Cruise Saudi is planning to develop cruise infrastructure at two ports in the south of the country in the coming years, according to statements made during Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022.
During the region’s premier travel exhibition in Dubai, Cruise Saudi confirmed that it plans to add a cruise port in Duba and Jizan in the south – targeting 1.3 million passengers by 2030.
The Saudi Arabian cruise promotion and management agency also said that it had already surpassed its 2023 goals, but didn’t elaborate on what those goals had entailed.
It’s likely that the reference to 2023 goals may include new cruise lines homeporting in Saudi Arabia for the 2023/24 cruise season, or more ship calls at Saudi Arabian ports during the coming cruise season.
Saudi Arabia has seen robust growth in its cruise tourism sector since the company opened up to cruise lines just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The kingdom has played a significant role in boosting the recovery of the wider Middle East cruise market, thanks to global interest in Saudi Arabian cruise itineraries from the cruising public.
“The beauty of Saudi lies in its diversity, charm and authenticity as the true home of Arabia,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO at Saudi Tourism Authority. “We are building the world’s biggest new destination, with Saudi’s rich culture and heritage, stunning, unique landscapes and dynamic lifestyle offering at the heart of our offering.”
“Saudi is incomparable in its inspiration, to welcome and invite the world to experience the breadth of what we have to offer as a country and the warmth and hospitality of our people,” he added.
“We present the biggest opportunity in tourism today, for the industry and for consumers. Our focus is on continuing to build relationships with world-class brands and companies and this year’s ATM was a clear demonstration of the confidence and commitment we are witnessing from key international partners,” he said.
During the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022, more than 90 deals and agreements were made between leading travel companies and international tourism partners at the Saudi pavilion.
Thus far, MSC Cruises is the only cruise line to have confirmed a Saudi Arabian homeporting season, but thanks to the huge interest in cruising shown by the Saudi Arabian public, its likely that additional major cruise lines will be looking to grow their market share in the country, which has the potential to become a major source market for cruise lines operating cruises to and from ports in the Red Sea.