Middle East Cruise News

Abu Dhabi and Mauritius team up to enhance Indian Ocean cruise tourism

Abu Dhabi Ports and the Mauritius Ports Authority have signed a MoU that seeks to boost cruise tourism in the Indian Ocean, particularly from the Arabian Gulf.

The two port operators will work together to help Port Louis in Mauritius better position itself in the Indian Ocean cruise circuit, while also tapping into potential cruise visitors from the Arabian Peninsula.


Mauritius wants a greater share of the Indian Ocean cruise scene

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Additionally, the two parties aim to attract more cruise lines to the region and explore new routes such as UAE – Indian Ocean and Southern and Eastern Africa.

“We are delighted to partner with the Mauritius Ports Authority to further develop the maritime industry by pooling our combined expertise and experience,” said Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports.

The plans are ambitious to say the least, there are currently only two dozen cruises scheduled from Port Louis for 2020, the vast majority operated by Costa Mediterranea and AIDAblu on roundtrip itineraries.

Of the 260 cruise departures scheduled from Dubai in 2020, only one will cruise via Mauritius or Southern and Eastern Africa (Oceania Nautica’s annual 30-night cruise from Dubai to Cape Town).

None of the cruise departures from Abu Dhabi in 2020 go anywhere near Africa or the Indian Ocean (they’re all roundtrip itineraries operated by Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises and AIDA).

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Abu Dhabi plans to leverage its experience in cruise port operations to help Port Louis

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However, knowledge sharing may be where the two port authorities will learn more from one another.

“Given the expertise of Abu Dhabi Ports in developing world class facilities and infrastructure we are confident that this agreement will fulfil our needs and allow us to raise awareness of Mauritius as the preferred maritime gateway for Africa,” said Ramalingum Maistry, Chairman, Mauritius Ports Authority.


The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by Captain Al Shamisi and Maistry, will also cover the broader maritime sector, with collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as how to ensure the safety and security of passengers, crew members, vessels and port facilities..

The agreement will also see the two ports research the most effective use of tugboats, as well as training initiatives for deck and engine officers.

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