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Cruise

Abu Dhabi Ports' Cruise Terminal witnesses high growth this year


Jun 17 2017

Abu Dhabi Ports celebrated the successful close of its best-ever cruise season at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal with the maiden call of Princess Cruise Lines’ Majestic Princess. The company recorded booming growth for the year with a 40% increase in vessel calls and 48% overall increase in passengers to Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas from last year.

The 2016/2017 cruise season saw more than 345,662 tourists visit the Emirate, up from 232,605 in 2015/2016. Likewise, vessel numbers increased from 115 in 2015/2016 to 161 in 2016/2017.

Abu Dhabi Port’s two cruise destinations are Zayed Port and the Sir Bani Yas Island Cruise Beach, which was launched during last year’s season as the first dedicated cruise beach and eco-tourism stopover.

Following on last season’s success with a 16% growth in passengers, this year the company recorded a 48% increase in passengers arriving at the terminals - close to six times the 8% increase expected by the company last year.

Captain Mohamed Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Ports said that the record-breaking season was testament to the growth of Abu Dhabi, as a global hub for both commerce and tourism.

Abdulkareem Al Masabi, Executive Vice President, Ports, at Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Since developing the cruise terminal we have worked diligently and closely with cruise lines to promote Abu Dhabi as a unique travel destination. We launched Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach as a “must visit” destination on cruise liner routes this season, which has contributed to a 40% growth in number of vessel calls this season, doubling last year’s forecast of 21% increase for 2016/2017. We look forward to launching the new season and further success,” said Al Masabi.

Calls by maiden vessels like the Majestic Princess promise a brighter future for the Abu Dhabi cruise tourism industry as a whole as well as the company. Cruise ships from European and American markets now select Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminals as preferred destinations on their routes. Most 10 nationalities arriving at the cruise terminal include Germany (48%), UK (21%), Italy (10%), Russia (5%), The Netherlands (4%), USA and Spain (3%), and Belgium, Switzerland and Austria at 2% each.

While most years the company has typically seen the cruise season end in late April/early May, the Majestic Princess vessel’s arrival at the terminal this June is testament to passenger demand to experience Abu Dhabi. It also underscores the important role that Abu Dhabi Ports, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, is playing as the Emirate delivers against Vision 2030 and the national economic diversification strategy.

Off the 162 cruise vessels arrived to Abu Dhabi, the last one to call for this season is the Majestic Princess, that stopped at Abu Dhabi in between Dubai and Cochin, India as part of its 56-day route from Barcelona to home port in Shanghai, China.


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