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Costa Deliziosa naming ceremony held at the new facility

Dubai Crown Prince opens new Dubai Cruise Terminal

The new Dubai Cruise Terminal has been formally opened by the Dubai Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Tuesday in the presence of VIPs and officials, including His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates Airlines Group, His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,   Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Mr. Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere, Mr. Paolo Dionisi, Italian ambassador to the UAE, Mr. Corrado Antonini, Chairman Fincantieri and Mr. Gianni Onorato, President of Costa Cruises.

During the course of the festivities marking the launch of the one of the Middle East’s biggest cruise terminal facilities, the naming ceremony for a passenger cruise ship – Costa Deliziosa– took place, making Dubai the first Arab city to host such a prestigious ceremony.

Developed and operated by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) at the Port Rashid complex, the new facility, with a capacity to accommodate four cruise ships simultaneously, is expected to give a big boost to the high-yielding cruise tourism segment in the region’s best-equipped tourism destination.

The facade of the new Cruise Terminal building is based upon Dubai’s contemporary Arabic design and reflects emirate’s rich maritime heritage and present a strong positive image of Emirati hospitality. Special attention has been given to the exterior and interior of the terminal. Traditional domes, arches and carvings are the major architectural elements that constitute the exterior facades.

The terminal have a tourists support infrastructure which includes facilities like money exchange, ATMs, post office, duty free shop, souvenir shops, gift shops, and business centre with free internet access, Wi-Fi enabled for lap-top users, VIP Majlis, and toilets with access to physically-challenged visitors. The DTCM has set-up information counters inside the cruise terminal which is manned round the clock when ships are in-port to cater the needs and inquiries of the passengers and facilitating them with free maps and broachers about Dubai. In addition, the terminal houses offices for representatives from other government bodies such as Immigration, Customs and police to The DTCM Director Gesure easy access and swift services for the passengers.

Mr. Khalid A bin Sulayem, said: “The opening of state-of-the-art facility is a major milestone in our tourism journey. The Cruise tourism plays a crucial role in the overall growth and development of the tourism industry in the emirate. We realized its importance long ago and created the infrastructure and services that were needed to tap its potential. The new terminal will meet the increase demand that has been recorded in cruise tourists to Dubai.”

In 2009, Dubai played a host to 87 cruise ships that brought 261,000 cruise tourists. This year, Dubai will be hosting 120 ships with over 325,000 passengers. Next year, the terminal is expected to receive 135 ships with 375,000 passengers followed by 150 ships with 425,000 passengers in 2012, 165 ships with 475,000 passengers in 2013 and 180 ships with 525,000 passengers in 2014 and 195 ships with 575,000 passengers in 2015.

Also, Dubai became the first Arab city to witness the naming ceremony for a passenger cruise ship – Costa Deliziosa – at the newly-opened cruise terminal. This landmark development clearly reflects the growth potential of cruise tourism in the emirate and also the global interest in Dubai’s tourism facilities. Costa Deliziosa left Savona on the Grand Maiden Cruise and arrived in Dubai with over 2600 passengers.

Weighing 92,600 gross tonnage and with a total guest capacity of 2,826, the new ship has been built at a total cost of 450 million euros. During winter 2010/11 the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa – Costa’s top of the range offer – will be offering 7-day cruises in the Arabian Gulf with departure from Dubai and stopovers in Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.