Middle EastPorts and Logistics

UAE suspends all cruise ship operations

The Federal Transport Authority of the United Arab Emirates has decided to suspend all cruise operations at the country’s ports as part of precautionary measures to prevent the spreading of coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus cases in the United Arab Emirates has risen to 45 from 30, and the region reported a new surge in coronavirus infections over the weekend.

Coronavirus has hit both passengers and crew on a number of cruise ships including Diamond Princess, Grand Princess and World Dream.

Late last month, the UAE suspended ferry services to and from Iran. The country has also advised citizens and residents against travelling abroad and all schools are closing for a month from Sunday. Events across the country have also been cancelled or postponed.


Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.


  1. Can you please provide a link to the fta.gov.ae website or whereever this information is sourced. There is a lot of rumour and misinformation about at the moment. It’s nice to get to the source of the truth.

  2. We have documents from the UAE on this from the FTA confirming the exclusive news

    1. This is true. I am on the Azamara Quest now was just told by our captain that UAE closed all their ports to cruise ship. We must all now get off and arrange for travel home from Muscat Oman instead of Dubai.

    1. They sit there ..parked ..we watch movies ..we eat in buffet and dining rooms ..we watch the shows at night … we use the ship as a floating hotel with dining room and theatres and pool.. it’s alright !!


    1. Not Fake ..it is real and happened tous ..we are 1750 passengers on Royal Carribean ..and I can see about 5 or 6 mega ships from other company’s like MSC , Costa , Aida , and NCL ..SO the news is totally real…

      Joseph from Canada

  3. Do you know when this measure will be official?
    Even though it is not yet official, is it being put in place already?
    Thanks for the info

  4. I just spoke to MSC and they say the ports are open in the UAE – who do we believe ?

    1. Carolyn, yes , that may have been true March 9th ..but it became official March 10 and our ship got denied ..we had to turn back ..this news is TRUE

  5. Any idea how long this embargo will go on for? Obviously I understand it could be for weeks, but just asking.

  6. Exclusive news? They told this website, exclusively, and no one else? This makes no sense. Why would this be kept secret.

    1. Hi Lee Powers… maybe people would panic ?!? sometimes it’s best to minimize the information, as people often blow it up and distort it … that is my guess.. anyway , the weather here is great , the food is great , the shows are great , I’m having a great time docked in Dubai… for next several days

  7. The ban is in place and had been circulated to relevant parties involved.

    The gov’t has given the port a few days to clear the passengers from ships and also accomodate those who have landed at the airport to board ships.

    Once the backlog is cleared, that will be it.

    1. Really ? I did not know that ?? Today is March 12 , the captain says we can stay on till Sunday March 16 ..then our trip is over , we must get off the ship .. .

      We are on the Royal Caribbean ship , the Jewel of the Seas .. !!

  8. This is true. I am on the Azamara Quest now was just told by our captain that UAE closed all their ports to cruise ship. We must all now get off and arrange for travel home from Muscat Oman instead of Dubai.

  9. Hello people ..yes .. this is true ..today is Day 4 of cruise ..we have not gone anywhere ..we tried on Day 2 ( Tuesday march 9 )to go into Persian Gulf to Abu Dhabi ( at 5 p.m. departure ) ..BUT GOT DENIED by 10 p.m. and had to return to Dubai ..then we got locked down all day ( Day 3 ) and told all ports are on Lock Down and only Dubai let’s us dock..so we just sit parked here for next 4 days … there are several cruise ships in same situation..lots of MSC ships , our Royal Caribbean, Aida ships , …

  10. Thanks for the news! I informed our travel agency mainly based on this article. I can confirm MSC Cruises meanwhile cancelled our trip as well. We were supposed to leave from Dubai on the 14th of March with the MSC Bellissima.

    To answer those questions why this would be kept secret: because this effects thousands of people. If the news is directly sent out, it generates chaos. What Grant wrote is completely understandable and plausible.

  11. I booked with MSC and calling their office is chaos. Anyone are aware of the refund policy?

Back to top button