14, 2016, at the Four Season Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, includes a number of dynamic talks focusing on current trends, topics and talking-points confronting the region. Delivered by an outstanding line-up of cruise industry leaders, each session promises to feature frank, lively and honest debate. 15 cruise line representations will join the discussions from: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises; MSC Cruises; Cruise & Maritime Voyages; Crystal Cruises; MSC Cruises; Carnival Australia; Thomson Cruises; TUI Cruises GmbH; Silversea Cruises; Carnival Corporation & plc; and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

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Celebrity Constellation calls on Dubai


Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), in collaboration with Celebrity Cruises, commemorated the inaugural visit to Dubai of Celebrity Constellation during her maiden voyage in the region. Marking the occasion at a welcome reception, held at Dubai Cruise Terminal in Mina Rashid were Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, Mohammed Al Mannaei, Director of Mina Rashid, DP World and Lakshmi Durai, CEO of Travel Matrix, the Middle East representative for Celebrity Cruises. Attended by dignitaries from Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, Environment Health and Safety (Trakhees) and PCFC Security, the arrival of Celebrity Constellation commenced with a traditional Plaques and Keys ceremony held aboard the luxury cruise liner, in which an honorary plaque was exchanged between government dignitaries and the ship’s captain. Event attendees were then invited on a tour of the 13-deck-high vessel, to experience the entertainment, culinary and wellness offerings available on board. Celebrity Constellation is the latest premium cruise ship to visit Dubai. The 91,000-tonne, 294-metre-long vessel features extensive family amenities, with some of the most expansive children’s facilities in the Celebrity fleet. The luxury liner is set to sail two nine-night cruises within the UAE and Oman, as well as longer trips from the UAE that follow the ancient Spice Route to the Indian cities of Cochin, Mangalore, Goa and Mumbai, before returning to home port in the UAE. The ship is scheduled to have four overnight and six day calls to Dubai between 29 November 2016 and 16 April 2017, contributing over 15,000 cruise tourists towards the record number of 600,000 expected to visit Dubai in the 2016/2017 cruise season. These projected numbers follow the 19% season-on-season increase …

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Dubai Cruise Terminal expects 600,000 tourists in 2016-17

Cruise Terminal

Following a successful 2015/2016 run, which saw passenger numbers grow by 19 per cent and ship calls increase by 24 per cent compared to the previous year, two new lines — Norwegian Cruise Line and Thomson Cruises — are making their debut in the region with their maiden call to Dubai Cruise Terminal this season. Thomson Cruises will be the first ever UK-based cruise line to home port in Dubai contributing over 12 calls and over 25,000 cruise tourists to Dubai this season. The new season is projected to record an 18 per cent increase in ship calls, leading to 157 ship calls and an estimated 600,000 cruise tourists arriving in the city. Dubai Cruise has experienced significant growth since 2014, after the implementation of the multiple-entry UAE visa, which opened up potential emerging source markets such as India, China, South America and Russia. With over 23 of the world’s leading cruise operators — including six home-porting lines — anchoring in Dubai for an overnight stay or passenger turn-around, and an estimated 10 maiden ship calls, the 2016/2017 season is expected to continue the  upward trajectory, contributing to Dubai’s strategic goal of achieving 20 million visitors per year by 2020.

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Bahrain Tourism promotes kingdom in Spain

Brand Bahrain Logo

A delegation from the Kingdom of Bahrain took part in the ‘Seatrade Cruise Med’ held between September 21-23, in Tenerife, Spain, with an aim of further promoting the Kingdom as a tourism destination. The delegation included Yousif Al Khan, Director of Tourism Marketing and Promotions at the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority and Amal Jamal from the Economic Development Board (EDB). The Bahraini representative’s participation in the event came as a part of a comprehensive team representing the Gulf region under the name of ‘Cruise Arabia’. “The main aim behind our participation in the Seatrade Cruise Med is to promote the Kingdom as a destination for cruises in order to increase the number of inbound tourists and further develop the industry and overall national economy,” said Khan. Further commenting on the participation, Executive Director Marketing and Communications at the EDB, Vivian Jamal said, “Last year, 40,000 tourists visited Bahrain through cruise ships. The Seatrade Cruise Med is one of the most important global cruise events and is the right platform to promote Bahrain as a destination among exhibitors from all around the globe.” The participation is in line’s the Kingdom’s tourism strategy launched earlier this year under the brand, ‘Ours. Yours’. The strategy, launched by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority in cooperation with the EDB, focuses on four pillars; awareness, attraction, access and accommodation. A key integral component of the strategy is to develop the sea ports in the Kingdom in order to further attract yachts and cruise ships.

