(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the new Mina Rashid Marina on Monday. The Marinas can harbour 5,000 yachts and boats and accommodate 20,000 in the next few years. It is expected to develop into a world-class maritime and entertainment attraction.
The project, which is carried out by P & O, part of DP World, stretches over 13 square kilometres and features a number of facilities, including an integrated entertainment city, Marina Cube.
Sheikh Mansoor toured the place accompanied by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC).
The marina, once fully operational, will include 19 designated docks from A to U, plus 646 berths that can accommodate more than 5,000 boats. As for entertainment, there are cafes, restaurants, retail shops and walking paths, as part of the Marina Cubes project. The project will also include residential units and an area to receive small seaplanes.
The project is now in its second phase. The first phase has a capacity to berth 260 boats and yachts, the second can deal with 130 boats and the third will berth 16 big yachts and will be done with mid-2018.
Bin Sulayem said: "Cruise tourists coming to Dubai will have the best entertainment facilities awaiting them."
Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, CEO of P & O and executive director of Mina Rashid, said: "The project will attract foreign investment and boost tourism, not only in Dubai but all of UAE."
Dubai welcomed over 625,000 cruise tourists via 157 ship calls during the last cruise season compared to 133 ship calls in 2015/2016 season, reflecting an increase of 15 per cent. The city expects to receive more than a million cruise tourists by 2020, and the same number from inside the UAE.
Cruise tourism continues to grow in the UAE as the government develops the required infrastructure and promotes the country as a cruise destination.
The main driver of the industry's growth in the UAE is the government's effort to develop this lucrative segment, especially in terms of infrastructure and continuous promotion of the UAE as a destination on a global level.