United Tours will facilitate the cruise booking process for citizens and residents of Qatar, and provide visitors to the country and the local travel agency community with information and assistance during the pre- and post-booking process.

The company is the marine arm of Qatari Investors Group (QIG), while United Shipping Agency – part of QIG Marine Services – is MSC Cruises‘ vessel agent in Qatar. 

Middle East of growing significance to MSC Cruises

‘Winter cruises in the Middle East are growing in popularity with our guests from all over the world and the region is a very important aspect of our growing business,’ explained Angelo Capurro, executive director, MSC Cruises. ‘Such significance was recently reflected at the end of 2022 when Doha was chosen as the city to host the official naming ceremony of our largest ship to join our fleet, MSC World Europa.’

MSC World Europa has sailed from Doha since December with seven-night sailings to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island in the UAE and Dammam in Saudi Arabia – a new destination for the cruise line. Three vessels operate in the region overall: MSC World Europa, MSC Opera in the Arabian Gulf and MSC Splendida in the Red Sea.

Capurro went on to say that he is ‘confident’ United Tours and Cruises ‘will be the right partners for us to succeed with our ambition.’

Joseph Abdo, CEO, Qatar Investors Group, said that as well as strengthening its strategic partnership with the MSC Group, the partnership ‘will accelerate further growth of the cruise industry in Qatar.’ 

‘The country places great importance in the tourism sector as part of its strategy to position Qatar as a leading tourism destination, and raise the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP to 12% by 2030,’ he added.

News revealed from on board MSC World Europa

Details of the agreement were unveiled on board MSC World Europa in Doha as part of a three-day educational roadshow for nearly 400 travel agents in the Middle East. Similar events will take place in the next two days on board the ship for the travel agency communities based in two cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Dubai and Abu Dhabi.