The agreement was signed onboard MSC Bellissima during her maiden call to Dubai (Image: MSC Cruises)
MSC Cruises has signed a long-term agreement with DPWorld for preferential berthing rights at Mina Rashid Port in Dubai, allowing the cruise line to increase its operations in the region.
MSC will homeport several ships in Dubai throughout the contract’s term. Currently, the cruise line is expecting to carry over 180,000 passengers to and from Dubai this season, with this number expected to grow during the agreement.
The new deal also includes commitments from both companies to further reduce the carbon footprint of MSC Cruises’ ships calling in Dubai. This will include DP World’s implementation of a qualifying fuelling process when MSC Cruises deploys LNG-powered ships to the Gulf region. MSC Cruises recently pledged to offset all of its carbon emissions by 2020, becoming the first carbon-neutral cruise operator in the world.
“This new agreement with DP World is a continuation of what has been a successful partnership,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “Our existing commitment to Dubai and the region is clearly demonstrated by MSC Bellissima’s presence this season, one of the most modern and environmentally advanced cruise ships to sail in the Gulf. We will strengthen that bond further in winter 2020-21 when we deploy the innovative MSC Seaview, a ship especially designed to operate in warmer weathers, to serve the region.
The contract was formally signed by Onorato and Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannaei, CEO of P&O Marinas and Executive Director of Mina Rashid Port, onboard MSC Bellissima during her maiden call ceremony in Dubai.
“The agreement with MSC Cruises for preferential berthing comes at a time when Mina Rashid has been experiencing double digit increase in tourist traffic,” said Al Mannaei. “DP World UAE Region supports the Dubai Tourism Strategy goal of achieving 20 million tourists by 2020. MSC Cruises’ ambitions for the coming year is ideally placed to support this drive.”
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