P&O Cruises to withdraw from Dubai and the Gulf over shipping tensions

The company's Oceana is being withdrawn from the Arabian Gulf for the upcoming season, with full refunds for guests

The cruise ship will not dock in Dubai for the upcoming season.
The cruise ship will not dock in Dubai for the upcoming season.

Cruise giant P&O Cruises has released a statement that said the company will withdraw from Dubai this winter amid continuing tensions over shipping in the Gulf, according to a report by sister title Arabian Business.

According to the statement, following close monitoring of the situation within the Straits of Hormuz, P&O Cruises has cancelled its planned Dubai and Arabian Gulf programme from October 2019 until at least March 2020.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said in a statement: “The increased tension in the region highlighted by the attacks on tankers in the Straits and the detention of a British-flagged tanker by the Iranian authorities means as a British company flying the Red Ensign it is not advisable for us to maintain our planned Dubai and Arabian Gulf programme this winter season."

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He added that after reviewing the situation and taking into account the safety of guests and crew, the company has "taken the unusual step" of withdrawing Oceana for the upcoming season. All bookings will be cancelled, and guests will be given a full refund, P&O said.

This follows the news that Dubai's 2018/2019 cruise season saw a record 51% increase in cruise tourists and a 38% growth in cruise ship calls.

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