DP World’s third cruise terminal in Dubai has been inaugurated by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. The Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal is set to be the world’s largest covered cruise facility capable of welcoming 14,000 cruise passengers a day. DP World welcomed 4,000 passengers at the new terminal on last week from the Costa Cruise and Aida Cruise ships, part of Arabian Gulf tours. Incidentally Mina Rashid was for the seventh consecutive year was voted as world’s leading cruise port in the World Travel Awards just a few days ago.
The Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal covers 28,000 square metres and is the latest addition to The Dubai Cruise Terminal facility at Mina Rashid. Dubai’s vision is to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020, with the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) anticipating cruise tourist numbers reaching the one-million mark by that time. The new building will increase the handling capacity of the three cruise terminals in Dubai from two million tourists a year to seven million.
The terminal is the largest and most modern cruise facility in the Middle East and the wider region, enabling award winning Mina Rashid to now serve up to seven cruise vessels at one time and more than 25,000 passengers in its three cruise terminals. This expansion came in response to requests from cruise liners and will enable them to increase the number of their trips to Dubai. The Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal offers visitors customs and handling facilities with streamlined immigration and entry procedures coordinated by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Features include duty-free outlets, shops, currency exchange, ATM machines and a VIP business centre. It also provides office facilities to related organisations including the police, customs, immigration, shipping agents and airlines. Earlier this week, Dubai Cruise Tourism, part of Dubai Tourism, said it has completed its first major roadshow in China as part of its plans to grow as a cruise tourism destination.
Roadshows were held in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou where Dubai officials met top travel trade professionals alongside representatives from cruise industry partners MSC, Costa Crociere and Royal Caribbean International (RCI). Dubai Tourism, with four overseas offices in China, has worked closely with China’s travel trade to attract tourists to Dubai, but this is the first time that the Dubai Cruise Tourism team has undertaken a dedicated roadshow to promote Dubai’s cruise offerings. The number of Chinese cruise passengers who travel overseas has increased from 160,000 to 660,000 in the last six years, representing a significant growth in demand for cruise travel, and Dubai aims to be part of this growth. The new terminal has strong green credentials having been built using re-cycled materials from Jebel Ali, including the steel structure, interlocking bricks, and shipping wood pellets for interior finishing.
Its key features include a Green Wall Shade System to reduce solar ingress, controlled LED and daylight illumination, landscaping and irrigation supply. It also provides bicycle and electric car parking with charging stations. A 70,000 square metre car park can also accommodate 36 buses and 150 taxis in addition to private cars and parking bays for employees and visitors. Mina Rashid has been voted the Leading Cruise Port at the World Travel Awards for seven years in a row. The port also handles ferry passengers between Dubai and port cities across the Arabian Gulf handled at Mina Rashid Ferry Terminal.