Corporate Support Centre

“Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation” reserves the best of Dubai for cruise ship passengers and crews while ensuring top-notch safety

Thursday, December 21, 2023

With the start of the 2023/24 cruise season, the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) has been putting in every effort to facilitate the smooth arrival and departure of cruise ships to and from Dubai ports. The PCFC, acting through its various departments, seeks to consolidate Dubai's position as a major global tourist destination and a distinctive cruise tourism hub by guaranteeing a comfortable and safe travel experience for ship passengers and crews alike. His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, stated that the PCFC, in cooperation with the relevant authorities in the Emirate, plays a pivotal role in facilitating cruise vessel traffic in Dubai waters by overseeing stringent security and safety frameworks that are smooth and flexible at the same time. The PCFC is looking to further enhance security and safety during the ongoing cruise season with up to 150 ships expected to visit Dubai carrying thousands of guests from all over the world. HE Bin Sulayem explained that the Security Department of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation has been working to facilitate the movement of ships to and from Dubai ports in a way that guarantees the safety and security of visitors and ship crews serving them. The roles and responsibilities entrusted with the security department vary according to the types of ships entering or leaving the port, he said. These efforts call for implementing various security requirements and measures specified for the port in question in keeping with the categorisation of ships as commercial or tourist vessels, he added. Bin Sulayem stressed that the PCFC, through its security arm, is keen to implement a comprehensive and integrated security system that corresponds to the best security standards listed in the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code to ensure full compliance with regulations by everyone on board vessels. Bin Sulayem also pointed to the role of the Environment, Health and Safety Department (EHS) under the Department of Planning and Development - Trakhees in carrying out inspections on board cruise ships coming to Dubai and verifying compliance with safety requirements. The EHS Department is responsible for verifying equipment and ballast water, in addition to other environmental and health standards on ships, to protect the marine environment in particular and the Emirate of Dubai in general from any potential pollution or health risks. His Excellency added: “The arrival of (Resilient Lady) Cruise Ships to Dubai heralds the beginning of an exceptional season for cruises where, thanks to our Security Department, we played a fundamental and important role in ensuring safety and stability for the cruise and its passengers through our commitment to providing the highest levels of service for cruise ships. This way, we serve to make Dubai a pioneering and safe destination in the region, and these efforts also contribute to achieving the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) and Dubai’s targets in terms of consolidating its position among the top three urban economies around the world”. Bin Sulayem expressed his gratitude for the efforts exerted by the Security Department as well as the EHS Department in the context of cooperation and coordination with the relevant authorities to secure, monitor and regulate the entry of cruise ships in Dubai waters. In recognition of the efforts and supervision of the Security Department for vessels passing through Dubai and ensuring security at the port, an honouring ceremony was organised on board the Resilient Lady cruise ship in the presence of several key officials and stakeholders. Trophies changed hands between the ship’s captain and representatives of the PCFC Security Department as a way of expressing appreciation for the Department’s efforts. Dubai also recently welcomed the (Al Mostakshif) Kuwaiti research ship affiliated with the Kuwaiti Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), which specialises in the study of marine life and undertakes scientific research projects. The vessel arrived in Dubai to participate in the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) that was recently held in Dubai. The Environment, Health and Safety Department of the Trakhees Department took responsibility for verifying the certificates of both the ship and the crew, in addition to the inspection of the shipping and communication devices for the vessel, besides checking the gas emissions and ballast water for environmental standards and regulations.