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Dubai Harbour welcomes Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages to the Arabian Gulf for the very first time

November 05, 2023

  • Choosing Dubai Harbour for its maiden call, Virgin Voyages’ newest ship, Resilient Lady, arrived in style at the extraordinary seafront district with a customary water salute and plaque exchange
  • As part of the ongoing 2023/24 cruise season, Dubai Harbour continues to welcome iconic international cruise ships, with 300,000 passengers expected before the end of the season in April.

Dubai Harbour, Dubai’s extraordinary seafront district, today welcomed the iconic Resilient Lady from Virgin Voyages on its maiden call to the Arabian Gulf. The call is one of a number of international cruise liners set to arrive at Dubai Harbour during this year’s cruise season, with 300,000 passengers and 49 ship calls.

Resilient Lady is the newest “Lady Ship” to join the Virgin Voyages fleet that previously included Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady. Celebrating Virgin’s longstanding British heritage, Resilient Lady launched on 14th May 2023 from her summer homeport in Athens, Greece.

Inspired by superyacht design and bringing modern glamour to the seas, the latest ship from Richard Branson’s cruise travel brand arrived in style at Dubai Harbour, rekindling people’s connection to the sea and charting a course for newer ways to explore maritime lifestyles. This past summer, the award-winning brand offered two, seven-night itineraries around the Greek Isles and Adriatic Sea departing out of Athens. These included “Adriatic Sea and Greek Gems” and “Greek Island Glow.” Resilient Lady, along with its sister ships, was designed by world-renowned architects and designers including Tom Dixon and Concrete Amsterdam, with menus curated by Michelin-starred chefs. On-board, Sailors are spoiled with a daily line-up of immersive entertainment and live music performances, paired with incredible food from 20+ eateries and stunning spaces to recharge and relax. From unlimited group fitness classes to a mermaid-inspired spa and thermal suite, Virgin Voyages emphasizes relaxation while on a mission to curate the best week at sea for its Sailors.

Michelle Bentubo, Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Voyages said, “As Resilient Lady embarks on her journey from Greece to Australia, we wanted to offer our Sailors the opportunity of a lifetime to explore one of the world’s most captivating cities via Dubai Harbour. We are grateful for the Arabian hospitality and warm welcome into this extraordinary seafront district. The modern, highly efficient terminal network helped us ensure smooth Sailor turnaround, which is imperative given our shorter stay in the city, and we look forward to calling on Dubai in years to come.”

Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer of Shamal Holding and the owner and curator of Dubai Harbour added, “We are delighted to have Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady stopover at our seafront destination. Dubai Harbour curates extraordinary experiences that are inspired by our connection to the sea, showcasing a wide range of living, retail and hospitality offerings for all to explore while visiting the city.”

As a manifestation of Dubai’s wider planning, coastline development and tourism strategies, as well as its status as the region’s leading cruise hub, Dubai Harbour continues to play a major role in rekindling the city’s connection to the sea. Designed to process more than 3,250 passengers per hour, the highly efficient and modern terminals at Dubai Harbour have recorded exponential growth over the past two years.