In January next year, the largest cruise liner ever to dock in the Middle East will drop anchor in Dubai, cementing the emirate's growing reputation as a premier destination for ocean travel.
Cruise Market Watch estimates that the cruise market in Dubai is currently worth around $100 million (£61 million), but the sector is set for dramatic growth, with passenger numbers increasing by as much as 65 per cent last year.
And with an expected growth in passenger volumes of at least 25 per cent this year, the market will be well established by the time Royal Caribbean International's Brilliance of the Seas cruise liner arrives in Dubai in January 2010.
"We believe that as regional awareness grows about cruise holidays as a viable vacation option, we will see a significant increase in local passenger sign-up," said Rama Rebbapragada, regional vice-president of International Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Royal Caribbean positions itself as one of the most innovative cruise companies in the world and its luxurious ships offer activities and events to suit every taste, with rock climbing walls, spas and elegant dining rooms a common feature in the company's fleet.