Dubai: Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Council for Border Crossing Points Security, today attended one of the largest cruise ship christening ceremonies in the region, at an event that reflects the growing global profile of Dubai’s cruise industry. Hollywood superstar Sophia Loren has officially named MSC Virtuosa, the new luxury liner launched by MSC Cruises in a scintillating ceremony held in Port Rashid.
In partnership with DP World and the Dubai Department of Economics and Tourism, MSC Cruises, the third largest cruise operator in the world and part of the Cruise division of the MSC Group, has chosen Dubai for the christening ceremony in recognition of the Group’s commitment to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the wider Middle East market where MSC Cruises is the brand leader. This landmark event reflects Dubai’s emergence as a must-see destination for cruise vacationers around the world and reinforces the importance of the cruise industry’s contribution to the growth of Dubai’s tourism industry.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Dubai’s glorious maritime heritage, which is an integral part of its cultural heritage, has inspired its development as a major global maritime destination. The emirate’s status as a leading international maritime hub has significantly strengthened its position as a pivotal global center for trade and tourism. Further, he noted that “Dubai’s renewed growth as an international cruise tourism hub, overcoming the impact of global challenges in the industry, is testament to the leadership’s vision to create an infrastructure that surpasses the best in the world. world. The accelerated rebound in its cruise industry also reflects Dubai’s ability to adapt quickly and flexibly to changing global conditions and to take advantage of new opportunities emerging in a changing environment.
A long-standing maritime tradition, the official christening ceremony of MSC Virtuosa took place in the presence of the ship’s captain, Captain Francisco Veniero. The event was conducted in accordance with all public health and safety protocols established by the Government of Dubai, backed by MSC Cruises’ state-of-the-art health and safety protocol which allowed ships on the line to restart their operations. operations in 2020. The special occasion is also part of the celebrations. surrounding the UAE’s Golden Jubilee and coincides with Dubai’s hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “It is a proud moment for us to host the christening ceremony of MSC Virtuosa to Mina Rashid, who has constantly reaffirmed her status as a destination of foreground, regionally and globally. The port’s state-of-the-art facilities, passenger handling capacity and strategic location have helped us win several important accolades, most recently being the Middle East’s First Cruise Port Award at the 2021 World Travel Awards, received for the 14th year. consecutive. To ensure that the port continues to be an integral contributor to the UAE economy and an important economic pillar of Dubai, we are working to improve its capabilities. Our sole aim is to strengthen its status as a prime recreational facility which represents Dubai’s rich cultural heritage. Through our efforts, we will strive to ensure that the Emirate continues to be recognized globally as a world-class cruise destination. We are also expecting a total of 126 ship calls and over 500,000 cruise passengers for the upcoming 2021/22 cruise season. This will further bolster Dubai’s tourism figures and boost our progress. “
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Economy and Tourism Department, said: “Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to make the most favorite city, revisited and visited destination, Dubai continues to lead the way as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations and the cruise capital of the Middle East. Hosting the christening ceremony for MSC Cruises’ new ship is a testament to the city’s popularity as a must-see destination and gateway for cruises to the region. Dubai’s reputation as a global cruise hub continues to grow in stature and milestones such as these reflect the crucial contribution of cruising to the city’s tourism industry.
“Dubai is also committed to ensuring that every visitor arriving by land, air or sea has an unforgettable experience, and the desire to come back to Dubai, time and time again, to explore, experience and enjoy our diverse offering of destinations. We remain grateful to MSC Cruises and our stakeholders and partners such as DP World for their continued support, which has helped revive cruise tourism in the region. With Dubai continuing to welcome international tourists, this event will build on the momentum generated by the new cruise season, further fueling growth during this historic year for Dubai with Expo 2020 and the Golden Jubilee. of the United Arab Emirates, and beyond. “
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “We are honored to host this ceremony dedicated to maritime tradition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates during its Golden Jubilee year and with it, to mark the long and long term commitment in this region. This is also why this winter, the MSC Virtuosa, a new vessel among the most technologically and ecologically advanced in our fleet, will call in the country as part of our deployment in the Gulf region. Cruising is an integral part of Dubai’s vibrant tourism industry, and we will continue to promote the UAE and the Middle East all over the world as an attractive vacation option to support the future growth of the tourism industry. at local level.
The MSC Virtuosa can carry up to 6,334 passengers and 1,704 crew members. The ship features 10 restaurants, 21 lounges and five swimming pools, and will offer stunning Arabian Sea itineraries throughout the winter season starting in March 2022 at its base in Dubai, to offer ship passengers the option of discover the best destinations in the Gulf region. , including Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island and Qatar. Equipped with some of the latest marine technology available, the MSC Virtuosa is one of the greenest cruise ships in the world. No effort has been spared to minimize its footprint. MSC Group shares the UAE’s ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and MSC Virtuosa represents a further step on the road to this goal.
The innovative ship measures 19 decks and is expected to welcome guests this winter for week-long cruises from Dubai with the best of fine international cuisine, world-class entertainment, chill out lounges with the largest shopping district in sea, a spa and fitness center, a water park and clubs for toddlers to teenagers. The ship’s signature flagship is its iconic 112-meter promenade with a magnificent LED celestial dome, the social heart of the ship.