- Dubai Tourism’s Director General recognises efforts of public and private sector partners during ceremony at Mina Rashid
Dubai, UAE, 30 September 2014: Dubai Tourism today recognised the contribution of its public and private sector partners to the growth of cruise tourism at a special ceremony held at Mina Rashid. Certificates of appreciation were awarded to government agencies and aviation and tourism companies by H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
Speaking at the event, Hamad bin Mejren, Executive Director – Dubai Tourism said: “Today’s event is an opportunity to recognise and reward our partners from the public and private sectors who have worked with us to bring cruise travellers to Dubai, enhance our destination offering and raise awareness about the attractions of cruise tourism.
“Last year His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, endorsed Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020. This Vision includes the headline target of doubling the number of tourists coming to Dubai from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million annually by 2020.
“We already have a very healthy cruise sector in Dubai as the home port of choice for cruise companies in the Arabian Gulf. To match the ambition of Dubai’s tourist industry as a whole, we have ambitious plans of our own for cruise. We expect to welcome 450,000 cruise tourists by 2016 and to record continued, sustainable growth until 2020 – and beyond. To achieve our goals, it is essential that we have the continued support of our partners, which is why today’s ceremony is so important.”
The organisations recognised at the ceremony included DP World, which was thanked for its work on the new cruise terminal at Mina Rashid, as well as the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs which earlier this year introduced the cruise tourism visa.
Also thanked for their contributions to the sector were Dubai Police, Dubai Customs, Dubai Maritime City Authority, Ports Customers and Freezone Corporation – Security Department, Road and Transport Authority, Environment Health & Safety, and Dubai Culture.
From the aviation sector, Emirates Airline and dnata were both recognised.
Shipping agents receiving certificates of appreciation were Gulf Agency Company (Dubai) LLC, Inchcape Shipping Services, Kanoo Shipping Agencies, Khimji Ramdas Shipping LLC, Rais Hassan Saadi LLC, Seamaster Maritime LLC and Wilhelmsen Ships Service.
Destination marketing companies and tour operators recognised at today’s ceremony were Arabian Adventures, Gulf Ventures, Orient Tours LLC, Sharaf Tours, SNTTA Emir Tours, Travco LLC, and Rida International Travel & Tourism.
Dubai is the home port of choice for cruise companies in the Arabian Gulf, one of the world’s top three winter-sun cruise destinations. The new cruise season begins in late October 2014 and runs through to June 2015. The season is expected to surpass last year’s, especially in light of the new multi-entry UAE visit visa for cruise tourists that was announced last August, priced at just 200 dirhams (approximately US$50). The number of vessels using Dubai Cruise Terminal as their home port has increased to six this season and these vessels are expected to make a total of 83 trips in comparison to the 63 trips that were conducted in the previous 2013/2014 season. Moreover, the team is expecting a total of 110 ship calls – up by 17 (an increase of 18.5 per cent) on the 2013/2014 season – carrying around 381,500 passengers in comparison to 93 ship calls carrying 320,000 passengers last year.
About Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing’s (DTCM) mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai to global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the Emirate.
DTCM is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector; markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector; and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the DTCM portfolio include Dubai Convention and Events Bureau, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (formerly known as Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment). In addition to its headquarters in Dubai, DTCM operates 20 offices worldwide.
About Dubai Cruise Tourism
Dubai Cruise Tourism is part of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and was established at the end of 1990s to position Dubai as a leading destination for cruise tourism and to maintain the Emirate’s current position as the cruise hub of the MENA region. Dubai Cruise Tourism has pioneered the development of the region as one of the world’s leading cruise tourism destinations and is working to further develop cruise tourism in the Emirate and increase the number of cruise travellers as part of the Dubai Tourism Vision for 2020.
The upcoming 2014-15 cruise season (which runs from October to June) sees Dubai acting as the home port of Costa, Aida and MSC, and when TUI and Royal Caribbean return to their traditional home in the Emirate within the next two seasons, Dubai will once again be the home port of five of the world’s leading cruise lines. With Dubai government’s long-term strategic focus on developing the cruise industry, the aim is to reach 450,000 cruise tourists by 2016, increasing from just over 386,000 in 2013.
Rashid Port’s proximity to the centre of the city and excellent transportation links mean that the attractions of Dubai are within immediate reach of cruise passengers. Investment in new infrastructure combined with guaranteed sunshine and warm weather; must-see attractions such as Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah and the Burj Al Arab; the desert and coastline; and the contrast between the ultra-modern skyline and the traditional souqs and heritage areas make Dubai an ideal cruise destination.
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