MSC Cruises has announced that the naming ceremony for its newest ship, MSC Virtuosa, will take place on 27 November in Dubai. The choice of the emirate is a clear indication of the growing importance of Dubai as a key destination for cruise ships sailing in the Middle East.
MSC Cruises has partnered with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), DP World and Emirates Airlines to organise the naming ceremony and to promote Dubai as a tourist destination.
The occasion will also be a part of the celebrations surrounding the Golden Jubilee of the UAE and will be staged as Dubai welcomes the world to Expo 2020.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “The milestone naming ceremony and maiden voyage of MSC Virtuosa from Dubai underscores the trust and confidence that the city has earned as a great partner for the cruise industry.
We’ve leveraged our city’s world-class transport and tourism infrastructure, including with Emirates’ investment in a dedicated remote check-in facility at Port Rashid, to provide cruise operators and passengers the best possible experiences, with seamless sea-air connections and exciting Dubai itineraries during their transit.
He added: “We look forward to the reinvigoration of cruise passenger growth with these solid foundations in place, and are excited to welcome the world to Dubai in the coming months as we move full speed ahead with the Expo Dubai, UAE’s Golden Jubilee programs, and many other initiatives.”
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, said, “We are incredibly proud and honoured to hold the naming ceremony for our cherished flagship and masterpiece MSC Virtuosa in one of the world’s most sought-after travel destinations – Dubai.
This event assumes more significance due to the fact that it is part of the line-up of glorious events and activities taking place for the “Year of the 50th” and coincides with the region’s first World Expo, as well as truly celebrating Dubai as one of the favoured destinations for travellers from all over the world.”
The UAE’s Golden Jubilee programme will see a host of activities held across the country, celebrating the country’s formation in 1971 and its rise from a small trading port to a global destination.