Dubai shows Sydney a clean pair of heels when it come to welcoming cruise ships

If you believed everything you read in the media – and hey I am a journalist –  then Dubai appears to be broke.  Yet, not everything has come to a stop, with Dubai hosting 100 cruise ships last year, bringing in about 260,000 tourists and Dubai’s massive new cruise terminal opening next month, with – take note of this Sydney and the New South Wales Government – Dubai’s new terminal will have the capacity to handle up to four massive ships at the same time.

This year, with a temporary terminal, pictured below, Dubai will host 120 ships – by the way and as a matter of interest – this is more than Sydney, with more than 325,000 passengers and in 2012, 150 ships with 425,000 passengers, with RCI’s $US400m, the Brilliance of the Seas alone expected to bring in 32,000 passengers to the region in its first four-month season.

Here’s the current cruise terminal in Dubai


Dubai is the home port of the Brilliance of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s first ship based in the Middle East, with Hamad bin Mejren, the executive director of business tourism at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) saying, “Cruise tourists are becoming an increasingly important part of Dubai’s tourism industry.”

Isn’t it refreshing to hear a tourism leader from within Government, seriously and genuinely extolling the virtues and attractiveness of cruising, when in Sydney and New South Wales, the lacklustre approach to cruising by the New South Wales Government, means that the world’s visually leading cruise city is relegating its new cruise terminal to a backwater section of the harbour in White Bay!

I just don’t get it…… you?

Why can places like Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and even smaller ports around the world, recognise the importance of cruising, when Sydney and New South Wales do not – or at least appear not to, by the decision to locate the proposed new cruise terminal in a Sydney Harbour backwater and hand over darling Harbour to property developers?

By the way, if anyone does not believe that the whole of Circular Quay, where Sydney’s cruise terminal should actually be located, was always a shipping terminal until the NSW Government also gave that away to property developers, check out these images: –

This vessel is tied up around where the Opera House is currently located and near the east Circular Quay apartment developments, colloquially called “the Toaster.”


This view shows vessels on both sides of Circular Quay and please note that the wharf on the west side nearest the camera located on the Harbour Bridge, appears to be much longer than currently.



This views shows vessels on east Circular Quay, where we should also be welcoming cruise vessels today.


If this does not prove that Circular Quay is historically, if nothing else, where we should be welcoming cruise ships to Australia, then I don’t know what does.

In addition, Dubai’s new terminal can hold four massive vessels, whereas our No 1 spot  at Circular Quay can only hold one vessel and none of the really big ones, with who knows how many at White Bay, but one thing is for certain, the new big and getting bigger cruise ships can’t even get under the Harbour Bridge!

What a mess!

Industry Insider Commentary and Opinion by John Alwyn-Jones, e-Travel Blackboard Special Correspondent

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.A.J
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