DUBAI, (Pakistan Point News - 11th Dec, 2019) MSC Cruises announced that it has signed a long-term agreement with DP World for preferential berthing rights at Mina Rashid in Dubai, and thanks to the additional volumes, the Geneva, the Switzerland-based cruise line will further consolidate its position as the largest passenger cruise operator in the Gulf region.
The contract was formally signed today by the line’s CEO, Gianni Onorato, and Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannaei, CEO - P&O Marinas & Executive Director, Mina Rashid, onboard MSC Bellissima, the most modern and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships deployed in the region, during her maiden call ceremony at Mina Rashid in Dubai.
Onorato said, "Our existing commitment to Dubai and the region is demonstrated by MSC Bellissima’s presence this season, the most modern, as well as one of most environmentally-advanced, cruise ships to sail in the Gulf. We will strengthen that bond further in winter 2020-21 when we deploy the highly-innovative MSC Seaview, a ship designed to operate in warmer weathers, to serve the region."
Al Mannaei said, "The agreement with MSC Cruises for preferential berthing comes at a time when Mina Rashid has been experiencing double-digit increase in tourist traffic. Key to this sterling performance is our flagship Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, the world's single largest covered cruise facility capable of handling 14,000 passengers a day. DP World UAE Region supports the Dubai Tourism Strategy goal of achieving 20 million tourists by 2020. MSC Cruises’ ambitions for the coming year are ideally placed to support this drive."
Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President, Dubai Tourism, added, "We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with MSC Cruises and solidify Dubai’s position as the leading cruise hub of the region. Dubai continues to provide its international visitors with a superior customer service throughout their travels, reflecting the city’s diverse offerings."
The long-term agreement comes on the back of MSC Cruises expecting to carry more than 180,000 passengers in Dubai this season, a figure that will progressively grow through the length of the new agreement, according to a press release.
MSC Bellissima, which was launched in February of this year, will make 17 calls and spend 35 days in Dubai during the winter season until March 2020 and sail a range of seven-night itineraries in the Gulf.
MSC Cruises will also deploy MSC Lirica in the Gulf for this winter season with 11-night cruises as well as 14-night cruises that also call to India.
The over 600-year-old maritime tradition of exchanging crests took place today on board MSC Bellissima in Dubai at a maiden call ceremony between the ship’s Master, Captain Giuseppe Maresca, and senior officials from DP World, Dubai Tourism, Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs and the Sharaf Shipping Agency, MSC Cruises’ agents in Dubai.