posted on 17/07/2012: 659 views
As international interest in Sharjah grows, the emirate's East Coast is set to see nearly a 50 per cent increase in the arrivals of international luxury cruise passengers in the coming 2012-13 season.
This year, the Khor Fakkan Port will host more than 40 international luxury cruise liners with approximately 130,000 passengers, said Mohamed Ali Al Noman, chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, or SCTDA.
"So during the upcoming season, the Khor Fakkan Port, which hosted 23 luxury cruise liners with more than 67,000 passengers onboard during the 2011-12 season, will receive two cruise ships a week as against just one weekly call in the last season,” he added.
Some of the cruise ships that have confirmed their calls at Khor Fakkan Port include the Costa Atlantica (17 calls), Costa Classica (16), Costa neoRomantica (four), Seabourne Pride (one) and Seabourne Odyssey (two).
TUI Cruises and Royal Caribbean, who are in negotiations with the Khor Fakkan Port Authority, are likely to come onboard soon.
Hailing the increase in international luxury cruise calls, the SCTDA chairman said that the emirate, which has been attracting an increasing number of European tourists in recent years, is looking forward to more international visitors to its East Coast.
"We have been trying to turn international focus on Sharjah's magnificent East Coast and attract more international visitors with special events and festivals. We hosted a very successful H20 Nations Cup Powerboat Championship in March. So this increased attention on Sharjah and the East Coast by international luxury cruise passengers is indeed a welcome development and goes well with our strategy. More importantly, it will strengthen the local economy.” – Khaleej Times
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