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Emirates renews partnership with AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises for a further two seasons

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The MoU was signed by Felix Eichhorn, President of AIDA Cruises and Adnan Kazim, Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline. Standing behind the Emirates executives from left to right: Volker Greiner, Emirates Vice President North & Central Europe; Dina Al Herais, Vice President VP B2B Corporate & Leisure Products; Issam Kazim, CEO Dubai Tourism; Thierry Aucoc, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Europe; Dennis Schrahe, Vice President Capacity & Revenue Planning.

The partnerships will continue to focus on sharing relevant data and insights to improve service delivery, providing dedicated support teams for cruise passengers, and facilitating a smooth check-in process at Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal.

BERLIN / DUBAI: Solidifying Dubai’s place as a major maritime tourism hub, Emirates and AIDA Cruises have renewed their partnership for a further two seasons. The renewed partnership was signed on the sidelines of the first day of ITB Berlin and is in line with Dubai’s efforts to significant grow its cruise capacity. Dubai continues to attract the biggest players in the industry through offering a seamlessly integrated maritime hub, with state-of-the-art handling facilities supported with unrivalled air connectivity.

Emirates will explore a number of opportunities with AIDA Cruises for joint marketing, operational alignment and strategic planning around flight schedules from across its network, in addition to enhanced transportation solutions between Dubai International Airport and Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal.

The partnership will continue to focus on sharing relevant data and insights to improve service delivery, providing dedicated support teams for cruise passengers, and facilitating a smooth check-in process at Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal. The airline will also dedicate capacity for the next two seasons to ensure continued momentum to meet the demand for cruise packages to Dubai.

The MoU was signed by Adnan Kazim, Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline; and Felix Eichhorn, President of AIDA Cruises.

Adnan Kazim commented on the renewed partnership: “We’re proud of AIDA Cruises’ long-standing commitment to Dubai, when they were one of the first cruise liners to home port in 2006.  We are readying the business for another robust cruise season in Dubai, and through the support of partners like AIDA Cruises anchoring in our home city and hub, we’ll continue to strengthen Dubai’s position as an attractive gateway for winter cruising.”

“The Arabian Gulf is one of our most popular winter destinations due to its moderate flight times, pleasant summer temperatures and many hours of sunshine. Combined with the new state-of-the-art terminals at Dubai Harbour within easy reach of the city’s attractions and excellent airport connectivity, our cooperation with Emirates will further enhance the attractiveness of this destination for our guests with tailor-made flight options,” said Felix Eichhorn.

AIDAprima has been operating to Dubai Harbour since 2021 and can accommodate up to 3,200 passengers. This season, passengers embarking and disembarking from Dubai can look forward to diverse itineraries that include destinations like Muscat, Doha, Sir Bani Yas and Abu Dhabi.

Dubai has been a first mover in joining up the entire travel and tourism ecosystem to facilitate hassle-free entry and visas for cruise passengers, seamless handling at ports which includes access to Emirates check-in desks at Dubai Harbour along with a host of other amenities dotted across the entire air and ground journey. Travellers have the added advantage of disembarking at one of the world’s most iconic tourism destinations, with landmarks and attractions that suit every taste, age and budget.

The 12 Emirates check-in counters in Dubai Harbour allow passengers who are disembarking from their cruise ships to fully check-in up to 4 hours before flight departure with the convenience of exploring Dubai without their luggage before heading directly to the airport and breezing past most formalities before their flight.

Last year, Emirates transported around 400,000 cruise passengers using Dubai cruise terminals. The city welcomed over 166 ships during the last cruise season, making it the region’s biggest port of embarkation and most popular call for cruise liners. The city expects an increase of 23% more cruise passengers for the upcoming season.

Emirates has also renewed its partnership with TUI Cruises for the upcoming two cruise seasons. The renewed partnership with TUI Cruises was signed on the sidelines of ITB Berlin and underscores the airline’s commitment to working with like-minded partners to offer seamless travel experiences, both in the air and on the ground through its dedicated cruise terminal check-in areas and with the collaborative support of its partners in Dubai.

Emirates will closely work with TUI Cruises to offer dedicated flight options that closely align with upcoming cruise schedules, ensuring a smooth transition from air to sea for its customers. The airline will also explore enhanced transportation solutions between Dubai International (DXB) and Port Rashid, leverage insights to improve services on the ground, and provide dedicated support teams for cruise passengers. Currently, the port’s Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, the world’s largest single covered cruise terminal facility, is capable of handling 14,000 passengers a day.

In addition to coordinated operations and exploring marketing synergies, the partnership will focus on developing exclusive luxury packages and experiences that showcase the best of Dubai and the region’s TUI Cruise programmes.

Emirates-TUI-Cruises

Left to right: Katharina Rinne, Director Revenue Management & Pricing, TUI Cruises; Volker Greiner, Emirates Vice President North & Central Europe; Thierry Aucoc, Emirates Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Europe; Wybcke Meier, CEO TUI Cruises; Adnan Kazim, Emirates Deputy President und Chief Commercial Officer; Dina N A Al Herais, Emirates Vice President Corporate and Leisure – Global Sales.

The MoU with TUI Cruises was signed by Adnan Kazim, Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline; and Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises.

Adnan Kazim said: “Emirates is proud to play a vital role in supporting Dubai’s status as one of the world’s best cruise destinations. This is a result of many years of work to build a maritime infrastructure that is second to none, outstanding tourist attractions and landmarks, and unparalleled air connectivity coupled with streamlined on ground customs and handling facilities for inbound cruise tourists.  All of these factors have made Dubai a key gateway for some of the most sought-after cruise itineraries. Our agreement with TUI Cruises aims to continue our efforts to boost cruise passenger arrivals from all over our network, so they can experience the best in sea travel aboard TUI’s magnificent ships.”

“For more than ten years, we have been calling at Dubai with the Mein Schiff fleet to give our guests the opportunity to discover the world of the Orient with us. Dubai is not only an important turnaround port, the destination and the region offer what Mein Schiff guests want: a mix of metropolises that are constantly evolving, wonderful beaches and special insights into the culture. With Emirates, we are working successfully with an airline that gives our guests this vacation feeling right from the start.” said Wybcke Meier.

The growth of cruise liner arrivals in Dubai represents the collective efforts of partners across the travel and aviation ecosystem working together for a seamless experience. This includes hassle-free customs and entry procedures and seamless visa facilities for cruise ship passengers, duty-free outlets and shops, tour-operator desks and complimentary shuttle bus services to the city in addition to Emirates’ own remote check-in desks at Port Rashid.

The 16 Emirates check-in counters allow passengers who are disembarking from their cruise ships to check in their luggage and get their boarding passes up to 4 hours before flight departure with the convenience of exploring Dubai without their bags before heading directly to the airport for their flight.

TUI Cruises will deploy two ships for the upcoming season to Port Rashid. Each ship can accommodate more than 2,500 passengers. Customers have the choice of two programmes, one with embarkation and disembarkation in Dubai, featuring GCC destinations like Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The other itinerary includes Asian points such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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