Middle East Cruise News

AIDA Cruises first cruise line to use brand new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal

German cruise line AIDA Cruises has become the first cruise line to use the new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal adjacent the famous Dubai Palm, opposite the city’s tourist JBR and The Walk hotspots.

The cruise line’s gargantuan cruise liner AIDAprima docked at Dubai Harbour this week, alongside her smaller fleetmate AIDAvita. Both cruise ships are regular callers to the Middle East, having each previously operated a full Middle East cruise season out of Dubai.

AIDAprima and AIDAvita alongside at the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal

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Both ships have spent the majority of the past year in warm lay-up in Dubai at the Dubai Cruise Terminal in Port Rashid, the city’s, and wider Middle East’s primary cruise port.

When Dubai Harbour was first announced, Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world, indicated that it would become the new regional hub for its cruise ships (AIDA Cruises is owned by Carnival).

Dubai Harbour with cruise terminal adjacent Palm Jumeirah Island

“We have a long history in Dubai with our world-leading cruise brands. We are excited to be part of this important venture that will drive new tourism opportunities for Dubai and the region through cruising,” Arnold Donald, the CEO of Carnival Corporation, said at the time.

With Costa Cruises another Carnival-owned cruise line that regularly homeports in Dubai during the annual winter cruise season between November and March, it’s likely that additional cruise ships will soon join AIDA Cruises at the new cruise terminal.

Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal is designed to accommodate three cruise ships simultaneously.

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The first phase of Dubai Harbour was launched last year. It will be home to two cruise terminal buildings, spanning a total of 30,000 square metres, joined by a single quay of about 1km, capable of accommodating up to three cruise ships concurrently, as well as up to 13,200 passengers at a time.

In addition to the cruise terminal, the wider Dubai Harbour development will include a mall, high-rise apartments, hotels and parks, restaurants, cafes and high street-style stores.

Dubai Harbour will include one of the tallest lighthouses in the world, modeled after the Lighthouse of Alexandria

It will be roughly the size of the Principality of Monaco, and officials have previously said it will make Dubai the Monaco of the Middle East. A future landmark for the development will be the Dubai Lighthouse, modelled on the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria.

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