The 2018-19 cruise season proved to be Dubai’s most successful ever, with a record-breaking increase of 38% in cruise ship calls, and a 51% surge in cruise passenger footfall at the Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal.
In total Dubai welcomed over 846,000 cruise visitors on 152 ship calls during the season, compared to 559,000 visitors onboard 110 ships in 2017/2018. Further growth is anticipated for the 2019/20 season with an additional 211 ship calls reportedly confirmed. The tense political situation in the Gulf at present is a concern, however, with reports that P&O Cruises is cancelling cruises in the region as a result of security worries.
There were 14 maiden calls by cruise ships over the 2018/2019 season while a number of operators, including TUI Cruises, AIDA Cruises, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean decided to homeport in Dubai. Towards the end of the season the terminal, which is currently undergoing expansion to keep pace with demand, handled five cruise ships simultaneously.
The Dubai cruise season 2019/2020 is set to commence on October 19th with the arrival of TUI’s Mein Schiff. This cruise ship, carrying over 6,000 passengers, will make Dubai its home port for the season.