Asia-Based Cruise Line Expands Its Presence In the Middle East

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Resorts World Cruises, which launched in 2022 to cater to the Asian market, is expanding its global presence. Resorts World One, which was acquired by the new cruise line at the beginning of 2023, will be homeporting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for six months beginning in October of 2024. 

Resorts World One and Genting Dream, which was the first ship to join the new fleet about two years ago, already have a strong presence in Asia. The young cruise line already sails to destinations throughout China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

By embarking on a 6-month deployment in Dubai, the new company intends to expand its reach to the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The 1,856-guest vessel will primarily homeport in Dubai.

Specifically, the 75,338-gross ton ship will dock at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal at Mina Rashid, which is large enough to accommodate up to seven large cruise ships at once, or around 25,000 passengers at a time – and is currently undergoing an expansion to meet demand. 

As the Middle East’s leading cruise port for the past eight years, it serves as a gateway to the local cuisine, shopping, Dubai’s red sand dunes, museums, and famous sights like the Burj Khalifa, which is the world’s tallest skyscraper. 

But beyond cultivating more of a global presence for the new brand, the goal is to attract a new segment of cruise passengers from Asia, increasing diversity to and boosting the economy in the Arabian Gulf, while also making cruising accessible for Muslim passengers.

Worth Reading: MSC Cruises and Emirates Extend Partnership

“We are excited to introduce the Resorts World Cruises brand to the Arabian Gulf with the Resorts World One cruise ship. As an international cruise line that is homegrown in Asia, we have decades of valuable experience in the cruise and hospitality sector, especially in catering to the needs of different ethnic and religious markets,” said Mr. Michael Goh, President of Resorts World Cruises. 

“Both cities Dubai and Doha are key international gateways to the Middle East and with the support of the respective local governments, authorities and travel partners, we look forward to further developing cruises to the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman,added Goh.

In order to cater to regional Muslim cruisers, Resorts World One is in the process of obtaining her official OIC/SMIIC Standard Halal-Friendly Cruise Ship certification. As part of this, all meat products will be sourced from UAE Halal suppliers, and no pork will be served in any of the ship’s 18 restaurants to avoid any potential cross-contamination. 

In addition, guests will be able to make advance appointments to guarantee they have access to crew members of their same gender for certain onboard services, such as spa treatments. 

The First Arabian Gulf Itineraries From Resorts World Cruises

Resorts World One’s six-month deployment in the Arabian Gulf will begin on October 18, 2024, and last until April 13, 2025. Throughout this time, the ship is scheduled to make 75 port calls and host approximately 150,000 passengers. 

As a new cruise line, this deployment will largely serve as Resorts World Cruises’ introduction to the region. That said, some passengers may already know the Resorts World brand that the cruise line is an extension of – as the parent company owns over 46 luxury properties in 8 countries and 4 continents. 

Resorts World One Cruise Ship
Resorts World One Cruise Ship

As of now, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, which has resulted in numerous cancellations and alterations to cruises bound for the Red Sea region, is not impacting these itineraries. 

From Dubai, the ship will offer 2-night weekend cruises to Sir Bani Yas, UAE, with departures on Fridays; 3-night Oman cruises to Khasab, Oman, and Muscat, Oman, departing on Sundays; and 2-night cruises to Doha, Qatar, departing on Wednesdays.

For guests who want to spend more time at sea, there are flexible options to combine two or all three of the itineraries to increase the cruise length to 4, 5, or 7 nights.

Coinciding with Qatar’s annual school holidays, Resorts World One will temporarily switch its homeport to Doha, Qatar, from October 24 to November 2, 2024. During this window, there will be two separate 2-night, round-trip cruises to Dubai that will embark on October 24 and October 31, as well two five-night sailings based out of Doha that will call on Dubai, Khasab, and Muscat.

Read Also: All-Inclusive Cruises: What You Need to Know

All sailings will be all-inclusive, with entertainment, gourmet meals, and onboard experiences like fitness classes, mini golf, dance classes, and even a rope course and 35-meter zipline included in cruise fare.

While the Resorts World Cruises is designed to be luxurious, guests who want to be extra pampered can choose to stay in The Palace, which is like a mini, all-suite hotel on both of the cruise line’s ships. This option even comes with a 24-hour butler service.

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