Dubai’s Port Rashid, the primary cruise port in the Middle East, has proved itself once more at the World Travel Awards, winning the Middle East’s Leading Cruise Port for the 14th consecutive year.
Dubai has been the most popular cruise destination in the Middle East for more than a decade, while its cruise port, Mina Rashid, has been dominating the World Travel Awards for even longer.
Dubai was up against other premier ports from the Middle East, many of which, such as Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Doha have recently invested in major upgrades to their cruise infrastructure.
None have the same legacy as Dubai Cruise Terminal, however, which has been handling cruise ship turnarounds and homeport operations since 2006, when Costa Cruises became the first cruise line to spend a season in the Arabian Gulf.
Pre-pandemic, Port Rashid was scheduled to welcome more than 800,000 cruise passengers on several hundred cruise calls.
The port is home to the Dubai Cruise Terminal, which consists of Terminal 2 and 3, providing more than 25,000sqm of cruise terminal space, and docking facilities for more than seven cruise ships simultaneously.
“It is an honour to receive this coveted award yet again,” said Hamza Mustafa, COO of P&O Marinas, which operates Dubai Cruise Terminal on behalf of DP World. “Despite market challenges and the slowdown in the tourism sector, the port stood the test of time and continued its unwavering efforts to enhance the economy of the country.”
“Since its inauguration in 2014 until 2020, [Terminal 3] has witnessed a growth of 55 per cent, receiving a high volume of cruise ships,” he added.
“As an integral part of the UAE’s economy and a significant economic pillar of Dubai, Mina Rashid is continually undergoing expansion to enhance its capabilities, to build a world-class recreational facility that represents Dubai’s rich cultural heritage,” he said.
Although Dubai now has two cruise ports, Port Rashid and the new Dubai Harbour, it is expected that Port Rashid will remain the primary facility, while Dubai Harbour will become the hub for all Carnival Corp-owned cruise ships.
Port Rashid’s state-of-the-art facilities, passenger handling capacity and strategic location have cemented its position. For the upcoming 2021/22 cruise season, it is expecting a total of 126 ship calls and over 500,000 cruise visitors.
The port is also located close to Dubai International Airport, and is adjacent to the “old Dubai” part of the city, where tourists can discover the city’s culture and heritage.
Dubai Cruise Terminal also offers numerous quayside services including luggage handling, concierge desk, shuttle services, money exchange, post office, coffee shops, and an array of supporting services like customs, immigration, tour operations and medical assistance.
A business centre, conference rooms, retail duty-free shops and a dedicated vehicle parking facility are also available.