Zaiton Pushing Cruise Friendly Policies in Middle East

Jasem Zaiton

Jasem Zaiton, an expert in the Middle East and Indian cruise markets, is working hard to grow the region and help drive cruise friendly policies.

:The region needs to benchmark itself against the U.S. and the Mediterranean,” Zaiton said. “Whether that is for immigration or various policies, and embracing cruise at the highest level as an economic accelerator.

“We need to have cruise-friendly policies, dedicated infrastructure and constant and consistent education on the value of the industry,” he continued.

“What needs to happen is consistent policy enhancement, making the facilities more attractive, accessible and incentivizing the cruise lines.”

Zaiton, who works with GAC Group with its cruise business, said he had been involved in the industry since 2006 in the Persian Gulf. He also consults for Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah.

“Things have changed and developed over the years, and one highlight is the good airlift we have,” he said.

Helping to build up the market will be the emergence of sourcing in Saudi Arabia.

“There are 30 million people there and a good portion have been educated on cruising, thanks to Cruise Saudi,” said Zaiton.

He also credited Cruise Saudi with opening up the competition in the region and helping drive port development.

“We now have 25 different destinations in the Gulf and Red Sea; there is an appetite for port development,

“There is an undiscovered part of the world in the Red Sea, but in reality this is not the time for that,” he continued, pointing to the potential in Egypt and Sudan, when things calm down.

Zaiton, through Zaiton Destinations, is also the ground handler and shore excursion concessionaire for Cordelia Cruises, which targets the Indian source market with a one-ship operation.

“You have to come into the Indian market with a long-term mindset,” Zaiton said.


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