The project will be undertaken by global marine terminal operator DP World as part of the Emirates goal to maintain its position as offering the largest cruise terminal in the Middle East.
“Development of the cruise terminal facilities at Port Rashid supports Dubai’s long-term strategy to stimulate growth and development in the traditionally strong tourism sector. The new facility will help Dubai tap into the readily growing cruise sector and will continue to be a major destination for the finest cruise ships in the world,” DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said.
With current capacity sitting at two cruise ships at any one time and servicing up to 7,000 passengers, DP World will endeavour to further expand the terminal to carry up to seven vessels once the first stage is complete in 2012.
Cruise tourism has been growing steadily in the region, with an increase of 30 per cent between 2009 and 2010, bringing the number of cruisers from 260,000 sailing on 100 ships to more than 390,000 passengers on 120 ships.
135 ships are set to call into the terminal in 2011 along with 475,000 passengers.
“We at DTCM believe there will be more than 58 per cent growth in cruise tourism in Dubai by 2015. The new facilities will be very attractive for cruise operators and their passengers, and for the tourism industry as a whole,” DTCM director general Khalid Bin Sulayem said.
DP World develops and operates more than 60 terminals across six continents including South America’s largest and most modern cruise terminal, Quinquela Martin in Buenos Aires.