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Growing Market for Cruises from Dubai

Posted on 15-Nov-2018 by Administrator
Growing Market for Cruises from Dubai

Over the last two decades, the Middle East and most particularly the city of Dubai has shown a staggering level of growth, both in terms of its infrastructure and economy, and for becoming an absolute tourist magnet. The premier city of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is one of the favourite destinations for travellers from India, as it is within a 3 hour flight journey from most cities in India and has a substantial number of attractions to make any tourist have a memorable experience. Not one to be left behind, the cruise industry has also turned its eye towards Dubai and in the last couple years especially, the cruise market from Dubai has seen immense growth, with more and more cruise liners announcing plans to cruise the Middle East during the winter months of November to March.

Winter is undoubtedly the best time to visit, explore and rejoice in the exotic wonders of the Middle East. The weather is blessedly cold and pleasant, whether in the urban extravaganza of Dubai or the understated luxury of Abu Dhabi. The Middle East has so much to offer beyond its glorious red deserts. Many middle-eastern countries are relics of a whole different civilization, the gigantic mosques with their marble minarets, gorgeous beaches and architecture that make one think they are inside an Arabian Night’s tale. What these countries, and especially the UAE also has, is infrastructure and culture as modern as it can get, with some of the world’s biggest buildings and malls towering its cities.

Four major cruise liners have come up with lucrative offers for sailings to the Middle East this winter - MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Pullmantur Cruises. Not only does this mean that there will be no shortage on deals, but also that the family & premium cruise market is decidedly zooming on the Middle East as a destination where they are willing to commit serious money to bring their best ships to the Middle East.

Celebrity Constellation, a millennium class cruise ship with over 2,000 passengers is offering a splendid seven day cruise beginning from the 8th of December, 2018 from Abu Dhabi, with a two day stay in Dubai, that then goes on to tour the gulf before finally docking at Cochin, India. Another six night cruise commencing from the 22nd of December begins from Abu Dhabi, and, cruising through the Arabian Sea, brings you to Mumbai while cruising via Goa. Premium Cruising has indeed, never been closer to home!

MSC Cruises have deployed both MSC Splendida and MSC Lirica with multiple Christmastime cruise offers. MSC Lirica, maintaining the MSC Cruises’ Mediterranean legacy of elegant hospitality, is another splendid vessel accommodating over 1560 passengers in 780 cabins. Their offering is an eight night Christmas Cruise from Dubai to Mumbai beginning from the 22nd of December, 2018. The cruise will explore Abu Dhabi, then sail on to Oman, before turning westwards into the Indian shores at New Mangalore, and the year-end Paradise of Goa before finally landing at Mumbai.

Costa Cruises have deployed their famed Costa Mediterranea, a palatial ship with over 1,057 cabins, multiple restaurants and Italian art for their foray into the Middle East. They too are offering seven night cruises beginning from 21st December, starting from Dubai with a stop at Muscat in Oman, and then to Sir Bani Yas Island before docking at Abu Dhabi. Costa Cruises also has an impressive line-up in the next year with cruises all the way till March. An eight night round trip begins from Dubai and tours Muscat, Oman, and then to the exotic Doha in Qatar before reaching its final destination, Abu Dhabi.

Following are the major ports of call that you can experience on a cruise to the Middle East:

Abu Dhabi: The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi radiates panache and opulence in its very air. The highlight of this city is undoubtedly the mammoth Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a glorious architectural wonder made entirely with Macedonian marble with architectural styles of multiple middle-eastern civilizations merging seamlessly. If travelling with family, the one place you cannot miss is the Ferrari World, a gigantic amusement park that could give any Disney land a run for its money. It boasts the world’s fastest roller coaster, a collection of Ferrari cars that would be a goldmine for any car-lover and a number of thrilling rides. Another brilliant place to visit with your little ones is the Emirates Park Zoo and the Liwa Oasis with its endless sand dunes, camel trekking and date farming.

Sir Bani Yas Island: Located just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island is the largest natural island in the UAE. It is home to some of the rarest species of wildlife in the Arabian Desert, including the once extinct Arabian Oryx, and a number of gazelles, cheetahs, giraffes and hyenas. There also is a sprawling beach on the island, and a hotel in the middle of the wilderness dotted with exotic restaurants. Tourists can partake in Pearl Diving, literally hunting for oysters in the emerald blue waters, snorkelling and taking a peek at the coral reefs as well. You never know, you might end up discovering a pearl or two! It’s a wealth of wildlife to explore whilst equipped with the best luxury around you.

