Dubai cracks down on cruise ship safety

With Dubai becoming an increasingly popular cruise ship destination, Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has announced a crack down on cruise ship safety. The award-winning Dubai Cruise Terminal experienced a 30 percent growth in tourist traffic between 2009 and 2010 that continued in 2011, with 135 cruise vessel calls and 375,000 passengers visiting, according to the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM). And last month the terminal has welcomed four mega cruise ships at the same time.The four vessels, which can carry more than 9,000 passengers, called at Port Rashid over a 24-hour period and were berthed simultaneously.

Now, with the Costa Concordia disaster obviously much in mind, Dubai Maritime City Authority DMCA has announced the establishment of a cruise ship task force as part of its efforts to ensure the safety of cruise ships arriving in Dubai and to reinforce Dubai's preparedness to deal with potential maritime accidents. The ship task force has been established in collaboration with Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

DMCA - the  government entity charged with regulating, coordinating and supervising the maritime sector in Dubai - is also intensifying  inspections of cruise ships and has ordered all cruise ships to carry out evacuation exercises before leaving Dubai to ensure that the crew is fully prepared in case of accidents.

"Safety is very important in the cruise ship industry. For this reason, DMCA constantly works to review and update local laws, to ensure compliance and adherence to best practices and international standards. It is important that all industry stakeholders must work as a team to achieve our goal of putting Dubai on the global maritime map as a safe tourist destination, while enhancing Dubai's preparedness to face any eventuality," said Ali Al Daboos, Executive Director of DMCA.

February 1, 2012