Miami-based cruise liner conglomerate Carnival Corporation and Dubai’s holding company Meraas have partnered up on the future Dubai Cruise Terminal to be built at Dubai Harbour.
The duo has signed a strategic partnership agreement “that aims to transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub.” Under the deal, Carnival and Meraas intend to collaborate across several strategic areas including port development, terminal management and new cruise development opportunities at Dubai Harbour and the broader region.
As informed, Carnival will assist Meraas in ensuring the cruise terminal meets the highest international standards of the cruise industry, while the relevant authorities will be responsible for security, immigration and customs.
Operations at the Dubai Cruise Terminal are scheduled to commence in October 2020. The terminal will become the main cruise terminal in Dubai and all cruise ships visiting Port Rashid will be redirected gradually from its opening date, according to Meraas.
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas, said: “Dubai Harbour is a new and unique addition to the city’s infrastructure and our alignment with DP World to make Dubai Cruise Terminal the main cruise terminal in the emirate will drive the transformation of Dubai into a fully integrated maritime tourism hub.”
The Dubai Cruise Terminal will become Carnival Corporation’s primary hub for its homeporting and transit operations in the region. Carnival will launch new cruises from Dubai Cruise Terminal and aims to attract new source markets from India and China.
The partnership will also result in both parties working together to identify and grow the cruise tourism business in the Arabian Gulf region.
Speaking on the agreement, Arnold W. Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation, said: “We have a long history in Dubai with our (…) cruise brands. We are excited to be part of this important venture that will drive new tourism opportunities for Dubai and the region through cruising.”
Dubai Harbour will be home to two cruise terminal buildings, spanning a total of 30,000 square meters, joined by a single quay of about 1 kilometer, capable of accommodating up to three cruise ships concurrently, including Carnival Corporation’s newest cruise ships and XL class ships, as well as up to 13,200 passengers at a time.
In anticipation of an upsurge in cruises, Meraas plans to build two more terminal buildings that will increase capacity by accommodating six cruise ships simultaneously.