Dubai’s Port Rashid recently received five cruise ships on a single day, suggesting that the 2018/2019 cruise season will be the busiest yet for the Dubai Cruise Terminal. Collectively these vessels, Marella Cruises’ Marella Discovery, Aida Cruises’ Aida Prima, MSC Cruises’ MSC Splendida, Pullmantur Cruises’ Horizon, and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation, brought around 25,000 tourists into Dubai, which is understood to set a new record. Three of these cruise lines are to homeport in Dubai for the full season for the first time, operating Arabian Gulf routes, while the other operators were calling as part of international voyages.
In total six cruise lines will use Dubai as a home port this year. One of them, MSC Cruises, will deploy two ships in the region, with Dubai as its homeport, for the first time. The cruise operator is due to make a total of 28 calls in Dubai in 2018-19, bringing in more than 120,000 cruise tourists overall.
Between 2013 and 2017, the Dubai Cruise Terminal has seen a 68% increase in cruise ship calls, and tourist numbers arriving annually at the Port Rashid facility doubled from 320,000 to 625,000 during the same period. The number of cruise tourists arriving in Dubai is expected to increase to around 725,000 during the 2018-2019 season, contributing significantly to the local economy.