Middle East Cruise News

Dnata reports fivefold growth in Dubai cruise market as it marks a decade of operations

Dnata has completed 10 years of cruise logistics operations in the Dubai cruise market.. It managed the passenger processing and ship services for 133 cruise ship calls at Dubai Cruise Terminal during the 2015/16 Middle East cruise season.

Dnata Airport Operations has worked with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) to establish Dubai as a global cruise hub.

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It handled just 55 cruise ship calls with 106,000 cruise tourists in the 2006/07 season when it first started operations. The market has since grown to 133 cruise ship calls in the 2015/16 cruise season. Some 541,000 cruise tourists visited Dubai during the same period.

“Dnata Airport Operations has been actively involved in the growth of the Dubai cruise business since 2006. We have worked tirelessly to help establish Dubai as global cruise hub,” says Emma Deane, Vice President, Commercial & Business Development, Dnata Airport Operations.

Some 23 of the world’s leading cruise lines now have Dubai as a turnaround port. That means most passengers begin as well as end their cruise in Dubai.

Six of these cruise lines homeport cruise ships in the Middle East each cruise season. They use Dubai as a roundtrip cruise destination, speaking to Dubai’s growth in prominence as a cruise hub in the Arabian Gulf.

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“The phenomenal growth we have seen in such a short span of time, is really a testament to how invested Dubai and its partners are in creating an exciting proposition for cruise companies and customers alike,” added Deane.

Dnata is one of the key partners in the Middle East cruise industry. It has created an integrated product for cruises that provides a seamless experience for passengers. This includes airport handling; transfer of passengers and baggage; shore excursions; retail sales; cruise crew rotations as well as other functions.

For the winter cruise season, Dnata welcomes Thomson Cruises to Dubai. The line’s cruise ship Thomson Celebration will homeport in Dubai.

Six regional airports in the UK will now be serving Dubai. Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and London Gatwick. The Dnata DWC Airport Operations team will handle the complete turnaround of the cruise charter flights.

Thomson Cruises will provide the perfect starting point from Dubai. It will feature two exciting new itineraries from December 2016, in addition to its global cruise offerings.

Major cruise companies Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), Celebrity Cruises and Crystal Cruises have added Dubai cruises to their itineraries. MSC Cruises and TUI Cruises have deployed superior passenger capacity ships. They are among the 10 maiden ship calls to Dubai this season 2016/17.

Modern facilities, fast processing times of passengers in terms of visa clearances, smooth baggage handling as well as transportation services from the aircraft to the port and vice versa are the key aspects.

Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC), the primary point of entry, caters to quick and easy arrival as well as departure of passengers through the terminals. Dubai continues to spearhead the overall success of the UAE’s booming cruise tourism industry, accounting for almost 60 percent of all arrivals.

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