Carnival Partners With Meraas to Develop Dubai Cruise Terminal

Arnold W. Donald and Abdulla Al Habbai signing the partnership agreement // Courtesy of LDWWgroup.

Carnival Corporation has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Meraas to develop the Dubai Cruise Terminal in an effort to grow maritime tourism in the region and transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub. The signing ceremony was attended by Crown Prince of Dubai HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Under the agreement, signed by Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas, and Arnold W. Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation, the companies will collaborate across several strategic areas including port development, terminal management, and new cruise development opportunities at Dubai Harbour and the broader region.

Dubai is set to become central to Carnival Corporation’s operations in the region. The agreement mandates Carnival Corporation to assist Meraas in ensuring the cruise terminal meets the highest international standards of the cruise industry, while the relevant authorities will be responsible for security, immigration and customs.

Operations at the Dubai Cruise Terminal are scheduled to commence in October 2020. Following discussions with Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, it was agreed on March 26, 2018, that Dubai Cruise Terminal will become the main cruise terminal in Dubai and all cruise ships visiting Port Rashid will be redirected gradually from its opening date.

Dubai Harbour, where Carnival’s new cruise terminal will be, was launched in January 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Dubai Harbour will be home to two cruise terminal buildings, spanning a total of about 322,000 square feet, joined by a single quay of about 1 kilometer (about 0.6 miles), capable of accommodating up to three cruise ships concurrently, including Carnival Corporation’s newest cruise ships, as well as up to 13,200 passengers at a time. In anticipation of an upsurge in cruises, Meraas has planned for the addition of two more terminal buildings that will increase capacity to six cruise ships at the same time.

Dubai Harbour will be located on King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street in the Mina Seyahi area and is set to span 20 million square feet in total. The development will include a shopping mall, luxury residential units, restaurants, cafés, hotels and a yacht club, as well as Dubai Lighthouse, a 442-foot-high structure with a viewing platform offering panoramic views of Dubai. 

In addition, Dubai Harbour will have the largest yacht marina in the Middle East and North Africa with 1,100 berths capable of accommodating some of the world's largest yachts up to approximately 490 feet. Its infrastructure will include a road network, as well as marine and air transportation facilities, a monorail line, a bridge to Bluewaters and water taxi stations.

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