Carnival Corp. & plc, the world’s largest cruise company, on Dec. 17 celebrated the official opening of the two-berth Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal.
The project with Shamal Holding resulted from a strategic partnership signed in 2018 to develop the new cruise port as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai.
The occasion was marked with a walk-through by Abdulla Binhabtoor, chief portfolio management officer of Shamal Holding; Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corp.; Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia; and Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Cruises.
The Costa Firenze and AIDAbella — from Carnival’s Italian and German brands — are now homeporting at the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal as the cruise season is launched.
The opening represents a milestone toward Dubai’s goal of becoming the world’s most visited city, underscored with the October launch of the Expo 2020 in Dubai. Costa Cruises is a Gold Sponsor of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, so cruise guests are provided with shore excursion options to explore the world exhibition.
As the region’s first-ever dedicated, twin-terminal cruise port, Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal is capable of accommodating two large cruise ships simultaneously. The facility spans nearly 1.3 million square feet and includes two purpose-built terminal buildings with four passenger boarding bridges that can simultaneously support the turnaround of the largest cruise ships.
“After years of working closely with Shamal Holding, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome guests from around the world to Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal,” Thamm said. “As the world’s largest cruise company, our passion is providing our guests with extraordinary vacation experiences, and we are confident that our partnership with Shamal Holding will enhance the overall experience for our guests. The two terminals stand as a tribute to the remarkable appeal of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf as a cruise destination, and we look forward to working with Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal and its community partners to make Dubai Harbour a highly efficient and customer-friendly operation, while facilitating new tourism opportunities through cruising in the region.”
The cruise terminals, which are part of Dubai Harbour development, offer a wide array of amenities and services, from ample seating areas to washrooms, currency exchange outlets, ATMs, cafes, retail outlets, duty-free, dedicated parking, taxi stands and more. The facilities are designed to be fully accessible for all visitors and complimentary Wi-Fi is enabled for guests and crew.
Dubai is a gateway to Arabian Gulf cruise destinations such as Oman and Abu Dhabi.
All told, six Carnival Corp. brands – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn – will visit the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal by 2023.
For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:
For the latest travel news, updates, and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.