Middle East Cruise News

Dubai-based cruise ships take beating as unstable weather system passes over UAE

The UAE’s National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) issued a weather advisory Saturday as an unstable weather system passed over the country, warning of rainfall across much of the country with scattered torrential showers and “rough to very rough” seas.

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The weather warning comes as Costa Mediterranea, AIDAstella and Mein Schiff 5 all begin their Middle East cruise seasons out of Dubai. Costa Mediterranea departed Dubai Cruise Terminal at noon Saturday and was rounding the Musandam Peninsula as the weather set in.

AIDAstella departed from Dubai just after Costa Mediterranea and was sailing approximately two nautical miles behind her, with both cruise ships bound for Muscat, Oman. According to the UAE’s NCMS, the Gulf of Oman could be rough to very rough during Saturday and Sunday.

A video from the UAE Storm Centre on Twitter showed what the weather was like in the area at the time of writing.

The TUI cruise ship Mein Schiff 5 meanwhile is on the closing leg of its Arabian Gulf roundtrip cruise out of Dubai and was passing Dubai en-route to Abu Dhabi from Muscat at the time of writing.

The image below shows the huge band of bad weather that is passing over the Gulf from Saudi Arabia and will likely dump heavy rains on Mein Schiff 5’s passengers in Abu Dhabi while she in port on Sunday.


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On Saturday evening the National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) updated its forecast and said that the unstable weather was likely to last intermittently throughout Sunday and into Monday.

The peak of a low-pressure system, which is behind the inclement weather, will be felt on Saturday and Sunday. More clouds and rain will cover parts of the country, mainly on mountains and islands.

The rainy season typically lasts from mid-December until mid-February and during this period, every 10 to 14 days a low-pressure system will cover the country. The Middle East cruise season meanwhile, lasts from November until March every year.

On the whole, however, the Arabian Gulf has one of the most stable winter climates in the world, according to Steven Young, director of port services & government affairs (P&O and Cunard) at Carnival UK.

“The Arabian Gulf’s winter climate is second only to the Caribbean in terms of its stability and appeal,” he told delegates at the recent Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum. “There is huge potential in this region to extend the cruise season into October and May.”

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