Posted by Neil King
Dubai's tourism destinations have experienced a significant surge in cruise visitors thanks to a new partnership with Royal Caribbean International, an industry leader has observed.
Mohammed Al Habbai, chief executive officer of Dubailand, noted that the Brilliance of the Seas - Royal Caribbean's luxury liner - sailed at full capacity during its recently closed first season in the Middle East.
The ship began seven-night Gulf sailings in January, which left the home port of Dubai and toured Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
Since then, more than 34,000 guests from 79 different countries have sailed on board the Brilliance of the Seas, and the popularity of the cruises means the liner will return for a second season starting January 2011.
Royal Caribbean's debut in the Middle East included a partnership with Dubai Properties Group to offer excursions to the firm's developments in the emirate, including attractions at Dubailand and The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence.
In addition to its new Middle East offering, Royal Caribbean provides tour packages in Europe, Alaska, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.