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Dubai Maritime promotes marine and leisure sector


The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) revealed the formation of RASEINA Maritime Domestic & Leisure Working Group, a first of its kind in the UAE, which aims to promote Dubai’s marine and leisure sector activities. The group has been created in a push to advance the Maritime Sector Strategy and further lead Dubai into becoming one of the world’s most important maritime centers. It forms part of DMCA’s efforts to implement strategic programmes and innovative projects highlighting the emirate’s maritime services and effectively promote marine and leisure sector in Dubai, given its leading role in the local maritime sector. The first meeting, which was organized by DMCA, saw the review of key topics covered in the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy and identified the important goals to be achieved by the marine leisure sector as part of their continuing support to the emirate in becoming a pioneering global maritime hub. Participants also discussed the current status of the maritime leisure sector in Dubai and the challenges and opportunities within. They also talked about the joint work between the private and public sectors and the related guidelines, standards and procedures that can help in achieving the best results and the application of best practices to achieve sustainability of the sector and increase its level of competitiveness. Amer Ali, Executive Director of DMCA, said that the decree paves the way for a new era of excellence in terms of promoting the competitive advantages of Dubai on the global marine leisure and recreational activities. He noted that the group is one of the best examples of active partnership between the government and private sectors, which clearly support national efforts towards developing, regulating and promoting …

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Al Wasl Dhow partners with Ramada Hotels


Al Wasl Dhow has launched its new biggest dhow in Dubai Marina, in partnership with Iftikhar Hamdani, Cluster General Manager, Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman and Ramada Beach Hotel Ajman. Al Wasl, owned by Ishrat Ali Khan and comprised of Al Wasl Dhow, Al Wasl Yachts, Asia Pacific Travel and Tourism, and Oasis Palm Tourism, is a prominent excursion provider in Dubai. Under the supervision of Hamdani, internationally reputed chefs will create masterpiece dishes for guests onboard the Al Wasl, so that they could enjoy the dhow cruise dinner along Dubai Marina. These chefs will create fusion dishes from European, Asian, and Arabian cuisines which offers a five star dining experience, having multiple choices from salads, soups, main course, desserts, and beverages. Al Wasl Dhow is the first five-star dining dhow which is the perfect match for Dubai Marina. Combining sophisticated class with modern facilities. It is an ideal venue for wedding parties, family get together events and business launches/events. It is operated on daily basis in the evening.

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Abu Dhabi cruise terminal sees 16% rise in visitors

Cruise Terminal

The Abu Dhabi cruise terminal recently announced that it witnessed an increase of 16% in passenger numbers and 20% jump in vessel calls. The cruise terminal welcomed 231,660 tourists during 2015-16 cruise season compared to 35,366 passengers 10 years ago at Zayed Port, Abu Dhabi Ports which manages the terminal said in a statement, as reported by Gulf News. “This impressive double-digit growth in the face of economic headwinds is a remarkable achievement and further strengthens Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal’s role in boosting the country’s tourism industry,” said captain Mohammad Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports. “We are working closely with our strategic partners to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position as a major global destination and attract international cruise liners to not only call at Abu Dhabi as part of their itinerary but also to choose the emirate as their starting point for regional cruises by making it their homeport,” he added. According to Abu Dhabi Ports, 113 cruise ships called at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal during the 2015-16 season, marking a 20% growth over the 94 ships that docked at Zayed Port during the 2014-15 season. Tourists from Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom made up 80 per cent of cruise visitors to Abu Dhabi during the cruise season.

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Ovation of the Seas docks at Dubai Cruise Terminal

Ovation of the Seas, with its 18 decks and extraordinary adventures onboard, is a brand new ship from Royal Caribbean and the first of the new ships to sail into Southampton this season.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 10, 2016. Photo credit should read: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The inaugural visit to Dubai of Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s third Quantum-class ship, was met with much enthusiasm, as onlookers marvelled at the magnificent vessel on its maiden voyage. The third ship of its kind, Ovation of the Seas stopped at Dubai Cruise Terminal 3 on its way from Barcelona to Singapore. The occasion was marked by Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, Dubai Tourism, along with a selection of dignitaries from Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs, DP World, PCFC Security and representatives from the ship’s agency M/S Wilhelmsen Ship Services and ground handlers M/S. Arabian Adventures who presented the ship’s captain, Flemming Nielsen, with an honorary plaque at a special ceremony held on board the ship. Also in attendance at the event were Dr. Abdulaziz Aloshban, Managing Director of Royal Caribbean Arabia, and Abby Penlington, Marketing & Communications Manager, International Representatives – EMEA.

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