STOCK Dubai cruise tourism
The AIDAcosma has 20 passenger decks and 2,600 staterooms. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Harbour on Thursday welcomed its first cruise ship – the AIDAcosma – officially starting its 2022-23 cruise season.

Setting sail from Germany on its maiden voyage, AIDAcosma is a first-of-its-kind liquid natural gas (LNG) powered ship with a capacity of over 5,500 passengers.

Operated by AIDA Cruises, with 20 passenger decks and 2,600 staterooms, the AIDAcosma is one of the largest cruise ships within the company’s fleet. It has a fun park, children’s pool, water slide, an outdoor sports deck, as well as 17 restaurants and 23 lounges.

Throughout the season, more than 300,000 passengers are expected to arrive at the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal.

STOCK Dubai cruise tourism
The ship has a fun park, children’s pool, water slide, an outdoor sports deck, as well as 17 restaurants and 23 lounges. Image Credit: Supplied

Alexander Ewig, Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales at AIDA Cruises, commented: “Through AIDAcosma, we are continuing on our path to green cruising and are elated to be collaborating with Dubai Harbour to do so. We are sure our guests will have a great time, as they set sail on a tour of the Orient this winter 2022-2023, specifically at Dubai Harbour with its line-up of entertaining events and activities, alongside the magnificent Dubai skyline.”

Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer, Shamal Holding, the owner and curator of Dubai Harbour said: “Today is a very special day for us. This is not only the first time we have an LNG-powered cruise ship making its way to the city, but also a new cruise season that we look forward to with renewed excitement and anticipation.

“After the success of our last cruise season, we have continued to make investments across Dubai Harbour and Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminals and will also be extending our cruise season into the summer months of 2023 for the first time, with ships calling well into the month of June for overnight port stays for passenger turnaround. We look forward to continuing to play our part in welcoming more passengers and ships, as we aim to contribute to the region’s cruise tourism sector.”

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: “As Dubai continues to make waves across global tourism, the arrival of the first cruise travellers at Dubai Harbour for the new season will further reinforce Dubai’s position as a leading cruise tourism hub.

“As sustainability and decarbonisation are crucial elements of Dubai’s tourism strategy, we welcome the arrival of eco-friendly cruise ships like the Aida Cosma, further boosting our efforts to become a major sustainable tourism destination. We are also proud to be consistently included as a key port of call by the world’s largest and most popular ocean liners, highlighting Dubai’s global reputation as the ultimate cruise gateway to the region.”