Dubai Harbour opens the 2022-23 cruise season with the arrival of AIDAcosma

Nov 17, 2022

Today Dubai Harbour welcomed its first cruise ship the AIDAcosma from the German cruise line Aida, officially starting its 2022/23 cruise season. AIDAcosma will use Dubai as a homeport departing on 7-night Orinet voyages to Muscat, and Abu Dhabi. AIDAcosma is one of the largest cruise ships within the AIDA fleet and is a first-of-its-kind liquid natural gas (LNG) powered ship with a capacity of over 5,500 guests. 

To mark the opening of the cruise season, DHCT Management along with public and private sector stakeholders will exchange plaques with the Ship Captain, a maritime tradition, to commemorate its maiden call. 

Throughout the season, more than 300,000 cruise passengers are expected to arrive at the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, marking accelerating growth for the cruise industry in the country.

“We are excited to return to Dubai Harbour – this time round with the maiden call of our youngest fleet member AIDAcosma. Through AIDAcosma, we are continuing on our path to green cruising and are elated to be collaborating with Dubai Harbour to do so. We are sure our guests will have a great time, as they set sail on a tour of the Orient this winter 2022/2023, specifically at Dubai Harbour with its line-up of entertaining events and activities, alongside the magnificent Dubai skyline,” Alexander Ewig, Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales at AIDA Cruises said:=.

As the owning-company and curator of Dubai Harbour, the diversified investment firm Shamal Holding is the driving force behind making Dubai Harbour an exceptional seafront district. The cruise terminals, which are part of the incredible Dubai Harbour development, showcase the spectacular and beautiful Dubai Harbour skyline to guests and offer a wide array of amenities and services for passengers and crew.

“Today is a very special day for us. This is not only the first time we have an LNG-powered cruise ship making its way to the city, but also a new cruise season that we look forward to with renewed excitement and anticipation. As we get ready to see full fleets get back in service, we believe there is great scope for extraordinary growth in the region. This includes more destinations, enhanced experiences and new types of cruise travellers. After the success of our last cruise season, we have continued to make investments across Dubai Harbour and Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminals and will also be extending our cruise season into the summer months of 2023 for the first time, with ships calling well into the month of June for overnight port stays for passenger turnaround. We look forward to continuing to play our part in welcoming more passengers and ships, as we aim to contribute to the region’s cruise tourism sector.” Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer, Shamal Holding, the owner and curator of Dubai Harbour said.

“As Dubai continues to make waves across global tourism, the arrival of the first cruise travellers at Dubai Harbour for the new season will further reinforce Dubai’s position as a leading cruise tourism hub in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make our city the world’s most sought-after and visited destination. The continuous efforts of Shamal Holding to enhance Dubai’s cruise tourism sector by developing world-class projects, infrastructure and facilities such as the Dubai Harbour is a testament to the tireless efforts of our valued stakeholders and partners to expand Dubai’s diverse destination proposition. As sustainability and decarbonisation are crucial elements of Dubai’s tourism strategy, we welcome the arrival of eco-friendly cruise ships like the Aida Cosma, further boosting our efforts to become a major sustainable tourism destination. We are also proud to be consistently included as a key port of call by the world’s largest and most popular ocean liners, highlighting Dubai’s global reputation as the ultimate cruise gateway to the region.” H.E. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented.

The infrastructure at the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal comprises two terminal buildings that offer passengers and crew a safe, comfortable, and seamless experience. Designed to process over 3,250 passengers per hour, the highly efficient and modern terminals are located on a pier stretch of over 910 meters and can accommodate a complete passenger turnaround of two mega cruise ships simultaneously.

The purpose-built terminals ensure simplified and streamlined immigration, as well as customs screening processes, with the dedicated access routes for passengers and crew, facilitated by Seaport Passenger Boarding Bridges, allowing uninterrupted flow between the ship and the terminal.