Dubai is not only interested in becoming a smart city, but also in luring more tourists to its shore by sea.
The United Arab Emirates-based city has teamed up with over 20 global cruise line operators to ferry over 300,000 tourists during the 2013-2014 season, according to Dubai Cruise Tourism (DCT). The tourism drive is made possible by planned expansions in the Dubai Cruise Terminals, which will add another 27,000 sqm hub to cope with additional travelers -- and allow a turnaround of five ships at the same time.
While Dubai already hosts cruise lines including Costa, Aida and Royal Caribbean, the new scheme will boost the deployment of cruise liners in the new holiday season. In addition, holiday firms TUI and MSC will also operate in the 2014/5 season.
Director General of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Helal Saeed Almarri said:
"The Middle East is increasingly being recognised as a key growth market, following major commitments to make substantial investments to promote the cruise tourism industry.
This, in turn, is further establishing the promising outlook for the region's cruise sector and helping to boost reciprocal tourism potential in key destinations across the GCC."
This effort is not the only one currently under operation in the city. Taxi drivers in Dubai are also being trained to act as tourist guides under a project launched by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai Taxi Corporation.
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