Dubai to become largest cruise centre in Middle East

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Global marine terminal operator DP World today announced it is expanding Port Rashid cruise terminal facilities to continue its leading position as the largest cruise centre in the Middle East.

Port Rashid sits at the heart of Dubai city. Its Dubai Cruise Terminal currently has capacity to serve two ocean-going cruise ships at the same time carrying a combined 7000 passengers. DP World will expand the current terminal facilities by the end of 2012 to cater for as many as five cruise ships at one time. DP World’s vision is for Port Rashid to eventually be able to serve as many as seven cruise vessels at one time.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World said: “Development of the cruise terminal facilities at Port Rashid supports Dubai’s long-term strategy to stimulate growth and development in the traditionally strong tourism sector. The new facility will help Dubai tap into the rapidly growing cruise sector and will continue to be a major destination for the finest cruise ships in the world.” Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region said: “DP World, UAE Region’s success as a port operator is based on its pledge never to compromise on quality. The Port Rashid expansion is planned to be the best of its kind in the region. It will further strengthen the local economy and increase the use of Dubai’s historic port, at the centre of the city.” Khalid Bin Sulayem, Director General, Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said: “We at DTCM believe there will be more than 58 per cent growth in cruise tourism in Dubai by 2015. The new facilities will be very attractive for cruise operators and their passengers, and for the tourism industry as a whole. We are glad to have DP World working with us to increase tourism in Dubai and the UAE.” Cruise tourism has been growing rapidly. The award-winning Dubai Cruise Terminal experienced a 30% growth in tourist traffic between 2009 and 2010, from 100 ships and 260,000 passengers to 120 ships and more than 390,000 passengers. The pattern is set to continue in 2011, with 135 cruise vessel calls and 475,000 passengers.

As well as Port Rashid, DP World also developed and operates South America’s largest and most modern cruise terminal, Quinquela Martin in Buenos Aires, Argentina, located in its Terminales Rio de la Plata (TRP).

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