Today, Cruise Holidays – North America’s oldest and largest cruise specialty network that has now served travelers for 25 years – revealed details of its first franchise agreement outside of North America. Cruise Holidays will expand globally with its first location in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The multi-location franchise agreement, signed by Mr. Murtaza (Monty) Kanani, was finalized at the end of October.

“Cruise Holidays and Mr. Kanani are ahead of the curve by setting up operations in Dubai in anticipation of unprecedented cruise industry growth planned for the region. While many economies around the world struggle, Dubai continues to boom and cruising is about to experience exponential growth due in part to the construction of a new mega cruise terminal,” stated Peter D. Thomson, vice president and COO of Cruise Holidays. “Mr. Kanani’s proactive vision and Cruise Holiday’s franchise business model are the perfect combination to capitalize on this huge opportunity in the United Arab Emirates.”

Kanani has a successful background in the travel industry, most recently holding the position of Managing Director for Arabian Global Tourism & Travel – a Dubai travel agency offering customized travel and tourism packages for foreign and domestic travelers. The franchise agreement between Cruise Holidays and Mr. Kanani includes opening one store in early 2009 with long-term plans of opening several Cruise Holidays locations in the coming years.

“I am a big believer of brand names and reputation. After research I conducted on franchise opportunities in the cruising sector, Cruise Holidays seemed to be what I was looking for: a respected brand name with a collection of well-trained, focused, travel industry professionals,” said Kanani. “These are the qualities that attracted me to Cruise Holidays, and of course their willingness to charter new territories.”

“Cruising is a fairly new concept in Dubai; there are no cruise specialists. We could be market leaders in the region with all new entrants playing catch up,” continued Kanani. “This is a region with a high disposable income and a new cruise terminal is being built by the government which will be ready in 2010. For one who is established by then, there will be a sea of opportunity.”