Agenda

All times displayed for Asia/Dubai timezone.

Session 1: Extension of the season - what are the prospects for starting the cruise season in the Gulf earlier and finishing later? What is needed to effect this change?
09:00 - 09:45
Session
Director of Marketing & Tourism Promotion
Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority (BTEA)
Shore Excursions Director, Port Development and Shore Side Activities
MSC Cruises
Vice President of Itinerary & Destination Development
Virgin Voyages
Director Port Services & Government Affairs, P&O Cruises and Cunard
Carnival UK

Changing approaches to seasonality and the effects on cruise ship deployment around the world. Can the cruise season in the Gulf can be extended? The benefits and challenges are analysed.

Session moderator: Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade UBM

Session 2: Opportunities in the Middle East for smaller ships/niche cruising.
09:45 - 10:30
Session
Cruise Sector and City Tour Development Manager
Department of Culture & Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi
VP Deployment and Revenue Management
Windstar Cruises
Group Commercial Director
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Founder and CEO
Star Clippers
General Manager - Gulf Region
Travco LLC
Vice President, Land Programs
Crystal Cruises

The Gulf and wider Middle East are attracting more interest from smaller ship and niche cruise operators.  How do cruise lines in these sectors view the prospects for the region as a stand-alone itinerary or as part of a wider offering?  Are there more destinations in the region suited to smaller ships which can further enhance the experience?   With so much investment directed towards the big ship operations, should more be done to attract smaller ship operators?

Session moderator: Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade UBM

 

Session 3: Port and destination development within the Gulf - what infrastructure is planned in existing cruise ports and where to next? Are there fresh ideas for new ports/destinations?
11:00 - 12:00
Session
Manager - Cruise Business & Operations
Mina Rashid, DP World
General Manager - Trading and Planning
Marella Cruises, TUI Group
Director Port Operations, Shore Excursions & Ground Operations
TUI Cruises GmbH
Director Port Services & Government Affairs, P&O Cruises and Cunard
Carnival UK

With massive investment across the region in new cruise infrastructure, how are the ports meeting the challenges of bigger ships and greater passenger numbers, in terms of overall guest experience, from transfers and baggage handling to immigration? Are more destinations needed to expand the variety and appeal of regional itineraries?  How do operating conditions in the region compare to other areas?

Session moderator: Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade UBM

Session 4: The link with India. Expanding itineraries to the Indian sub-continent and promoting cruising in the Middle East to the Indian consumer.
12:00 - 13:00
Session
Group Commercial Director
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Managing Director
Lotus Destinations, GSA of Costa Cruises in India
Vice President, Land Programs
Crystal Cruises
Deputy Chairman
Mumbai Port Trust
Global Commercial Manager, Cruise Solutions
Inchcape Shipping Services

Despite its growing outbound tourism market and exceptional coastline, India has not yet achieved its potential either as a source market for cruise passengers or as a major cruise destination.  What are the steps needed to galvanise cruise sales in India?  With Indian land based tourism to the Gulf expanding, are Gulf itineraries a good starting point for first time cruisers in India? What are the factors limiting cruise calls in Indian ports and how best can they be addressed?

Session moderator: Mary Bond, Managing Director for Publishing and Content, Seatrade UBM

Session 5: The Suez Canal/Red Sea factor. Integral for ships deploying to and from the Middle East, discussions on tariffs, security and operational issues and potential for Red Sea cruising.
14:15 - 15:00
Session
Vice President of Itinerary & Destination Development
Virgin Voyages
Operations & QA Manager
Inchcape Shipping Services
Director Port Services & Government Affairs, P&O Cruises and Cunard
Carnival UK

Suez Canal transit is an important factor in re-positioning cruise vessels to the Red Sea and Gulf regions.  With more cruise ships passing through the Canal and a major investment programme by the Suez Canal Authority now completed, what are the prospects for the future? 

Session moderator: Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade UBM

Session 6: Land side and tour operations - improving the range and appeal of shorex offerings.
15:00 - 15:45
Session
SVP Commercial
EXPO 2020
Shore Excursions Director, Port Development and Shore Side Activities
MSC Cruises
Head of Operations
Arabian Adventures, Part of the Emirates Group
Senior Manager - Shore Excursion Program
AIDA Cruises
Shorex Senior Manager
Pullmantur Cruceros

Cruise lines and destinations are united in seeking to expand and enhance shorex offerings and revenues. Has the full potential of the region yet been tapped?  What new attractions are now enhancing the regional offering? Are there new ideas from other regions which could be introduced in the Middle East?  

Session moderator: Mary Bond, Managing Director for Publishing and Content, Seatrade UBM

Session 7: Taking care of the crew. How should ports respond to the needs of the crew?
16:00 - 16:30
Session
Manager - Cruise Business & Operations
Mina Rashid, DP World
Founder and CEO
Star Clippers
Director Port Operations, Shore Excursions & Ground Operations
TUI Cruises GmbH

Improving facilities in port for ships’ crew was identified as a goal for the region at the Seatrade Middle East Forum 2016.  Crew members play a vital role in delivering a first class cruise experience.  What are their needs in port and how best can they be met?   

Session moderator: Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade UBM