Saturday 21 July 2018

Abu Dhabi Ports sees record growth in 2016/17 cruise season

ABU DHABI, June 15, 2017

Abu Dhabi’s cruise tourism sector continues to grow exponentially, recording a 40 per cent increase in vessel calls and 48 per cent increase in passengers to Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas during the 2016/2017 cruise season.

Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of the emirate’s commercial and community as well as Khalifa Industrial Zone, announced the close of its best-ever cruise season at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal with the maiden call of Princess Cruise Lines’ Majestic Princess.

The 2016/2017 cruise season, it stated, 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.

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

"For several years, we have made significant investments in our port infrastructure and tourism offerings to build a world-class cruise hub here in Abu Dhabi,"he stated.

“We offer market-leading services to provide cruise passengers with value added services that address all their needs, and support the maritime tourism sector’s role in enhancing Abu Dhabi’s appeal as a leading tourism hub,” he noted.

“Today, I’m proud to say that the company’s vision and strategy is paying off with another record-breaking year,” added Al Shamisi.

As per Abu Dhabi Ports data, the top 10 nationalities arriving at the cruise terminal include Germany (48 per cent), UK (21 per cent), Italy (10 per cent), Russia (5 per cent), The Netherlands (4 per cent), the US and Spain (3 per cent), and Belgium, Switzerland and Austria at 2 per cent each.

Abdulkareem Al Masabi, executive vice president of 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 per cent growth in number of vessel calls this season, doubling last year’s forecast of 21 per cent increase for 2016/2017," he noted.

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, said the official.

Cruise ships from European and American markets now select Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminals as preferred destinations on their routes, he added.

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

The Majestic Princess is the newest sister ship to Royal Princess and Regal Princess, offering the Princess experience and signature favourites, plus exciting new features with a Chinese flair.

The 19-storey ship carries 3,560 guests, 1,346 crew and was built and launched in 2017 as the latest addition to the company’s fleet.

Naturally with the boom in numbers visiting the Cruise Terminal in Zayed Port, there has been a consequent increase in visitors to the Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach which offers cruise ship passengers a unique beach destination with unrivalled tourism experiences, sad the Abu Dhabi Ports in its statement.

This season proved to be a great success with 33 cruise vessels calling at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach with an approximate 54,000-passenger total visiting the unfettered white sandy beaches, it added. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: growth | Cruise | season | Abu | Dhabi |

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