Cruise industry is fastest growing sector in travel says P&O CEO

Industry leaders from around Dubai came together to discuss the resumption of the cruise industry

Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal

Mohammed Al Mannaei, CEO, P&O Marinas and Executive Director, Mina Rashid has said that “ The cruise sector is the fastest growing sector in the travel industry,” after co-chairing a talk on the sector’s resumption of operations.

Before the pandemic struck, the cruise market, particularly in the Middle East, had been growing annually. According to the 2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report, rapid growth plans across the Middle East and Indian Ocean set up the year for a 63.5 percent YoY increase in guest capacity.

Since 2014, Dubai’s Mina Rashid’s Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal has received more than 2.3 million visitors. In 2018 the terminal saw a 172 percent spike in visitors and in the following year, the terminal received numerous awards.

For neighbouring Abu Dhabi, 2019 brought 518,000 cruise tourists, up 46 percent from the year before. Oman meanwhile had 283,488 passengers in 2019, a 43.6 percent increase for its cruise sector.

Though 2020 has presented the cruise industry, and the world, a monumental challenge, industry professionals are confident business can resume for the 2020/2021 season in Dubai.

Chaired by Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai Tourism and Al Mannaei, the pair addressed the precautions in place to allow the cruise sector to thrive once more.

Almarri commented, "We have been working with various cruise liners and relevant authorities to ensure that we are all aligned with the efforts being made under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai to restart the economy with great emphasis on establishing detailed health and safety guidelines for each sector."

Al Mannaei clarified: ''We are also looking forward to seeing our landmark Mina Rashid Marina welcome cruise ships again. We have been monitoring the situation closely and feel confident we can assure customer safety. Our long-standing relationship with shipping lines and our mutually beneficial relationship with stakeholders around the world have held us in good stead as we identify appropriate solutions to ensure tourism flows and business continuity in Dubai."

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