Dubai downtown skyline, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

(9:35 a.m. EST) -- Doubling its presence in the United Arab Emirates, MSC Cruises will base MSC Lirica in Dubai at the end of this year and, for the first time, offer calls to India.

MSC Lirica will reposition to its new homeport in November, joining MSC Splendida and featuring longer sailings of 11 and 14 nights.

New ports of call for the line are India's Mumbai, Goa and Mangalore.

"Introducing India to MSC Cruises' winter 18/19 itineraries demonstrates how our significant investment plan is enabling us to expand our global footprint and establish a presence in a high-potential market, one that we expect to grow considerably over the coming years," said MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato in a statement.

Also appearing on the itineraries are visits to Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Bahrain; select voyages will include overnights in Dubai, Muscat and Mumbai.

--By Ashley Kosciolek, Editor