Carnival Corporation aims to transform Dubai into a major regional cruise hub.
The world’s largest cruise group is to expand Dubai Cruise Terminal in an effort to grow tourism in the region.
The expanded facility is due to become available in autumn 2020 and will become Carnival Corporation’s main hub for home porting ships and transit operations in the Gulf.
Carnival Corporation will introduce new cruises from Dubai Cruise Terminal and aims to attract source markets from India and China.
Dubai Harbour will be home to two cruise terminal buildings capable of accommodating up to three cruise ships and up to 13,200 passengers at a time.
Dubai Cruise Terminal will become the main cruise facility in Dubai and all ships visiting Port Rashid will be re-directed gradually from its opening date.
The overall Dubai Harbour development over stages will include a shopping centre, luxury homes, restaurants, cafés, hotels, a yacht club and monorail line, as well as a 135-metre high Dubai Lighthouse with a viewing platform.
The terminal is designed as a strategic maritime centre, providing easy access to and from the city.
The US cruise giant will work with local development firm Meraas across several strategic areas including port development, terminal management and developing new cruise opportunities at Dubai Harbour and the broader region.
Meraas chairman Abdulla Al Habbai said: “In line with the agreement with Carnival Corporation, the cruise hub at Dubai Harbour will reinforce Dubai’s status as an ideal holiday destination, a starting point for cruises to exclusive destinations and a gateway to exploring the world.
“Our partnership will enhance the city’s tourism offering with new options for families, such as sharia-compliant tours.”
Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald added: “We have a long history in Dubai with our world-leading cruise brands.
“We are excited to be part of this important venture that will drive new tourism opportunities for Dubai and the region through cruising.”
Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum approved the Dubai Cruise Terminal as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai and attended a signing ceremony of the strategic partnership between Meraas and Carnival Corporation.
He described the tourism sector as key to the development of the UAE’s economy due its ability to attract millions of visitors every year.
“We welcome visitors from across the world and provide them with an exceptional tourism experiences,” he said. “We want them to leave with lasting memories that they can share in their countries and communities.”
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