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Seatrade to focus on Gulf cruise issues

Abu Dhabi, May 12, 2013

Key issues impacting the development of the Arabian Gulf’s cruise industry will come under the spotlight at the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum in Abu Dhabi set to be held in December.

The event will run Rosewood Abu Dhabi from December 9 to 11.

The forum, organised by Seatrade with the support of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and its Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, will feature a summit session attended by regional ministers, tourism leaders, port and immigration officials, and a conference for the travel trade, ship agents, airlines and destination management companies.

Up to 200 delegates are expected to attend.

“Abu Dhabi has serious cruise tourism ambitions and this forum will allow us to demonstrate to the decision-makers of the world’s leading cruise operators our plans and qualifications for inclusion in their port-of-call itineraries and our potential as a home-port,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.

The 2012/2013 cruise season saw Abu Dhabi welcome 180,000 passengers from 88 vessel calls with the UAE capital targeting 100 vessel calls and around 220,000 passengers for the 2014/2015 season.

“Development of a permanent cruise terminal facility with our partners Abu Dhabi Terminals and Abu Dhabi Ports Company is still very much on our radar with plans now in the approvals process,” added Al Muhairi.

As part of the forum, Abu Dhabi will host 10 key officials of the world’s top cruise line operators including AIDA, TUI Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea Cruises, Costa Crociere SpA, Fred Olsen and the Holland America Line.

“Our intention is to convince these important influencers of the sheer diversity of the emirate’s product which they can embrace to deliver to their clients exciting and highly differentiated itinerary offerings,” added Al Muhairi.

The forum will also include a workshop session where each of the hosted executives will have one-on-one appointments with officials from participating destinations.

“This is an unrivalled opportunity for destinations in the region to get in front of the real cruise itinerary decision-makers to present their individual cases for port-of-call inclusion,” said Chris Hayman, managing director, Seatrade. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | Conference | Gulf cruise |

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