The ministry of tourism Oman (Oman Tourism), Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) have announced a partnership to promote cruise tourism in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The partnership was launched with a Cruise Gulf Road Show which took place from November 25 to December 3, 2013, touring several cities in the GCC, with the objectives of increasing the number of residents in the region who consider cruise as a holiday option; increasing the awareness of the Gulf as a cruise tourism destination; and to train and motivate regional travel trade agents to sell cruises in the Gulf sailing out of Dubai.
The delegation comprised of the representatives from the three tourism authorities and Cruise line Costa and MSC visited a number of GCC neighbors over the six day roadshow, targeting an overall audience of 400-450 leading travel agents and other key stakeholders. The roadshow arrived in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Riyadh and Al Khobar. On each occasion, speeches and presentations by Oman Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi and DTCM, were followed by presentations by MSC and Costa Cruises.
Dubai is the cruise hub of the region, with state-of-the art infrastructure and services, including the largest cruise facility in the Middle East - which is set to be bolstered further by a substantial expansion in the 2013-2014 season. The Emirate has been the home port for the world’s leading cruise lines such as Costa, Aida, Royal Caribbean, TUI and MSC Cruises. Costa, Aida and MSC has confirmed gulf cruise itineraries out of Dubai for 2013-2014 season. The port of Oman and Abu Dhabi are a vital part of these itineraries.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, DTCM, said, "The Cruise Gulf Road Show presents a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the continued growth and success of Dubai's cruise tourism industry and to join with our partners from Oman and Abu Dhabi cruise industries to promote the Gulf as an attractive cruising destination. Following significant investment in infrastructure for cruise tourism across the region, the Middle East is increasingly recognised as a key growth market for the cruise industry and by working closely with our partners from Oman and Abu Dhabi we can contribute to this growth.”
Salim Al Mamari, director general, tourism development, Oman Ministry of Tourism, said, “These are exciting times for the GCC region's tourism industry, particularly across the