(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Tourism authorities in Oman, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have partnered with cruise lines Costa and MSC Cruises to promote cruise tourism in GCC.
The partnership was launched with a six-city Cruise Gulf Road Show which took place from November 25 to December 3, touring several cities in GCC to promote cruise as a holiday option among residents, increase awareness of the Gulf as a cruise tourism destination, and train and motivate regional travel agents to sell cruises.
With the growing interest of cruise tourism in the region, Oman's Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and the Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) have come together to further promote the region and make the cruise sector an important revenue source for their respective markets.
Dubai is the cruise hub of the region with state-of-the-art infrastructure and services, including the largest cruise facility in the Middle East, which is set to be bolstered further by substantial expansion in the 2013-14 season. The emirate has been the home port for the world's leading cruise lines such as Costa, Aida, Royal Caribbean, TUI and MSC Cruises.
Costa, Aida and MSC have confirmed Gulf cruise itineraries out of Dubai for the 2013-14 season, and the ports in Oman and Abu Dhabi are a vital part of these itineraries.
Salim al Mamari, director general of Tourism Development, MoT, Oman, said, ''These are truly exciting times for the GCC's tourism industry, particularly across the luxury cruise segment, which has demonstrated continuous growth. In line with this, the joint venture agreement between MoT, DTCM and TCA Abu Dhabi proves to be both timely and strategic as it helps in positioning the region as a premiere cruising destination - ultimately driving in huge economic and development opportunities for the whole GCC.''
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of DTCM, said, ''The Cruise Gulf Road Show presents a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the continued growth and success of Dubai's cruise tourism industry and to join with our partners from Oman and Abu Dhabi to promote the Gulf as an attractive cruising destination. Following significant investments in infrastructure for cruise tourism across the region, the Middle East is increasingly recognised as a key growth market for the cruise industry and by working closely with our partners from Oman and Abu Dhabi we can contribute to this growth.''<