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Sat 28 Feb 2015 02:08 AM

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Dubai's cruise tourism sector sees busiest ever month

Mina Rashid port welcomes over 30 ship calls in January, bringing more than 150,000 cruise tourists

Dubai's cruise tourism sector sees busiest ever month
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Dubai Cruise Tourism has announced that the emirate's cruise season saw its busiest month so far in January.

The cruise terminals in Mina Rashid welcomed over 30 ship calls, bringing over 150,000 cruise tourists to the emirate in just one month, including 26 hub ship calls from four cruise lines.

Mina Rashid also accommodated five cruise ships at the same time on two occasions in January - a first in the terminal's history - as well as welcoming Cunard's Queen Mary 2, the largest cruise ship to call in the GCC.

Hamad bin Mejren, executive director, Dubai Tourism, said: "January was a busy month for Dubai's cruise industry and we've reached some real milestones and made significant progress towards our targets.

"In 2014, Dubai received 358,000 passengers from 94 cruise ship calls, and the forecast for 2015 stands at 425,000 cruise tourists from 115 ship calls. With the total figure for January 2015 alone at 150,000 visitors, we're confident that our 2015 target is achievable."

January 2015 saw major cruise lines visit Dubai, including Costa, Aida, TUI, MSC, Cunard, Phoenix Reisen, Fred Olsen and Holland America. The busiest week was January 25-31 with a total of 10 ships in port.

Bin Mejren added: "We've had a successful cruise season so far and we have further growth forecasted for the remainder of the 2014-2015 season. The new terminal has enabled us to welcome even more ships than we've been able to in the past and this will have a significant impact on our cruise visitor figures."

The Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, inaugurated in December, is the world's largest covered cruise facility, enabling Mina Rashid to handle complete passenger turnaround of five cruise vessels simultaneously, accounting for more than 25,000 passengers.

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