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Qatar Welcomes Norwegian Dawn, Marking Cruise Ship’s Regional Debut


Qatar Tourism and its strategic partners welcomed the arrival of the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship today, signalling the renowned Norwegian Cruise Line’s first-time arrival to Qatar and the wider Gulf region. 


The Norwegian Dawn cruise ship arrived at Doha Port with a ceremony by Qatar Tourism, as part of the 2023/24 cruise season that opened in late-October in Qatar. The welcome ceremony featured   a traditional Ardah performance, henna, dhow souvenirs, Arabic calligraphy art, sadu weaving, and net making for disembarking passengers.

The cruise ship can accommodate up to 2,340 passengers, and has an operating crew of 1, 032 members. It will be anchored for two nights, allowing passengers to explore nearby sites in Doha which include the Mina District, Souq Waqif, National Museum of Qatar, and more.

Speaking on the arrival of the cruise ship, His Excellency, Mr. Saad Bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, stated, “The pioneering arrival of the Norwegian Dawn and its regional debut is a significant milestone for Qatar’s growing cruise tourism sector and marks Qatar’s international appeal as a cruise destination. Qatar Tourism is keen to create new partnerships and agreements with leading cruise lines and extend the opportunity to international passengers to explore Qatar’s abundant events calendar as well as its world-class museums, attractions, and cultural hotspots.”

Captain Abdulla Mohamed Al-Khanji, CEO of Mwani Qatar, said: "We are delighted to welcome the Norwegian Cruise Line maiden voyage to the shores of Qatar and the Gulf region. This important event reflects the growing interest of cruise operators to dock at Doha's Old Port and depart from it to other cruise terminals in the region. Qatar has rapidly evolved within the cruise tourism industry, emerging as a prominent global destination in this expanding sector. Its captivating attractions and ideal geographical location have been strongly recognised and have made Qatar a highly sought-after destination by both cruise operators and passengers. At Mwani Qatar, and in line with the Ministry of Transport's strategic plan, we continue to work with our stakeholders and cruise partners to ensure that Qatar is the most popular travel destination in the region."

Qatar Tourism’s 2023/24 cruise season is expected to welcome 79 cruises and 350,000 passengers, surpassing the 2022/23 cruise season which saw 54 cruises and a total of 253,191 visitors. Passengers are welcomed at the new Cruise Terminal which houses an aquarium and is in proximity to the primary tourist attractions.

For media-related inquiries, please contact Qatar Tourism’s Press Office on:

+974 3392 4466 |  

About Qatar Tourism

Qatar Tourism’s mission is to establish Qatar as a place where cultural authenticity meets modernity, and where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family entertainment, rooted in Service Excellence. Qatar Tourism will regulate and develop the tourism industry, encouraging investment from the private sector. It will set the national strategy for the tourism sector, reviewing it periodically and overseeing its implementation, with the aim of diversifying tourism offerings in the country and increasing visitor spend. Through our network of international offices in priority markets, and cutting-edge digital platforms, Qatar Tourism is expanding Qatar’s presence globally and enhancing the tourism sector.