Sharjah expects 17 major international cruise liners to visit the emirate over the next two years, according to Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). Thanks to its strategic Indian Ocean location, Sharjah’s Khorfakkan Port has been welcoming luxury cruise-liners since the early 1980s and is becoming increasingly popular on the itineraries of international operators.
More than 71 calls from luxury cruise ships could visit Khorfakkan Port’s cruise terminal during the next two cruise seasons, with about 157,000 international cruise passengers disembarking at the Sharjah port, as major European and other international luxury cruise-liners making Sharjah a regular port of call.
Last month Khorfakkan Port welcomed the first-time visits of TUI Cruises’ MV Mein Schiff 2 and Aida Cruises’ Aida Aura with a combined total of 3,400 passengers, marking the start of, what is expected to be, a busy cruise tourism season.
The surge in luxury cruise visits, has provided a boost to the east coast’s hospitality trade. The Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort & Spa, one of the UAE’s leading family resorts, recently re-opened after extensive renovation and refurbishing to meet increased demand. Meanwhile, The Chedi Khor Fakkan, the area’s first large-scale luxury resort, developed by the Sharjah Investment & Development Authority, will open next year.
Source: SCTDA, Shurooq