The new Dubai Cruise Terminal was officially inaugurated by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The opening ceremony took place at Port Rashid, Dubai, UAE, alongside the naming ceremony of Costa Deliziosa.
The event was held in the presence of VIPs and officials, including Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates Airlines Group, Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere, Paolo Dionisi, Italian Ambassador to the UAE, Corrado Antonini, chairman Fincantieri and Gianni Onorato, president of Costa Cruises.
Developed and operated by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the new facility, with a capacity to accommodate four cruise ships simultaneously, is expected to give a big boost to the high-yielding cruise tourism segment in the region’s best-equipped tourism destination.
In 2009, Dubai played host to 87 cruise ships that brought 261,000 cruise tourists. This year, the emirate will welcome 125 ships with more than 325,000 passengers. Next year, the terminal is expected to receive 135 ships with 375,000 passengers followed by 150 ships with 425,000 passengers in 2012, 165 ships with 475,000 passengers in 2013, 180 ships with 525,000 passengers in 2014 and 195 ships with 575,000 passengers in 2015.
The DTCM Director General, Khalid bin Sulayem, said: “Cruise tourism plays a crucial role in the overall growth and development of the tourism industry in Dubai. We realised its importance long ago and created the infrastructure and services that were needed to tap its potential. The new terminal will meet the increased demand that has been recorded in cruise tourists to Dubai.”
The façade of the new Cruise Terminal building is based upon Dubai’s contemporary Arabic design and reflects the emirate’s rich maritime heritage. Traditional domes, arches and carvings are the major architectural elements that constitute the exterior facades. The terminal has tourist support infrastructure including facilities such as money exchange, ATMs, post office, duty free shop, souvenir shops, a business centre with free internet access and a VIP majlis.
The DTCM has set-up information counters which are manned round- the-clock when ships are in-port to meet the needs and inquiries of passengers and provide them with free maps and brochures about Dubai. In addition, the terminal houses offices for representatives from immigration, customs and police to ensure easy access and swift services for passengers.
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