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Dubai gathering to discuss cruise future

Date Posted: 02 Aug 2006
Dubai is to host an industry gathering later this year to discuss the possibility of establishing a cruise hub concept in the region, which would mean more opportunity for passengers to enjoy cruises to the Middle East.

Costa Cruises has already decided it will position a cruise ship in the area this Christmas to offer week-long cruises around the region, something that could become a more common occurrence if the talks progress well.

"The global cruise business is witnessing average growth of around eight per cent and major cruise lines are now focussing on the Middle East market as a means of maintaining momentum," said Chris Hayman, managing director of Seatrade ? the international maritime publisher and events organiser behind Seatrade Middle East Maritime.

"Worldwide, industry revenues are expected to reach $50 billion (?27 billion) by 2015. The UAE is central to regional growth with some 80,000 cruise passengers scheduled to pass through the Dubai Cruise Terminal in 2007."

Costa Cruises' Costa Classica currently sails to destinations including Dubai, Oman and Bahrain on its seven-day Middle East cruise named The Jewels of the Emirates.

With a passenger capacity of 1,308, the Costa Classica offers an intimate and unforgettable experience for cruisers enjoying a slice of the Middle East.

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