Dubai UAE's cruise tourism is expected to make a decisive comeback starting Saturday, October 29, with 900,000+ passengers due to drop in during the peak winter season.
Season 2022-23 starts with the arrival of TUI’s Mein Schiff 6 at Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal (Mina Rashid). In 2021, Dubai received a total of 98 cruise calls, with 338,697 crew and passengers, as the industry made a comeback after the devastating hit brought about by COVID.
In the coming weeks, the UAE and Dubai are set to welcome one of the best years for cruises since 2006 when the region became a default cruise industry itinerary.
Major cruise liners are expected to visit Mina Rashid and DHCT-Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, which welcomed its first passengers in 2021.
Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer of Shamal Holding said that at DHCT, they expected the first cruise liner to arrive on November 17, with 46 ship calls and 300,000+ visitors until April 2023.
Dubai Harbour is owned and operated by Shamal Holding, which also manages Jumeirah Zabeel Saray (beach resort), Skydive Dubai and Deep-dive Dubai, Kite Beach Dubai, XDubai (adventure and extreme sports), Dubai Film (movie production and rental house), and other entertainment attractions.
Binhabtoor said that the 2022-2023 cruise season was widely considered a ramp-up season for the global cruise industry and very relevant to their region. Occupancy levels on cruise ships were anticipated to increase significantly, and the cruise industry's feedback also supported that.
After the debut of the largest standalone dedicated twin cruise ship terminal in the Eastern hemisphere in 2021, Binhabtoor said DHCT was fully geared for the upcoming season.
Mina Rashid cruise terminals are expecting a total of 123 calls from some of the largest cruise ship operators, which is a 100% increase over last season. Additionally, crew and passenger inflows are forecast to rise to ~600,000, more than double the previous season, according to Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman & CEO of DP World.
Binhabtoor added that DHCT would welcome 2 maiden ships, Costa Toscana and AIDAcosma, homeporting at Dubai Harbour, both operating 5- to 7-night itineraries around the Arabian Gulf. The voyages will be staying until April 15, 2023.