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Wed 26 Feb 2003 04:00 AM

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Dubai diversity takes on French flavour

Conflict or no conflict, the emirate’s tourism drive gathers pace, as the latest venture will see a Parisian-style leisure cruise boat gently flow through Dubai’s Creek.

A little piece of Paris is set to float on Dubai’s Creek, after the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTM) announced plans today (February 26) to introduce a state of the art bateaux mouche style boat to the Dubai Creek. The project is estimated to be worth Dhs 15 million.The Al Minsaf is currently under construction in the UAE and will officially be launched this September. It will accommodate up to 350 passengers for a variety of lunch, dinner and sunset cruises. “There are altogether fifteen hospitality vessels operating within Dubai and Al Minsaf, which will be docking at the Dubai Creek, is a significant addition to the luxurious vessels operating within the emirate,” said Khalid A, bin Sulayam, director general of the DCTM.The boat is aimed at a range of passengers, including tourists and residents, while also being available for private hire. Sulayam claims that Dubai’s cultural diversity will enable it to compete with the more traditional dhow ships that align the docks of the Creek and offer tourists an extra luxury element to their journey.“It is not designed to compete with the dhows, but to bring something else. There are many players who have different things to offer,” said Patrice Douce, general manger of Bateaux Dubai, the company that will be running Al Minsaf.In the current volatile political climate, Dubai is keen to show that things are very much ‘business as usual’, particularly with regard to the tourism industry.“We are working, as [we would] during any other season and are going ahead with all our projects. We have the flexibility and strategies in place to cope with any change in the situation,” said bin Sulayam. “Look at 2002, after the events in America, we had a better season than any other destination worldwide.”

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