luxury cruise segment, which has demonstrated continuous growth. In line with this, the joint venture agreement between Oman's Ministry of Tourism, the DTCM in Dubai and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority proves to be both timely and strategic as it joins hands in positioning the region as a premiere cruising destination- ultimately driving in huge economic and development opportunities for the whole GCC."
Sultan Al Dhaheri, director, tourism eco-systems, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority commented, “Abu Dhabi has long-term cruise industry ambitions and is working closely with our regional destination partners to progress a GCC-wide approach to fulfill the needs of operators. To build the business we need to provide the desired physical infrastructure, supply enticing and engaging shore excursions and assist the operators by building the profile of the industry among the regional travel trade and consumers. We are putting intense effort behind reaching our goals and anticipate a gradual evolution of the regional cruise industry and uptake in cruise offerings from within the GCC and beyond.”
Dario Rustico, director, sales and marketing, Central Europe, Africa, Middle East and India, Costa Cruises said, “The UAE and the GCC Region is a firm fixture in our winter deployment since 2006 and our participation to the Cruise Gulf Road Show is the first of many activities we have in the pipeline, in line with our plan to invest more to develop the local source market. For the 2013/2014 season, we will deploy two ships in the region – the Costa Fortuna with a capacity for 3,470 passengers and the Costa NeoRiviera which has a capacity for 1,727 passengers - offering cruises calling at Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Khasab. The two ships will make a total of 27 cruises in the region and next year we will deploy a larger ship, the Costa Serena, which has a capacity for 3,780 passengers for another 17 cruises.”