His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the development of a new cruise terminal in Dubai Marina.
His Highness attended the signing ceremony of a strategic partnership agreement between Meraas and Carnival Corporation that aims to transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub.
Under the agreement, signed by His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas, and Arnold W. Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, the companies will collaborate across several strategic areas including port development, terminal management and new cruise development opportunities at Dubai Harbour and the broader region.
Sheikh Mohammed said that mega projects being implemented in the UAE are reinforcing the country’s profile globally as a model for sustainable growth driven by diversification, innovation and productive partnerships with the private sector.
His Highness also said the tourism sector is key to the development of the UAE’s economy, due to the value it adds through key projects and its ability to attract millions of visitors every year.
“We welcome visitors from across the world and provide them with an exceptional tourism experiences,” his Highness said. “We want them to leave with lasting memories that they can share in their countries and communities. The continuous development of infrastructure has enabled our country to be a destination of choice in the region.
“Supported by the talent and creativity of our people, I am confident that we will be able to establish global leadership in several sectors. The UAE will continue to be a symbol of progress and prosperity.”
Operations at the ‘Dubai Cruise Terminal’ are scheduled to commence in October 2020. Following its inauguration the terminal will become the main cruise terminal in Dubai and all cruise ships visiting Port Rashid will be redirected gradually from its opening date.
The terminal forms part of the Dubai Harbour mega project announced last year.
His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai said: “The development of the ‘Dubai Cruise Terminal’ reflects Meraas' commitment to implementing the vision and strategic plans of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to enhance Dubai’s global standing as a world-class business and leisure tourism destination.
“Dubai Harbour is a new and unique addition to the city’s infrastructure and our alignment with DP World to make ‘Dubai Cruise Terminal’ the main cruise terminal in the emirate will drive the transformation of Dubai into a fully integrated maritime tourism hub.”
Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise ship operator in the world, with a fleet of over 100 vessels across various brands. The firm commands about 45% of Dubai's maritime tourism market.
Speaking on the agreement, Arnold W. Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation said: “We have a long history in Dubai with our world-leading cruise brands. We are excited to be part of this important venture that will drive new tourism opportunities for Dubai and the region through cruising.”
Carnival Corporation plans to launch new cruises from the terminal and is targeting visitors from India and China.
Dubai Harbour will be home to two cruise terminal buildings, spanning a total of 30,000 square metres, joined by a single quay of about 1 kilometre, capable of accommodating up to three of the world’s largest cruise ships concurrently.
In anticipation of an upsurge in cruises, Meraas has planned for the addition of two more terminal buildings that will increase capacity to six cruise ships at the same time.
Launched in January 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Harbour will also feature a shopping mall, luxury residential units, restaurants, cafés, hotels and a yacht club, as well as Dubai Lighthouse, a 135-metre high architectural masterpiece with a viewing platform offering panoramic views of Dubai.
In addition, Dubai Harbour will boast the largest yacht marina in the Middle East and North Africa with 1,100 berths capable of accommodating some of the world's largest yachts up to 150 metres.
Infrastructure will include an extensive road network, as well as marine and air transportation facilities, a monorail line, a bridge to Bluewaters Island and water taxi stations.
The project is being developed in phases and will create synergies with some of Dubai’s other iconic projects located in the area, including Bluewaters and Palm Jumeirah.