Port of Dubai welcomes first passengers for cruise season

The Port of Dubai, the city’s extraordinary waterfront district, has welcomed its first cruise ship – the AIDAcosma, which is officially starting its 2022/23 cruise season.

Departing from Germany for its maiden voyage, AIDAcosma is the first vessel powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) with a capacity of more than 5,500 passengers. To mark the arrival, DHCT management as well as public and private sector stakeholders will exchange plaques with the ship’s captain, a maritime tradition, to commemorate its first port of call. Throughout the season, more than 300,000 passengers are expected to arrive at the Port of Dubai Cruise Terminal, marking extraordinary growth for the cruise industry.

Operated by AIDA Cruises, with 20 passenger decks and 2,600 staterooms, AIDAcosma is one of the largest cruise ships in the AIDA fleet. The ship offers a range of exciting experiences and features, including an amusement park, children’s pool, waterslide, outdoor sports platform, as well as 17 restaurants and 23 lounges, serving a large variety of cuisines from around the world. As the home port of AIDAcosma, the Port of Dubai will pave the way for green cruising by becoming the first to welcome a brand new LNG-powered cruise ship. LNG is one of the cleanest non-electric marine fuels in the industry and can reduce emissions by up to 30%.

Alexander Ewig, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at AIDA Cruises, commented“We are delighted to return to the Port of Dubai – this time with the inaugural call of our youngest member of the fleet, AIDAcosma. Thanks to AIDAcosma, we are continuing our journey towards green cruising and are delighted to collaborate with the Port of Dubai to do just that. We are sure our guests will have a great time as they embark on a tour of the Orient this winter 2022/2023, especially at the Port of Dubai with its range of events and entertaining activities alongside the magnificent Dubai skyline.

As the owner and custodian of the Port of Dubai, the diversified investment firm Shamal Holding is the driving force that has made the Port of Dubai an exceptional maritime district. The cruise terminals, part of the incredible Port of Dubai development, introduce guests to the spectacular and beautiful Dubai Port skyline and offer a wide range of amenities and services to passengers and crew – from large seating areas to toilets, exchange offices, ATMs. , Emirates Airline Check-in, cafes, outlets, duty-free, dedicated parking, taxi ranks and much more. All facilities are wheelchair accessible and free WIFI is enabled to keep passengers and crew connected.

The Port of Dubai is home to a wide range of high-end living, retail and hospitality experiences that combine to form the most dynamic and comprehensive maritime lifestyle offering in the region. Located in the center of modern Dubai, the Port of Dubai is easily accessible from major city sites including the Burj Al Arab, Ain Dubai, Bluewaters Island and Palm Jumeirah, providing cruise passengers with easy access to some of the most most iconic in the world.

Abdulla Binhabtoor, Director of Portfolio Management, Shamal Holding, Owner and Custodian of Dubai Port said: “Today is a very special day for us. This is not only the first time we have an LNG-powered cruise ship heading to town, but also a new cruise season that we look forward to with renewed excitement and excitement. As we prepare to see full fleets return to service, we believe there is plenty of room for extraordinary growth in the region. This includes more destinations, improved experiences and new types of cruise lines. Following the success of our last cruise season, we have continued to invest in Dubai Port and Dubai Port Cruise Terminals and will also be extending our cruise season through the summer months of 2023 for the first time, with ships calling until late June for port nights for returning passengers. We look forward to continuing to play our part in welcoming more passengers and ships as we aim to contribute to the region’s cruise tourism sector.

Issam Kazim, Managing Director of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: “As Dubai continues to make waves in global tourism, the arrival of the first cruise passengers in the Port of Dubai for the new season will further strengthen Dubai’s position as a hub for cruise tourism, in accordance to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin. Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai to make our city the most sought after and visited destination in the world. Shamal Holding’s continuous efforts to improve Dubai’s cruise tourism sector by developing world-class projects, infrastructure and facilities such as the Port of Dubai is a testament to the tireless efforts of our valued stakeholders and partners to expand the proposition of diverse destination of Dubai. With sustainability and decarbonization being crucial parts of Dubai’s tourism strategy, we welcome the arrival of eco-friendly cruise ships like the Aida Cosma, further bolstering our efforts to become a major sustainable tourism destination. We are also proud to be regularly included as a key port of call by the world’s largest and most popular ocean liners, underscoring Dubai’s global reputation as the ultimate cruise gateway to the region.

The Dubai Port Cruise Terminal infrastructure comprises two terminals which provide passengers and crew with a safe, comfortable and seamless experience. Designed to handle over 3,250 passengers per hour, the highly efficient and modern terminals sit on a quay stretch of over 910 meters and can accommodate a full passenger turnaround from two mega cruise ships simultaneously.
Purpose-built terminals ensure easy and streamlined immigration and customs clearance processes, with dedicated passenger and crew access lanes facilitated by seaport passenger boarding bridges, allowing seamless flow uninterrupted between the ship and the terminal.

AIDA Cruises is the market leader in German-speaking cruises and currently operates one of the most modern fleets in the world with 13 cruise ships, including the very first LNG-powered cruise ship built. AIDA Cruises is one of nine major cruise lines in the world and part of Carnival Corporation & plc, one of the world’s largest leisure travel companies.


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