Middle East Cruise News

ATM report reveals why Dubai was chosen as first foreign homeport by Jalesh Cruises

Big spending Indian tourists in Dubai are a major source market for Jalesh Cruises on its Arabian Gulf cruise itineraries, and a new report by Colliers International predicts growth of 81% in the number of Indian tourists travelling to the GCC by 2024.

The report, released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2020, shows the current 5.4-million Indian tourists annually visiting the GCC will jump to 9.8-million in the next five years, representing around 20% of India’s total outbound tourism market.

Karnika of Jalesh Cruises sailed 29 roundtrip itineraries from Dubai during June, July and September this year

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“This projected growth is being supported by a number of key stakeholders in the region, from immigration initiatives and mega-events, to hotels, F&B venues, resorts, theme parks and malls – all of which appeal to Indian travelers,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.

In 2018, the UAE alone welcomed 2.89 million Indian tourists with this figure expected to reach 5.29 million by 2024, increasing annually by around 11%, according to Colliers International.

Adding to this, India retained its top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with almost 1-million Indian tourists arriving in the emirate during the first half of 2019.

The same is true of the Dubai cruise market, with India a key source market for fly-cruise passengers boarding cruise ships in Dubai.

However, with Jalesh Cruises homeporting in the city for the winter cruise season, offering a cruise experience specifically tailored to the Indian tourist for the first time, this is expected to grow even further.

Karnika arriving at Dubai Cruise Terminal in Port Rashid

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“Driving this growth is a new generation of leisure attractions in the GCC, relaxed visa regulations for Indian nationals, additional airline routes, increasing business opportunities, a renewed focus on Indian weddings and the MICE segment as well as the increasing popularity of adventure and eco-tourism in countries including the UAE and Oman,” said Curtis.

Jalesh Cruises sailed its first-ever Dubai cruise season this year, and was also the first cruise line ever to homeport in the city during the summer months, which are traditionally considered too hot for roundtrip cruises.

It enjoyed a strong response from the Indian cruising public, as well as the local Indian expatriate community in the UAE, according to Dubai tourism officials.

The cruise line has confirmed that its ship Karnika will return to Dubai for the coming cruise season between November, 2019 and March, 2020.

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