Asian passage to Gulf

Singapore-headquartered Resorts World Cruises takes to Arabian waters this 2024-25 cruise season with the halal-certified Resorts World One


Resorts World Cruises is a cruise brand that is rich in Asian heritage, offering a personalized cruising lifestyle with diverse international experiences. Resorts World Cruises – ‘Resorts Cruising at Sea’ aims to redefine the cruising experience altogether by providing exciting and unique offerings, a variety of accommodations, including the world-class luxury accommodation, The Palace, a luxury private enclave with butler service, exclusive restaurant, sundeck, gym, spa and other facilities.

The itineraries are well thought out too, targeting weekends and covering school breaks. The Resorts World One cruise will depart from Dubai for a two-night Sir Baniyas Island Weekend Cruise, which will set sail on Fridays; a three-night Oman Cruise to Khasab and Muscat departing on Sundays; and a two-night Doha Cruise departing on Wednesdays. Guests can combine the itineraries to stay longer.



We expect a very high percentage of fly-cruise business to the Arabian Gulf. Think of it as a big income injection in terms of tourism dollars, supporting the entire ecosystem from hotels and tours to shopping and transportation
– Michael Goh



Resorts World Cruises, as a homegrown Asian brand, offers a unique feel and experience, Michael Goh, President of Resorts World Cruises, says in an interview with TTN Middle East. “Firstly, we bring in the renowned Asian hospitality on board our cruise ships. Secondly, we understand and respect the cultural requirements of the guests. We are a halal-certified ship, which is very important in the Arab market. Of course, to many of our guests we’re going to serve really authentic vegetarian and Jain food as well.

“We really put in a lot of effort to adapt and introduce a service level that respects the local community. For example, guests can make pre-advanced appointments to have the crew of the same gender attend to the guests for selected onboard services.”

For the Arabian Gulf deployment, the Resorts World team has put up a very exciting entertainment programme onboard Resorts World One. Goh says, “We are going to introduce some exciting parties for the sailing. This includes a foam party on board, a rain party as well. We will also bring in many production shows on board our cruise ship and we will also introduce gameshows for our guests. It’s going to be a really exciting offering, rounded up by a kids’ club, other fun activities and a spa.”

While Resorts World One is expected to welcome a lot of locals from the regional market, there’s also an expectation of travellers from other regions coming on board. Goh said, “For the Dubai deployment, of course, primarily, we target the GCC countries, but we also focus on Asia, primarily South Asia – India – as well as Southeast Asia and North Asia. I think these are areas that we are very familiar with.”

Cruises in Asia have prepared the crew for the Arabian Gulf. Talking about the experience of running cruises in Asia, Goh explained said, “For the Genting Dream, we also run two-, three- and four-night itineraries between Singapore and Malaysia, including to Thailand, which can be combined. The Resorts World One will also complete her Jakarta homeport deployment soon, and then after that, it is going to be homeported in Taiwan, and then back to Hong Kong for a short period of time before heading to Dubai. So, you can see that it has been a really very busy season for us in running ships in different parts of the world.”



Resorts World Cruises, a brand extension of Resorts World, debuted on June 15, 2022, in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur with the operations of Genting Dream. Starting March 10, 2023, Resorts World One commenced her first homeport deployment in Hong Kong.

“With over 50 years of experience in the integrated resort business, we bring a lot of experience to the leisure market. Resort World Cruises will continue to grow in the cruise segment and to bring new and refreshed experiences to cruisers,” says Goh. 

Resorts World Cruises aims to position itself as the leading cruise line in the region, providing the highest standards in cruise experience, safety and precautionary measures, Goh tells us.

“I think the beauty of the cruise business is that we are able to cater to all segments of the market. We cater to family, couples, MICE groups and weddings as well.

“While cruising was deemed to be for seniors in the past, we are now seeing young people travelling, with friends. This is an important market, especially after Covid-19.” Elaborating on the trends seen in the sector, Goh says, “These days, what is very popular is ladies travelling together as a group with their friends. We also some see millennials and Gen Z choosing to travel solo.

“Cruise also remains a top choice for multi-generation travellers. Right now, we see more and more of grandparents, couples and their children all travelling together, and we see this percentage going up. About 28 per cent of the cruise travellers sail with three to five generations.”

“Our onboard experiences cater to all these different segments of the market,” Goh tells us.



However, it is not just leisure business that the cruise welcomes. “After just two years of operations, we have already expanded our business base and the business segment as well,” Goh tells TTN. “Take, for example, the MICE segment.”

Last month, Resorts World Cruises successfully hosted an Indian MICE group of up to 2,000 people in its Singapore deployment. “We expect similar numbers coming onboard the upcoming Arabian Gulf sailings as well from MICE groups.

While the six-month homeport deployment is confirmed from October 2024 to April 2025, Goh also keeps the possibility of an extension open. “I think at this point of time, our announcement is for six months so after that, the ship will sail back into Asia. But of course, if the response is really good, I think we will definitely explore extending the deployment.”

“We expect a very high percentage of fly-cruise business to the Arabian Gulf. Think of it as a big income injection in terms of tourism dollars, supporting the entire ecosystem from hotels and tours to shopping and transportation.

“Cruise economy is, in fact, very important to the region,” says Goh.

Resorts World Cruises has six regional preferred sales agents (PSAs): Dnata, Beyond Borders, Satguru Travels, Manash Tourism, Cruise Master and Rayna Tours.