Cruise Arabia, a unified partnership that brings together six different tourism authorities will be participating in Seatrade Cruise Global 2016.
The authority will be highlighting continued appeal of the Arabian Gulf for cruise tourists from across the world. Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) will participate for the third consecutive year as part of the Cruise Arabia alliance with the aim of promoting the region as a preferred destination for cruise travel.
This year marked the first time that Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority (BTEA) attended the convention as a member of Cruise Arabia, which also includes Dubai Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi, SCTDA, Oman Tourism and QTA. The members’ joint pavilion was also joined by 22 public and private sector stakeholders from the industry.
Hamad M Bin Mejren, senior vice president of Dubai Tourism, said: “There has been significant growth in popularity of cruise tourism, with number of cruise tourists globally estimated to reach 24 million by end of this year, as predicted by Cruise Lines International Association. The rising demand for varied winter itineraries in particular opens up more opportunities for the GCC and the Cruise Arabia alliance to showcase what the region has to offer.”
Speaking of Dubai’s potential, Bin Mejren continued: “Following growth marked by the 455,600 cruise tourists that arrived in Dubai last season, we are confident that we will reach our target of 500,000 cruise tourists by end of the current 2015-16 season.”
Taking an overview of Qatar’s cruise industry, the region is rapidly developing, with huge opportunity for growth in coming years, which is expected to reach 250,000 passengers by the 2018-19 season. Working jointly with the Cruise Arabia Alliance since last year, Qatar has bolstered its cruise industry by developing plans for major upgrades of Doha Port’s infrastructure and nurturing closer ties with international cruise lines.
The Seatrade Cruise Global is set to draw more than 11,000 registered attendees, over 800 exhibiting companies from 93 countries and more than 300 international journalists.