For over a thousand years Dubai and the Gulf area has seen maritime trade expand due to its location on the major trade routes between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. Dubai has continued to be at the forefront of this growth but as well as growing its commercial port activities, it has, in recent years, set its sites on becoming a major player in the cruise world.
An increasing number of short cruises, in particular around the Gulf area, leave from Dubai. Typically a 6 or 7-day Gulf cruise from Dubai could call at Muscat (Oman), Ras Al-Kaimah, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain. Additionally, it is a regular stopping point on complete round-the-world cruises, in both directions or sections of such cruises.
Dubai Cruise Terminal is a new (2010) 3300 sq. mtr. dedicated cruise hub in Port Rashid, right on the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf, near the mouth of Dubai Creek, and just ten minutes by taxi from Dubai International Airport.
The cruise center, with its deep water basin, has two large berths and can handle two to four cruise liners all at the same time, and the famous Dubai weather makes it the perfect year-round. Two major cruise lines – Costa Cruises and Royal Caribbean International – have vessels based in Dubai (2011) and it’s likely to be just a matter of time before others join them.
In setting up the Cruise Terminal the authorities conducted in-depth research into the needs of cruise lines and their customers and have endeavored to make the procedures at the terminal extremely friendly and convenient with minimum bureaucracy, easy immigration, clearing of passengers by manifests, professional ground handling with excellent tourist support infrastructure including Duty-Free, retail shops, an authorized money exchange, post office, a luxurious VIP lounge (Majlis – an ‘a place of sitting’), restrooms and internet access. You’ll also find a covered baggage handling area, ample parking for tour buses, and a dedicated taxi stand.
The Dubai Cruise Terminal is the only cruise terminal in the world operated by a government department of tourism, which, they say, means extra attention to every cruise visitor who stops at Dubai.
The routes available from cruise companies and cruising intermediaries are many and varied and are likely to change, or at least be amended, from year to year. Similarly, the prices offered will also vary according to the proximity to the sailing date, the number of available unreserved cabins, and the type and situation of the cabin selected. Inquiry and research are therefore essential.