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Doha is the largest port and the capital of Qatar. The city has population of around 1,4 million and covers a total area of 132 km2 (51 ml2). It is located on the Persian Gulf, and is the country's fastest growing city, with over half of Qatar's population living in Doha City or its suburbs.
The town was established in the 1820s as Al Bidda's offshoot. In 1971 it was officially declared country's capital city, after Qatar declared independence from UK. As Qatar's commercial capital and one of the unanticipated financial centers in the Middle East, Doha is classed "world city" by Globalization & World Cities Research Network. The city was selected as host of renown sporting events, such as "2006 Asian Games", "2011 Pan Arab Games", and most of the games at "2011 AFC Asian Cup". The 20th "World Petroleum Conference" was held here in December 2011. Here was also hosted "2012 UNFCCC Climate Negotiations". The city will host a large number of venues for "2022 FIFA World Cup". In May 2015, the city was officially recognized as one of the "New 7 Wonders Cities" - along with Beirut (Lebanon), Durban (South Africa), Havana (Cuba), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), La Paz (Mexico) and Vigan (Philippines).
Doha City is Qatar's economic center. It houses the headquarters of numerous domestic and international corporations and organizations, such as Qatar's largest oil and gas companies RasGas, Qatargas and Qatar Petroleum. City's economy is built primarily on its natural gas and oil industries.
Qatar's cruising season is during winter (October through April). The seaport is managed by Qatar Tourism Authority.
During season 2017-2018, TUI Cruises (German ship operator) visited Doha 7 times, bringing around 17,500 tourists to Qatar. The same season was a record-breaker - with about 65,000 cruise tourists to Qatar, or 39% increase (over 2016). Port Doha was visited by a total of 22 cruise vessels plus 1 mega-yacht. The port received 5 maiden calls (MSC Splendida, Mein Schiff 5, Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony, Europa 2). Data showed 86% disembarking passengers, of whom 53% booked city tours and 18% booked desert safaris.
The main factor for port's cruising business growth was the 2016-introduced free 96-hours transit visa for international tourists. Seaport's largest visiting liners so far are MSC Splendida (MSC) and Mein Schiff 5 (TUI). In 2017, Splendida (max capacity 3900 passengers) replaced MSC Fantasia.
For season 2018-2019 were booked 43 ships (of which 10 with maiden port calls) with expected over 140,000 cruise tourists (passengers and crew). The season has five 2-ship days. During season 2019-2020, Qatar cruise port expects nearly 200,000 visitors and targets an annual volume of 0,5 million passengers by the year 2026.
Doha plans a port redevelopment project with budget of around QR 2 billion (Qatari Riyals, around USD 550 million).
Doha cruise terminal
Before the inauguration of Qatar’s new cruise port Doha, large-sized cruise ships docked at the Hamad Port (cargo port). Doha Port is located off Doha Corniche - several kilometers long waterfront promenade along Doha Bay. Before the redevelopment, the largest cruise ships able to dock at Doha Port were with LOA length under 250 m (820 ft).
Due to the increasing number of cruiseship tourists, Qatar's Tourism Authority, Ports Management Company and Ministry of Interior took measures to facilitate the passengers' disembarkation process and entry procedures.
Following an investment in new security technologies and close collaboration with cruise ship operators, passenger processing / disembarkation time was reduced to just several minutes.
As part of the new process, cruise ship passenger and crew passport details are shared with Qatar's immigration office 48 hours before the ship's arrival in the country. This allows cruise tourists to be cleared for entry before the ship docks in port.
Due to the short port stay duration (around 8 hours), passengers and crew are eligible for transit visas (free 96-hour visas), which further eases the entry process. In 2017, Port Doha was visited by its largest cruise vessel so far - MSC Splendida. The ship docked in Doha on December 20, bringing over 3900 passengers and 1400 crew.
Doha cruise port videos
Port Doha cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Doha, Qatar. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|22 October, 2019|
|Mein Schiff 5||07:00||20:00|
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