The numbers are in (kind of) for the 2022/23 cruise season, which wraps up later this month, and they show a near total recovery for the Arabian Gulf cruise sector, with almost a million cruise passengers having cruised to and from Dubai.
The numbers were revealed Monday by Dubai Customs during a field tour of the Dubai Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid, and the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal at the new Dubai Harbour development, the Middle East’s first dedicated cruise port.
The field tour by H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, was undertaken as part efforts to ensure that work processes, the passenger flow, and the 24/7 facilities continue to provide high standards for cruise passengers.
According to Dubai Customs, Port Rashid and Dubai Harbour handled 3.843 million bags for 1.456 million cruise passengers on board 702 cruise trips during the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons.
It was previously announced that 500,000 cruise tourists had come through Dubai during the 2021/22 cruise season, which means this latest season has seen an increase to almost a million passengers.
During his tour, Musabih stressed the need to provide more services that contribute significantly to facilitating the movement of passengers, aimed at enhancing the growth witnessed in the cruise tourism sector, which he described as one of the most important economic sectors for the city.
He also said Dubai Customs’ was looking to innovate proactive services that rely on the latest technologies and smart applications to improve inspection operations and speed up customs procedures.
Musabih said Dubai Customs has been able to keep up with the growth of Dubai’s cruise tourism sector by offering advanced customs services, innovative inspection methods, and smart solutions.
The cruise ships homeporting in Dubai annually during the winter cruise season are growing ever-larger, while more and more cruise lines are adding Dubai as a turnaround port on grand voyages and repositioning cruises, leading to significant growth in the local cruise sector.
Musabih said Dubai Customs wants to support Dubai’s economic agenda and enhance its status as a global hub for tourism and travel with world-class customs services to meet the needs of this booming industry.