Plans to build a first terminal were unveiled in January this year but the capacity is now set to double enabling the two terminals to accommodate 1.2m passengers annually.
His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, group chairman at Meraas, said, ‘The project reaffirms our commitment to expanding on Dubai’s rich maritime heritage and tourism profile, while supporting the continued diversification of the national economy.’
Each terminal will be approximately 14,000sq mtr in size served by a single berth of 900mtr in length. In addition to cruise ship handling facilities, Dubai Harbour will feature the huge marina with 1,100-berths capable of accommodating some of the world’s biggest private yachts.
The masterplan for the waterfront destination extends over 20m sq ft and includes an 875,000sq ft shopping mall, an events arena, luxury residences, restaurants, cafes, hotels and a yacht club. It will also feature the Dubai Lighthouse, stretching 135mtr into the sky with an observation deck offering panoramic views. There will also be a futuristic public transport system, water stations, pedestrian bridge, jogging and cycling tracks.
Ground has been broken and 130,000sq mtr of land has been reclaimed. The contractor for the cruise terminal will be appointed once the land for the terminal is ready, with Dubai Habour being constructed in phases.
Meanwhile cruise ships calling Dubai continue to be accommodated at Port Rashid which has three cruise terminals. The 2017/18 cruise season starts in late October with the arrival of Seabourn Encore on a transit visit.
The first seasonal homeporting vessel to arrive is AIDAstella in early November. Other ships to hub in Dubai this coming season are Mein Schiff 5, Costa Mediterranea and MSC Splendida. P&O Cruises’ Oceana debuts in Dubai in January 2019 in a season running to early April.
Dubai is the venue for this year’s Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum being held December 12-13 at Lapita, Dubai Parks & Resorts.