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Cruise Arabia promotes the Arabian experience to European markets

With the aim of promoting the region as a cruise destination, Cruise Arabia, the alliance formed between Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the Oman Ministry of Tourism (Oman Tourism) and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), along with its newest partners, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), recently participated at its first Seatrade Europe, held in Hamburg from 9-11 September 2015.


Seatrade Europe: Cruise & River Cruise Convention, the biggest and most important trade gathering in the cruise industry, recently returned to Hamburg, Germany, bringing together senior buyers, planners and key decision makers from Europe's ocean and river cruise lines with suppliers from all industry sectors. The popular biennial event facilitates business interaction between all participants, incorporating high-level conference sessions, a showcase exhibition and workshops alongside a packed social programme. The cruise industry’s annual global economic impact for 2014 stood at $117 billion and over 22 million cruise tourists.


Aimed at raising awareness of the region’s unique destination offering among major players in the international cruise industry, the Cruise Arabia partners showcased the region’s cruise tourism opportunities and the diversity of its offering. Cruise Arabia’s growing alliance of tourism, port and airline authorities works as a unified partnership to develop strategies which enhance cruise line and cruise visitors’ experiences in the region. Joining the delegation on the Cruise Arabia stand were dnata, Orient Tours, Sharaf Tours, Rais Hassan Saadi Group, Inchcape Shipping Services, DP World UAE Region, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, Regency Holidays, Gulf Adventure and Qatar International Adventures.


Hamad Mohammed bin Mejren, Senior Vice President of Dubai Tourism, said: “Seatrade 2015 provided an ideal opportunity to engage with the European cruise industry and travel trade professionals – one of the most important segments for building our regional cruise tourism sector. It was a chance to enlighten this critical audience about the extraordinary experiences afforded by cruise travel in our region, and to increase the number of passengers considering and ultimately booking cruises in the region.


“As the home port for cruise tourism in the region, Dubai is firmly committed to working with our partners to promote the strengths, richness and diversity of cruise travel experiences in the region. By working together we provide a very persuasive rationale for attracting more cruise lines for ship deployments, and ultimately bringing more tourists and economic growth to our respective markets.”


Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at Qatar Tourism Authority, said: “Qatar’s participation in Seatrade Europe was among several initiatives aimed at boosting the region’s growing cruise tourism sector. We are looking forward to hosting the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum this December, where key public and private stakeholders will convene to discuss matters that are vital to the sector’s advancement, and explore innovative ways to tackle some of the challenges of operating in the region.”


Al Ibrahim added that Qatar is due to welcome eight new cruise ships in the upcoming season, and estimated that cruise visitor arrivals have the potential to rise by 350,000 within a year, once the New Doha Port opens.


Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi is on the cusp of achieving its primary cruise tourism ambitions. Abu Dhabi’s new Zayed Port cruise terminal will welcome record cruise numbers and will see the return of a homeporting cruise ship for the 2015-2016 season.


“We used Seatrade Europe to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s rising winter sun destination appeal and awareness of its expanding portfolio of attractions and cultural experiences, and demonstrate to the world’s leading cruise lines that we can help boost the commercial attractiveness of their Abu Dhabi product through cooperative working with our partners at Abu Dhabi Ports and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE.”

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