The alliance formed between Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), The Oman Ministry of Tourism (Oman Tourism), and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), along with its newest partners Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), and Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) is once again participating under the branding of “Cruise Arabia” the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015, from the 4-7 of May at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Cruise Arabia’s growing alliance works as a unified partnership to develop strategies which enhance cruise line and cruise visitors’ experiences in the region. At this year’s ATM – the Middle East’s biggest and most important travel trade gathering – the five tourism authorities are working to promote the region as a whole to the industry and encourage further cruise ship arrivals to the area.
Based in the Cruise pavilion on stand CP2520, Cruise Arabia representatives will be engaging with travel professionals across the tourism sector, targeting traditional cruise markets in Europe and North America, as well as emerging markets such as China, India, and the GCC. The focus is on highlighting the rich destination offerings and the many benefits of cruise such as its family-friendly nature, the affordability of cruise travel – which starts at 450 USD per person for one week – and the breath of on-board activities, entertainment and leisure as travellers explore multiple destinations at a leisurely and relaxed pace.
Hamad bin Mejren, Senior Vice President of Dubai Tourism said: “Since the inception of this alliance in late 2013, we have received a warm welcome from the industry and stakeholders unanimously and we have started to see the successful result in driving cruise visitors to the region. The recent joining of two new regional partners, Qatar and Sharjah Tourism authorities, will take this alliance to new levels of strength. After our successful participation in Cruise Shipping Miami event in March 2015, ATM is the first mega regional event where Cruise Arabia is represented by five member destinations. With this growing collaboration, great strides are being taken to achieve our vision for the alliance – to unify efforts for positioning the region as the leading winter cruise destination in the world – is not too far.
“Looking at the past year in Dubai, we have seen the busiest cruise season to-date. This comes as no surprise due to the introduction of the new multi-entry UAE visit visa for cruise visitors which allows cruise visitors to enter all UAE ports by using one visa – this had a big impact on our key source markets such as India, China, Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States, South Africa, and Brazil. In 2014, Dubai received 358,000 passengers from 94 cruise ship calls, and our forecast for 2015 stands at 425,000 cruise tourists from 115 ship calls.
“We look forward to our work as partners in Cruise Arabia to see these positive results sustained and developed further, as we work on enhancing cruise tourism perception by raising awareness to the many attractions that the region has to offer.”
Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, said: “The forthcoming cruise season is expected to usher in a new era for our cruise ambitions with the opening of the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and the return of some of the world’s leading cruise lines to our shores. At Arabian Travel Market, we will be extending an open invitation to the cruise industry to encourage regional home-porting vessels to Abu Dhabi. The emirate’s cruise sector has seen rapid development since first receiving luxury vessels in 2006, and with Abu Dhabi Ports’ development of the region’s first and only dedicated desert island cruise beach stopover in tandem with the opening of the new permanent cruise terminal, Abu Dhabi’s cruise tourism ambitions are coming to fruition and we are ready to stake a claim as a leading cruise tourism destination.”
His Excellency Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority, said: “The Cruise Arabia Alliance is a successful example of advancing regional cooperation for the shared benefits of our respective tourism industries. We are delighted to be working with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Oman to further grow regional cruise services, showcasing our marine life, harbours and cities.”
Cruise Arabia will be at the Cruise Pavilion on stand No: CP2520, alongside several public and private sector cruise partners such as DP World, in addition to tour operators Sharaf Tours, Gulf Ventures, and MSC Cruises, Wilhelmsen, Seamaster Maritime, Abu Dhabi Port Company (ADPC), Etihad Airways, and Celebrity Cruises.
The Arabian Gulf is among the world’s top winter sun cruise destinations, where guaranteed sunshine, majestic desert landscapes and futuristic cityscapes meet. It offers a must-experience cruise and tourism destination with great air connectivity that is only eight hours flight from two thirds of the world’s population. The five destinations bring together the best of what the gulf has to offer from world class attractions, hotels, retail, and culture, all the way to authentic Arabian experiences.