Royal Caribbean Expands Cruises In Middle East

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Royal Caribbean is increasing its presence in the Middle East, saying its Dubai-based cruises have proven more popular than expected.

The cruise line debuted cruises from the United Arab Emirates in January, with its 2,501-passenger Brilliance of the Seas doing a four-month season of weeklong cruises in the Arabian Sea.

Royal Caribbean said the cruises were particularly popular with British and Irish passengers.

A spokeswoman said about 10 percent of the passengers on the sailings are American.

The ship is set to return to Dubai from January to April 2011, and will now begin its winter 2011-2012 in November, two months earlier than previously planned, with itineraries ranging from one week to 18 nights.

The weeklong cruises visit Fujairah and Abu Dhabi in the UAE and Muscat, Oman, while the longer cruises combine the Middle East and India.

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
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