Dubai’s new cruise terminal welcomes first ships

2022-01-14T20:16:18+00:00 January 14th, 2022|Ports|

During the middle of December, Carnival Corp celebrated the official opening of Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal with partner Shamal Holding.

This follows a strategic partnership agreement signed in 2018 to develop the new cruise port as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai.

With the arrivals of ’Costa Firenze’ and ‘AIDAbella’ from Carnival’s Italian-based Costa Cruises and Germany’s AIDA Cruises brands, the opening was also marked by the two cruise ships visiting the cruise terminal for the first time, coinciding with the start of the cruise season and the ships’ homeporting seasons at Dubai.

Through Costa Cruises’ partnership as a Gold Sponsor of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, cruise guests were provided with shore excursion options to explore the World Exhibition.

As the region’s first dedicated, twin-terminal cruise port, Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal is capable of accommodating two large cruise ships simultaneously. The facility spans over 120,000 sq m and includes two purpose-built terminal buildings.

The terminals are equipped with four tailor-made Seaport Passenger Boarding Bridges that are able to simultaneously support the full turnaround of the largest cruise ships.

“After years of working closely with Shamal Holding, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome guests from around the world to Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal,” said Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia.

“As the world’s largest cruise company, our passion is providing our guests with extraordinary vacation experiences, and we are confident that our partnership with Shamal Holding will enhance the overall experience for our guests.

“The two terminals stand as a tribute to the remarkable appeal of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf as a cruise destination, and we look forward to working with Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal and its community partners to make Dubai Harbour a highly efficient and customer-friendly operation, while facilitating new tourism opportunities through cruising in the region,” he said.

“We’re delighted to see our partnership with Carnival Corporation and its brands hit another significant milestone as today we welcomed two extraordinary cruise ships to Dubai Harbour, the largest standalone dedicated twin-cruise terminal center in the eastern hemisphere.

“It is exciting to see so many thousands of people enter the city through this stunning seafront district, the newest entry point to Dubai, which is already considered to be the ideal gateway to the region for cruise ships from around the world,” added Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer of Shamal Holding.

“The Dubai Harbour development represents a historic milestone in Dubai’s role as this region’s foremost destination for lifestyle, leisure and luxury – a moment in history that brings forward the realisation of Dubai’s ambition to become the most visited city in the world. However, it is not only an extraordinary destination for cruise passengers from every corner of the world, but also a natural gateway to the attractions that Dubai has to offer and, as a result of the city’s strategic location, other international destinations as well,” he concluded.

The cruise terminals, which are part of Dubai Harbour development, offer a variety of amenities and services for passengers and crew – from ample seating areas to wash rooms, currency exchange outlets, ATMs, cafes, retail outlets, duty-free, dedicated parking, taxi stands, etc.

These facilities were designed to be fully accessible for all visitors and complimentary Wi-Fi is available for guests and crew.

Dubai has been a popular destination for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises, which first began operating from the Emirate in 2006. In late November, ‘AIDAbella’ arrived at the cruise terminal for the first time, marking the first regular cruise passenger operation for the new terminals and the start of the ship’s winter season.

In addition, ’Costa Firenze’s’ arrival in Dubai on 16th December marked the start of the ship’s season from the port, where it is homeporting for the first time, through March, 2022.

Together, six brands from Carnival Corp – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn – will visit the the new cruise terminal by 2023 and in total, the six brands are expected to have made 90 calls to the new twin-terminal cruise port by next year.