Dubai: Dubai expects 80,000 cruise tourists next year, more than three times
this year's arrivals.
With a dedicated cruise terminal at Port Rashid able to handle two ships simultaneously,
the city is trying to position itself as a regional cruise hub.
According to Dubai Cruise Terminal acting manager Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi,
the cruise sector has expanded significantly over the last two years.
Dubai received 13,000 cruise tourists in 2005, while 2006 is expected to see
about 23,000 cruise tourists.
"We are holding talks with a number of operators to encourage them to
use Dubai as their hub. We are expecting 80,000 cruise arrivals in 2007,"
Al Ketbi said.
Italy-based operator Costa Crociere earlier this year added the city to its
itinerary and will deploy its ships on Gulf excursions.
Typically, cruise tourists spend a couple of days in Dubai out of a seven-day
journey in the Gulf.
Other Gulf countries also hope to benefit from Dubai's expanding cruise tourism.
Oman is building a cruise terminal and Bahrain is thinking about one, Al Ketbi