Cruise tourism is among the fastest-growing segments of tourism industry in Dubai, according to a report from Dubai Chamber. The port city is also among the leading winter cruise destinations in the world. Cruise season in Dubai runs between November and March each year.
Cruise Arabia and Africa recently announced that the number of cruise passengers in Dubai had increased from 320,000 in 2013-2014 cruise season, to 625,000 in 2016-2017, representing 95% growth rate.
According to this report, the number of cruise calls to Dubai at Hamdan Bin Mohammad Cruise Terminal, Port Rashid increased by 68%, from 93 during 2013-2014 cruise season to 156 in 2016-2017.
During 2018-2019 cruise season, Dubai's tourism board said it expected to see 725,000 cruise passengers and 825,000 cruisers in 2019-2020 season.
83 cruise ships are due to use Dubai as transit city in the coming cruise season, and port of Dubai will become the last destination for 30 voyages.
A number of policies were implemented to support Dubai's cruise tourism industry, such as issuing multiple-entry UAE visas for cruisers.
State-owned ports operator DP World announced it would reduce port charges at Dubai's cruise terminal by 50% for the months of October and April during 2018-2019 season.
The government announced plans to transform Dubai into integrated maritime tourism hub and build new terminals.
The new Dubai Cruise Terminal project is due to start operations October 2020, and will feature the capacity to accommodate 6 large cruise ships simultaneously.