February start for Dubai's new cruise terminal

The new terminal will be equipped to handle four ships at one time. (SUPPLIED)

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said yesterday Dubai's new cruise terminal in Port Rashid complex will be open for business in February 2010.

The new 3,450-sqm terminal, which was originally due to open in January this year, will be equipped to handle four ships at one time while catering to the increased number of cruise ship calls.

The move comes at a time when Dubai is rapidly emerging as a sought-after cruise destination for global cruise liners and travellers. It is thus not surprising that the number of cruise tourists visiting Dubai is expected to increase by almost 80 per cent from 2008 to 2010, according to the DTCM statistics.

With 250,000 cruise tourists having visited the emirate last year, marking a 37 per cent increase over 2008, Dubai is expected to host 120 ship calls this year with over 325,000 passengers as the new cruise terminal becomes fully operational next month.

Hamad bin Mejren, Executive Director Business Tourism and Dubai Cruise Terminal, DTCM, recently said: "Cruise visitors are becoming an increasingly important part of Dubai's tourism industry and with Dubai Cruise Terminal fully open for business by next month it looks to grow further."

One of the most re-nowned cruise liners to operate out of the new cruise terminal include Costa Cruises – which made Dubai its regional cruise hub in 2007. On February 23 the terminal will see the latest from the Costa Cruises fleet – Costa Deliziosa, to be touching Dubai during her Grand Maiden Cruise, which departs from Savona on February 5.

And from this month on Royal Caribbean International (RCI) will become the second major cruise line to base a ship in Dubai.

 

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