Dubai Harbour welcomes first passengers for the 2022/23 cruise season

Dubai Harbour welcomes first passengers for the 2022/23 cruise season

Another 45 ship calls scheduled until end of the GCC sailing season in June 2023

Dubai Harbour, the new seafront district and port of call for Middle East cruises, welcomed its first cruise ship of the 2022/23 season – the AIDAcosma – on 17 November 2022.

Throughout the season, more than 300,000 passengers are expected to arrive at the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, marking the rapid growth of the cruise industry.

Having set sail from Germany on its maiden voyage, the AIDAcosma is a first-of-its-kind liquid natural gas (LNG) powered ship with a capacity of over 5,500 passengers. To mark the arrival, DHCT Management along with public and private sector stakeholders will exchanged plaques with the Ship Captain, a maritime tradition, to commemorate its maiden call. 


Operated by AIDA Cruises, with 20 passenger decks and 2,600 staterooms, the AIDAcosma is one of the largest cruise ships within the AIDA fleet. The ship features a Fun Park, children’s pool, a water slide, an outdoor sports deck, and 17 restaurants and 23 lounges. 

As the homeport for AIDAcosma, Dubai Harbour will pave the way for green cruising by becoming the first to host a brand-new LNG powered cruise ship. LNG is one of the cleanest-burning, non-electric marine fuels in the industry and can reduce emissions by up to 30 per cent. 

Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal

Commenting on the milestone, Alexander Ewig, senior vice president of Marketing & Sales at AIDA Cruises said: “We are excited to return to Dubai Harbour – this time round with the maiden call of our youngest fleet member AIDAcosma. 

"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.” 

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As the owning-company and curator of Dubai Harbour, the diversified investment firm Shamal Holding is the driving force behind making Dubai Harbour an exciting new seafront district. 

The cruise terminals, which are part of the incredible Dubai Harbour development, showcase the spectacular and beautiful Dubai Harbour skyline to guests and offer a wide array of amenities and services for passengers and crew – from ample seating areas to washrooms, currency exchange outlets, ATMs, Emirates Airline Check-in facility, cafes, retail outlets, Duty-Free, dedicated parking, taxi stands and much more. All facilities are wheelchair accessible and complimentary WIFI is enabled for passengers and crew to stay connected.

Located at the centre of modern Dubai, Dubai Harbour is within easy reach of the city’s key landmarks – including the Burj Al Arab, Ain Dubai, Bluewaters Island, and Palm Jumeirah, giving cruise passengers easy access to some of the world’s most iconic experiences.


Abdulla Binhabtoor, chief portfolio management officer, Shamal Holding, the owner and curator of Dubai Harbour said: “This is not only the first time we have an LNG-powered cruise ship making its way to the city, but it's also the start of a new cruise season that we look forward to with excitement and anticipation. As we get ready to see full fleets get back in service, we believe there is great scope for extraordinary growth in the region."

HE Issam Kazim, chief executive officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, added: "As sustainability and decarbonisation are crucial elements of Dubai’s tourism strategy, we welcome the arrival of eco-friendly cruise ships like the AIDAcosma, further boosting our efforts to become a major sustainable tourism destination – and 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.”

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