His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VP and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, witnessed signing of strategic partnership between Meraas and Carnival Corporation, that aims to transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub. The agreement highlights Meraas’ support for Dubai Tourism Vision 2020, which aims to attract 20 million visitors a year to the emirate, and strengthens the company’s contribution to Dubai Plan 2021, the strategic roadmap to establish Dubai among the world’s best cities. Operations at the Dubai Cruise Terminal are scheduled to commence in October 2020.
His Highness also said the tourism sector is key to the development of the UAE’s economy, due to the value it adds through key projects and its ability to attract millions of visitors every year. “We welcome visitors from across the world and provide them with an exceptional tourism experiences. We want them to leave with lasting memories that they can share in their countries and communities. The continuous development of infrastructure has enabled our country to be a destination of choice in the region. Supported by the talent and creativity of our people, I am confident that we will be able to establish global leadership in several sectors. The UAE will continue to be a symbol of progress and prosperity,” Sheikh Mohammed added. He said that mega projects being implemented in the UAE are reinforcing the country’s profile globally as a model for sustainable growth driven by diversification, innovation and productive partnerships with the private sector.
HH Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks came as he approved the Dubai Cruise Terminal as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai. The event 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 His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, group chairman of Meraas, and Arnold W Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, 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.