Dubai targets 1 million cruise tourists by 2020
Dubai expects the growth in cruise tourism to continue in the coming years. The emirate expects the number of cruise tourists to touch 1 million by 2020 as it has made multiple-entry visas available for the crew of ships docking at local ports, said a senior official on Saturday.
Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, director, Dubai Cruise Tourism, expects over 13 per cent growth in cruise tourists this year to reach 725,000 in the current season as compared to last year's 625,000.
"We have potential to attract more foreign cruise ships as cruise liners like to pass through Dubai. Our expectation for the next year will be 825,000 and this number will also increase in later years with home porting coming to Dubai," Al Falasi said.
"Our target for 2020, as part of Dubai Strategy, is to have 1 million passengers. We are promoting Dubai as a major cruise tourism destination," he said, adding that cruise ships' crew have now been granted 6-month multiple-entry visa.
"We started multiple-entry visa for cruise tourists last year. This year, we have implemented 6-month multiple-entry visa for the crew to come in and leave," Al Falasi told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a press conference held to welcome 5 ships at Port Rashid on Saturday.
Dubai marked a historic milestone this weekend with 5 cruise ships arriving at the Dubai Cruise Terminal. The cruise lines originating from the UK, US, Germany, Italy and Spain brought in over 25,000 tourists.
Pullmantur, one of the 5 international cruise liners, will mark its debut in the region.
Al Falasi said that different itineraries will be planned for the cruise tourists.
Richard Vogel, CEO, Pullman Cruises, said the firm had received better-than-expected responses for its Dubai cruise tour and the number of tourists will increase next year. The agency expects to bring 75,000 cruise tourists to Dubai this year.
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