Global cruise line executives converge at Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum

Dec 12 2017

The annual Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum will host 17 cruise line executives from 14 of the world’s leading cruise lines, from today at Lapita Hotel located within Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Cruise lines represented include: AIDA Cruises; Carnival UK; Crystal Cruises; Cunard; Cruise & Maritime Voyages; Marella Cruises, TUI Group; MSC Cruises; P&O Cruises; Pullmantur Cruceros; Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd; TUI Cruises GmbH; Star Clippers; Windstar Cruises; Virgin Voyages. Both Star Clippers and Virgin Voyages are new cruise lines to attend the event.

Over next two days, the executives will meet with a network of senior government representatives and key cruise industry stakeholders to discuss and assess the region’s potential; new opportunities on offer and key issues affecting the development of cruise tourism within the Arabian Gulf.

“Cruise tourism within the Arabian Gulf has experienced explosive growth over the past five years,” said Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade UBM EMEA. “As deployment continues to boom, destinations across the region have already made major investments in cruise terminal facilities to accommodate an expanding fleet of ships, which are increasing in capacity from season to season.”

Day One will open with a series of insightful industry keynote messages from: Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade UBM EMEA; Ahmed Al Rayyes, General Manager Retail and Hospitality, DXB Entertainments; Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM); Esam Ahmed, Commercial Manager, Mina Rashid & Mina Hamriyah, DP World and Tim Lowther, Manager Leisure Market and Special Segments, Global Sales, Emirates.

The opening Summit Session will concentrate on ‘managing growth and planning for the future’ and feature addresses from cruise line executives and regional stakeholders including: Saeed Al Dhaheri, Cruise Sector and City Tour Development Manager, Department of Culture & Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi; Mohammed Zahran Al Mahruqi, Program Director, ASYAD, Oman; Yousef AlKhan, Director of Marketing & Tourism Promotion, Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority (BTEA); Hamad Mohammed Bin Shaik Mejren, SVP, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism); Shaji Thomas, Director Destination Tourism Development, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; and Shri Yashodhan A Wanage, Deputy Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust.

The conference programme on Day Two will put a spotlight on a number of key discussion points, including extending seasonality; opportunities for niche cruising; port and destination development; the link with India; the Suez Canal and Red Sea; shore excursion offerings; supporting the needs of the crew and exploiting the potential for inbound Chinese tourism.