Next port of call: the UAE
Cruise ship tourism is booming, thanks to new terminal facilities and the arrival of international cruise liners in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
May 4, 2010 8:37 by Rasha Reslan
He adds that Costa’s business plan includes boosting the image of the UAE as a regular destination for tourists, targeting both locals and expats in the region.
Analysts credit the new cruise ship terminal facility with invigorating the market, as cruise ship traffic recorded back-to-back increases in recent years. DTCM expects around 325,000 passengers to visit Dubai this year, with more than half a million expected by 2015.
Additionally, more international cruise liners are expected to make the UAE a port of call. Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Authority (ADTA), said that the current season recorded an all-time record of 150 ships calling at Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed port.
And in February, ADTA suggested that the continued growth in the industry would best be served by plans to develop a dedicated cruise terminal – transforming Abu Dhabi from a ‘port of call’ to a ‘home port’.
Spending by guests and crews when in port – on hotels, food, shopping, and events – could represent a significant boon to local economies. And with the creation of state-of-the-art port facilities, the area could see an influx of well-heeled travelers keen on doing their part to support local business.
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