ABU DABHI: Dubai has launched its new ultra-modern facilitated third cruise terminal named Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, which is said to be World’s largest cruise facility which can accommodate 14, 000 cruise passengers a single day.
The DP World’s ultra-modern third cruise terminal was inaugurated by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai on Thursday.
The Crown Prince was welcomed to the new cruise terminal by DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, vice chairman Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, Group chief executive Mohammed Sharaf, senior vice president and managing director (UAE Region) Mohammed Al Muallem and other senior officials.
During the visit, Sheikh Hamdan met Emirati employees and viewed a range of demonstrations charting the development of the port since 1967.
On the opening day, DP World welcomed 4,000 passengers at the new terminal from the Costa Cruise and Aida Cruise ships, part of Arabian Gulf tours.
The operation to welcome the passengers involved close co-ordination with Dubai Police, the General Directorate Dubai Residency and Foreign Affairs, RTA and Dubai Customs.
The Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal covers 28,000 sq m and is the latest addition to The Dubai Cruise Terminal facility at Mina Rashid.
It also boasts of a 70,000 sq m car park that can accommodate 36 buses and 150 taxis in addition to private cars and parking bays for employees and visitors.
Speaking at the launch, Bin Sulayem said: “Dubai’s vision is to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020, with the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) anticipating cruise tourist numbers reaching the one-million mark by that time.”
He pointed out that the new building will increase the handling capacity of the three cruise terminals in Dubai from two million tourists a year to seven million.
According to him, the terminal is the largest and most modern cruise facility in the Middle East and the wider region, enabling award winning Mina Rashid to now serve up to seven cruise vessels at one time and more than 25,000 passengers in its three cruise terminals.
This expansion came in response to requests from cruise lines and will enable them to increase the number of their trips to Dubai, he added.
The new terminal, stated the official, will strengthen Dubai’s position as a global city and the premier cruise hub in the Middle East.
“Our investment in expanding cruise handling capacity and building this facility at Mina Rashid aims to position the city as a leading tourist destination,” he noted.
“The terminal also supports growth in the tourism sector and the emirate’s economy by making Dubai a base for cruise tours visiting other ports in the UAE and the Gulf, the Maldives and as far as Mumbai (India).” he added.
Bin Sulayem pointed out that developing tourism infrastructure in Dubai was a priority.
The new terminal has strong green credentials having been built using re-cycled materials from Jebel Ali, including the steel structure, interlocking bricks, and shipping wood pellets for interior finishing.
Its key features include a Green Wall Shade System to reduce solar ingress, controlled LED and daylight illumination, landscaping and irrigation supply. It also provides bicycle and electric car parking with charging stations.
The DP chief said the building was eco-friendly and sustainable in line with Dubai’s green building initiative.
“Over 75 per cent of the building structure was reused from a steel structure sourced from demolished warehouses during the building of Jebel Ali’s new container terminal, which recently opens for business,” he noted.
According to him, the new terminal offers streamlined immigration and entry procedures co-ordinated by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Features include duty-free outlets, shops, currency exchange, ATM machines and a VIP business centre.