Dubai’s cruise industry ready to set sail again
Dubai is looking forward to receiving tourists for the new cruise season this fall and a draft safety protocol for the cruise industry is in the pipeline, a webinar held by P&O Marinas, in collaboration with Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) and Emirates Airline, heard last month.With the reopening of many public and private facilities, amenities and attractions, Dubai recently launched the Dubai Assured stamp, a compliance programme - which is also applicable to the cruise industry - to certify and recognise hotels, tourism and retail establishments and attractions that have implemented all public health protocols for the prevention and management of the pandemic. Dubai has also been awarded the Safe Travels safety stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council, further enhancing its position as one of the world’s safest destinations. The webinar was chaired by Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, and Mohammed Al Mannaei, CEO, P&O Marinas and Executive Director, Mina Rashid. Almarri commented: “We have been working with various cruise liners and relevant authorities to ensure that we are all aligned with the efforts being made under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai to restart the economy with great emphasis on establishing detailed health and safety guidelines for each sector. The precautionary measures and safety protocols that are being formulated for cruise tourism will be implemented when cruise ships arrive in Dubai during the forthcoming season. We can assure cruise tourists of the highest global safety standards at every stage of their travel journey from the time they disembark in Dubai to the point they depart from our cruise terminals.” He added: “The cruise sector in Dubai has always shown great potential and the sustainable year-on-year growth that we have achieved is due to the continued support of our partners such as DP World, GDRFA and Emirates. Since the reopening of the city to tourists on July 7, we are encouraged by the response and continue to welcome visitors to the city. We expect to see cruise ships bringing tourists back to Dubai once all the relevant protocols are in place. Dubai Tourism has also put together an impressive excursion itinerary.” Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer at Emirates Airline said: “As far as Emirates Airline is concerned we are fully committed to backing the cruise liner business and the Dubai strategy. We are ramping up our weekly services and regarding Europe, where the cruise business mainly comes from, we serve 24 destinations, this will be ramped up to 26 in September and we are considering opening more gateways in the near future. In terms of safety and health on board we have taken all required measures. The message is that we are back proficiently to business.” The workshop was also attended by executives, representatives of shipping agents and cruise lines, including: Carnival Cruise Lines, MSC Cruise Lines, Tui Cruise Lines, Aida Cruises and Costa Cruises.