Qatar Tourism and Mwani Qatar announced the conclusion of the most successful cruise season 2023-24 during a special ceremony honouring partners and highlighting the most prominent achievements.

The ceremony was held in the presence of HE Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, and Capt. Abdullah Mohamed Al-khanji, CEO of Mwani Qatar and a group of representatives of government and private entities on Tuesday at the Doha Port.

The 2023-24 cruise season was inaugurated on 8 October 2023. With the Doha Port Cruise Ships Terminal, ‘The Terminal’ seamless cruise procedures, this season, Qatar welcomed 73 cruise ships and hosted more than 378,000 visitors.

This marks an increase from its predecessor, the 2022-23 season which saw 54 cruise ships and 253, 191 passengers, making 2023-24 one of the largest ever cruise seasons for Qatar Tourism and Mwani Qatar.

Qatar Tourism and Mwani Qatar Celebrate Successful 2023-24 Cruise Season

In comparison with last year’s (2022-23) cruise season, the 2023-24 cruise season saw a 38% increase in the number of visitors, with an 83% increase of turnaround passengers, and a 33% increase in the number of cruise calls. This year’s cruise season saw 68,050 turnaround passengers, with MSC  Virtuosa contributing with 27, 128 passengers and Mein Schiff 2 hosting 24, 481 passengers. Together, these two cruise ships accounted for a total of 51,609 turnaround passengers, further contributing to the success of this year’s cruise season.

Commenting on the success of the cruise season, HE Saad Bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, said: ‘Doha has become a prominent cruise destination with varied tourism experiences offered to visitors. From its debut in October 2023 to its grand finale in April 2024, this cruise season has exceeded all expectations breaking the records of visitors and cruise ships from previous seasons. The Doha Port Cruise Ships Terminal, “The Terminal”, symbolising Qatar’s commitment to excellence”

He further thanked the partners, adding: ‘Our success is a testament to the dedication and hard work of Qatar Tourism and Mwani Qatar teams, as well as the unwavering support of our partners. It is important to express our gratitude to every entity and organisation that has played a part in making this season a resounding success.’

Qatar Tourism and Mwani Qatar Celebrate Successful 2023-24 Cruise Season

Capt. Abdullah Mohamed Al-khanji, CEO of Mwani Qatar, said: ‘We are pleased with this successful conclusion of one of the exceptional seasons at Doha Port, Qatar’s Gateway to Marine Tourism. This achievement represents another significant milestone in the development of the marine tourism industry in Qatar, and it highlights the crucial role played by the Doha Port Cruise Ships Terminal, “The Terminal”, in achieving the goals of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, and Qatar Tourism Strategy.’

He added that: ‘This season has been a testament to the growing popularity of Qatar as a world-class cruise destination in the region. It showcased the exceptional tourism capabilities of the State of Qatar. At Mwani Qatar, we are committed to enhancing the capabilities of Doha Port in line with the Ministry of Transport’s strategic plan. We strive to provide the best international services to attract more cruise lines and travelers in the upcoming seasons. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our stakeholders, partners, and everyone who contributed to making this season the most successful ever in the history of the marine tourism industry in Qatar.’

This cruise season saw 6 numerous international cruise maiden calls which marked their first visit to the destination, including the Crystal Symphony, Mein Schiff 2, Azamara Journey, MS Riviera, MS Hamburg and the award-winning Norwegian Dawn graced the Gulf region for the first time. These debuts depict Qatar’s increasing allure on the global stage in terms of cruise tourism, adding to the country’s great history of seafaring.

Cruise season 2023-24 saw passengers arriving in Qatar originating from all over the world. 28% of passengers were from Germany, 11% from Italy, and 6.7% from Russia, making these three countries the top three nationalities of passengers. There were also thousands of passengers from Kazakhstan, United States of America, United Kingdom, China, Spain, France, and Uzbekistan, as well as GCC countries.

Qatar’s Doha Port Cruise Ships Terminal, ‘The Terminal’ offers unparalleled connectivity to the city’s most prominent tourist attractions, including the Corniche, the Museum of Islamic Art, National Museum of Qatar, Msheireb Downtown, and Souq Waqif.

Qatar Tourism and Mwani aim to bring back the next cruise season bigger and better towards the end of 2024.

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