DP World, Dubai’s main port operator, is reportedly considering investing in cruise infrastructure in Port Royal, according to tourism officials in Jamaica.
Jamaican officials confirmed recently that DP World had shown “interest” in Port Royal’s potential as a cruise port, ahead of the city’s reopening to cruise passengers.
Port Royal was forced to close to cruise ships along with cruise ports all over the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is now preparing to reopen for the summer cruise season in the Caribbean.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett told the Jamaican Gleaner that discussions are under way with key partners in Dubai regarding plans to invest in the tourism product in Port Royal.
The comment came during an interview about Jamaica reopening to cruise passengers, he said arrivals figures are climbing, airlift for the winter season is looking good, and the winter cruise schedule will be very busy with around 200,000 passengers expected.
Barlett met in Dubai with DP World recently to discuss investment in Port Royal.
DP World is expanding its cruise portfolio, it operates the Dubai Cruise Terminal in Port Rashid and recently took over operations of the cruise terminal in Limassol, Cyprus, and has been rumored to be considering investment in cruise infrastructure in Asia.
DP World is the largest port operator in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world.
“I am very happy to announce that our meetings with one of the world’s largest port and marine logistics companies, DP World, have been very successful,” Barlett told local media.
“During three consecutive days of meetings, we have had serious discussions about investments in the Port Royal Cruise Port and the possibility of homeporting,” he added.
Bartlett and executives of DP World are to continue these discussions soon with the Port Authority of Jamaica and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
The announcement comes just weeks after DP World’s fellow UAE port operator Abu Dhabi Ports, announced that it would be building and operating a cruise terminal in the Middle Eastern port of Aqaba in Jordan.
Aqaba, the gateway to the iconic ancient rock city of Petra, has been growing in popularity as a cruise port, but has been held back by its lack of cruise infrastructure, the most important of which is a cruise terminal.