Bahrain: Manama, the capital and largest city of Bahrain, is famous for its exquisite carpets, pearls and exotic spices that were once the envy of the west. What Bahrain also has to offer is luxury resorts along the gulf Coast and some of the best shopping experiences. The city also has a rich history from its Portuguese colonial past that mingles with its Persian heritage in a way that makes Bahrain stand out entirely from its neighbours. Any stop at Bahrain is sure to leave you surprised at the sheer contrast this Island offers.

Doha: A must visit centre in Doha is the Museum of Islamic Art, a world-renowned structure that has been curated meticulously over the centuries making it the largest collection of Islamic Art worldwide with paintings collected for over 1400 years. At a stone’s throw away from the airport is the Souq Waqif, a one stop place for the best dining and shopping options. Another tourist magnet is the Pearl, an artificial island with a breath-taking skyline.

Muscat:  Muscat is a stunning city filled with creamy white buildings contrasting sharply with the mud-brown mountains surrounding it. And the fact that there are no high-rising sky scrapers here, only adds to the other-world feel this city provides. Mutrah, the main port of Muscat is like a small village in itself, and a walk along the corniche from Murtah to old Muscat probably will give you a perfect glimpse to the culture and flavor of the city. Located in Shatti Al Qurum, the Royal Opera House is the most beautiful structure in all of Muscat, and be sure to book tickets for the shows in advance. Also explore the multiple forts and mosques throughout the city as well as the opulent Sultan’s palace.

Dubai:  Dubai, the biggest, busiest and flashiest cities in the UAE is undoubtedly a shopper’s paradise. It is home to both, the world’s largest building - the Burj Khalifa - and the world’s largest mall, the Dubai Mall. The city is a paradox in itself, with a harbour skyline full of skyscrapers touching the clouds, each a bigger wonder than the last, while the serenity of Old Dubai across the river tells the tale of a whole other civilization. Also visit the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial palm tree shaped island famous for its posh hotels, and exotic food offerings. Also in Dubai is the Burj Al Arab, a sail shaped seven star hotel just off the pearl white Jumeirah beach as well as the world famous Atlantis, a hotel that looks no less grand than an Emperor’s palace, and treats you like one. Dubai is a city with a global heart, a cultural amalgamation of the east and west, a city of superlatives!

The following are the major cruiseliners that cruise the Middle East together with a summary of their sailing itineraries:

Cruise Ship Name Departure Port and dates Prices*(USD) per person Ports of call
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Constellation Abu Dhabi
December 08, 2018
389 Abu Dhabi; Dubai; Cochin; India
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Constellation Mumbai
December 28, 2018
549 Mumbai; Dubai; Sir Bani Yas Island; Abu Dhabi, UAE
MSC Cruises MSC Lirica Dubai, UAE
Nov 19, Dec 11, 2018
2179 Dubai; Abu Dhabi; Sir Bani Yas Island; Khasab, Oman;  Muscat; Bahrain; Doha, Qatar
MSC Cruises MSC Splendida Abu Dhabi
December 16, 2018
1258 Abu Dhabi; Sir Bani Yas Island; Muscat, Khasab, Oman; Dubai
MSC Cruises MSC Lirica Dubai
December 22, 2018
659 Dubai; Abu Dhabi; Muscat; New Mangalore; Goa; Mumbai
Costa Cruises Costa Mediterranea Dubai
December 22; 29, 2018
981 Dubai; Muscat;
Sir Bani Yas Island; Abu Dhabi
Costa Cruises Costa Mediterranea Dubai
March 02, 2019
746 Abu Dhabi; Doha; Dubai; Muscat


*Note: The ships offer accommodations Inside, Outside, Balcony rooms and/or suites. The prices mentioned in the table above are starting prices of Inside cabins and are subject to availability. Rates for more luxurious suites may vary.

The Middle East is very much like what one might imagine a tale from the Arabian Nights would look like. It has the sprawling deserts, and the grand mosques with its marble minarets and Persian architecture, but at the same time, these countries are right on par with the rest of the world, with every luxury imaginable. Experience the Middle East differently this winter on a cruise holiday. And for the shopaholics, cruising coming January is the ultimate jackpot! Stay overnight in Dubai during the annual Dubai Shopping Festival and shop till you drop! Hurry and book your cabin for an unforgettable cruise to the Middle East.

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  • Cruises From Dubai

    All the best !

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