Dubai terminal reinforces city's cruise hub position
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) under the guidance of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE Defence Minister and Chairman of the DTCM has the responsibility of promoting Dubai as a major international centre of tourism and business. It is the prime planning, regulating and development authority for the tourism in the emirate.The DTCM's Dubai Cruise Terminal was officially inaugurated on March 26, 2001 at Port Rashid. The ship-shaped building is sited on a 335-metre quay offering the capacity to berth two ships simultaneously, while the terminal itself is around 3,300 sq. metres in size. Dubai Cruise Terminal is the world's first to receive ISO 9002 accreditation, said a DTCM spokesman. He said that it is the only one in the world, which is being run by the tourism sector and not by the ports authority. The completion of the purpose-built cruise-passenger-dedicated terminal ensures a seamless and comfortable cruise experience for all passengers utilising the terminal. The terminal, which gives a taste of Arabic culture and heritage also has up-to-date facilities and amenities for tourists. There are speedy immigration and customs facilities, duty free shops, traditional Arab coffee tents with Arabic food, a relaxation sitting area and also a visitors information centre. Dubai provides an excellent package of tailor-made tours lasting from few hours to several days. Dubai has a perfect winter climate, top quality hotels and excellent facilities for a variety of sports and leisure activities. It combines all these with superb shopping opportunities. Dubai's Cruise industry has a bright and vibrant future. In 1993, only one cruise ship called at its port. The number increased to 13 calls in 1997 and swelled further to 26 calls with a passenger inflow of 9,300 in 1999 and in 2002 the terminal saw more than 10,000 passengers and this year about 12,000 passengers are expected.