MV Grand Ferry , that can carry up to 870 passengers and 670 vehicles, was recently unveiled to the media in Qatar in the presence of Jassim Seif Ahmed al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, Qatar.
Faisal al Sulaiti, spokesperson for MV Grand Ferry , said this would be the first-of-its-kind ferry service in the Gulf. “We want to contribute to strengthening the relationship between countries by transporting more people. It has not been done in the Gulf before. It will be the first such service in the region.”
This comes after Oman and Qatar signed a pact in September 2017 to develop logistics services, shipping and passenger ferry services.
Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) and Oman Global Logistics Group (Asyad) had signed a pact in the presence of Jassim al Sulaiti and Oman’s Minister of Transport and Communications H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Salim al Futaisi in Doha.
The 145m-long MV Grand Ferry , a roll-on/roll-off luxury vessel, will begin by connecting Qatar, Oman and Kuwait and is expected to be extended to Iran depending on the demand. “The aim is to bring passengers, who often have limitations on other forms of transportation, to Kuwait and Oman, and even Iran, with their own cars.”
He expressed confidence that the venture will succeed as there is a huge demand for cruise tourism in the GCC market. It will provide an alternate means to travel within the three countries. “We also have cargo to balance revenue and reduce running cost.”
According to officials, the travel time from Doha Port in Qatar to Oman is expected to be around 20-25 hours and the same time during the return leg.
The France-made ship has 237 rooms and boasts of facilities like a cinema hall, meeting rooms, restaurants, cafés and medical facilities with doctors and nurses. In case of emergencies, there is also a facility for a helicopter to land on the vessel.