Dubai targets increase in cruise tourists from India

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Dubai has stepped up efforts to cement the emirate’s position as the cruise hub of the region and attract more cruise tourists, specifically from India and Europe, according to a media report.

The number of Indian visitors to Dubai crossed the one million mark for the first time over a six-month period between January and June 2017, registering an increase of 21 percent over the same period last year, according to official figures.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing exhibited at Seatrade Europe, held in Hamburg under the Cruise Arabia banner, which brings together the tourism authorities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain on a unified stand with the goal of promoting the region as a whole, improving business sustainability and development.

“Our participation at Seatrade Europe came at the opportune time when cruise lines traditionally hold their discussions with destinations and service providers to plan for the subsequent seasons,” Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, said.

Dubai Tourism’s latest promotional drive was aimed at attracting more cruise tourists, specifically from Europe and India, the UAE’s official news agency WAM reported.

Seatrade Europe is the world’s top biennial event for cruise tourism that allows industry professionals and government and private sector organisations and companies to showcase their destination offerings and discuss mutual cooperation and ways of promoting their respective cruise tourism industries, the report said.

Dubai Tourism’s participation at Seatrade Europe followed a series of roadshows held in July, stopping in five major Indian cities, namely Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, it said.

The events offered delegation members the opportunity to network with key Indian travel trade partners and media, in collaboration with Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises, it said.

Dubai has emerged as the leading cruise destination in the region with over 625,000 cruise tourists visiting the city during the 2016-2017 season, reflecting an increase of over 15 per cent when compared to the 2015-2016 season.

To encourage more Indian tourists to visit the emirate, the UAE has extended visas-on-arrival to Indian nationals with a valid American visa or Green Card.