Carnival Corp Inks Deal to Develop Dubai Cruise Terminal

At the signing ceremony

Carnival Corporation has signed a deal with Meraas for the Dubai Cruise Terminal, which will become the company’s primary hub for its homeporting and transit operations in the region, according to a statement.

The partnership will also result in both parties “working together to identify and grow the cruise tourism business in the Arabian Gulf region,” with operations starting in late 2020.

Speaking on the agreement, Arnold W. Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation said: “We have a long history in Dubai with our world-leading cruise brands. We are excited to be part of this important venture that will drive new tourism opportunities for Dubai and the region through cruising.”

Carnival Corporation will launch new cruises from “Dubai Cruise Terminal” and aims to attract new source markets from India and China, the company said.

The cruise terminal is designed as a strategic maritime centre, providing easy access to and from the city, while offering passengers an unparalleled view of iconic landmarks, such as Ain Dubai and the upcoming Dubai Lighthouse, as well as the Dubai’s stunning urban skyline.

Dubai Harbour will be home to two cruise terminal buildings, spanning a total of 30,000 square meters, joined by a single quay of about 1 kilometer, capable of accommodating up to three cruise ships concurrently, including Carnival Corporation’s newest and most advanced cruise ships, as well as up to 13,200 passengers at a time. In anticipation of an upsurge in cruises, Meraas has planned for the addition of two more terminal buildings that will increase capacity to six cruise ships at the same time.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that mega projects being implemented in the UAE are reinforcing the country’s profile globally as a model for sustainable growth driven by diversification, innovation and productive partnerships with the private sector.

“We welcome visitors from across the world and provide them with an exceptional tourism experience. We want them to leave with lasting memories that they can share in their countries and communities. The continuous development of infrastructure has enabled our country to be a destination of choice in the region. Supported by the talent and creativity of our people, I am confident that we will be able to establish global leadership in several sectors. The UAE will continue to be a symbol of progress and prosperity,” Sheikh Mohammed added.

HH Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks came as he approved the “Dubai Cruise Terminal” as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai. His Highness also attended the signing ceremony of a strategic partnership agreement between Meraas and Carnival Corporation that aims to transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub, according to a statement.

Under the agreement, signed by His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas, and Arnold W. Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation, the companies will collaborate across several strategic areas including port development, terminal management and new cruise development opportunities at Dubai Harbour and the broader region.

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MSC Adds Lirica to UAE Lineup

Image result for MSC Lirica

MSC Cruises announced that the MSC Lirica will be in the United Arab Emirates for the 2018-2019 winter season, featuring newly extended cruises of 11 nights and 14 nights.

The MSC Lirica will be making her debut in the UAE in November 2018, offering longer itineraries, two overnight stays in Dubai, as well as cruises to India for the very first time.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, added: “This will be our seventh season in the UAE and we have seen strong demand for our quality product offering from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A strong Fly&Cruise programme means that guests from all around the world are able to enjoy this popular cruise region. Our modern ships and distinctive, quality cruise experience are an appealing way for holidaymakers to explore the rich and diverse experiences that the UAE can offer.

“Introducing India to MSC Cruises’ Winter 18/19 itineraries demonstrates how our significant investment plan is enabling us to expand our global footprint and establish a presence in a high-potential market, one that we expect to grow considerably over the coming years.”

Cruises will call into India from Dubai, with more calls at Abu Dhabi, Muscat and then crossing the Arabian Sea to Mumbai. The voyage also stops in Goa and Mangalore.

There is also an 11-night voyage calling at Sir Bani Yas, a private beach island.

The MSC Lirica will be offering ten cruises starting from either Dubai or Abu Dhabi with fly-cruise packages.

The MSC Splendida will also be based in the UAE for the winter 2018-2019 season offering seven-night cruises with two embarkation ports – Dubai on Saturday and Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

MSC Cruises and Etihad sign feeder flights deal

MSC Cruises has signed a deal with Etihad Airways to supply flights from across Europe to feed its winter sailings in the Arabian Gulf.

The Italian line will use the UAE carrier for fly-cruise packages from the UK as well as Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

The company is running a series of 16 seven-night cruises on MSC Musica in the region from December 13 featuring Abu Dhabi, Khor al Fakkan, Muscat, Khasab and Dubai.

MSC Cruises has brought more than 100,000 passengers from 115 nationalities to the Emirate between 2011 and 2015.

Abu Dhabi’s overall cruise season last winter attracted a record 200,407 passengers and 94 ship calls.

MSC Cruises chief executive, Gianni Onorato (pictured), said: “Through our partnership and also together with Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority we will work to develop Abu Dhabi as an ideal winter cruise destination to further strengthen our offer in the region.”

Etihad Airways president and chief executive, James Hogan, said: “Abu Dhabi is being developed into a leading international cruise destination, with record passenger numbers and ship calls reported during the recent 2014/15 season.

“Future projections are even stronger, as the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal opens at the end of this year, and world-class cultural attractions such as Abu Dhabi’s Louvre and Guggenheim museums enhance the local tourism offering.

“Our partnership with MSC Cruises, as well as Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, for ‘fly and cruise’ will expand source markets for cruises in the UAE and regionally, bringing in more travellers from destinations across Europe.”