Port operator Abu Dhabi Ports has started welcoming cruise liners in the new cruise season at the region’s cruise hub Zayed Port.
Abu Dhabi’s current cruise season is set to witness significant increase in the number of passengers and cruise liners visiting the Emirate, and see the scheduled opening of a state-of-the-art cruise terminal at Zayed Port by the end of this year.
A 620-passenger vessel MS Insignia’s maiden call on September 18 marked the beginning of Abu Dhabi’s new cruise season. Zayed Port has scheduled over 19 per cent more cruise ship calls for the current season than in the previous one.
In the season spanning from mid-September this year to mid- May 2016, Zayed Port will host 112 cruise ship calls ─ up from 94 in the 2014-2015 season. Those 112 vessels from across the globe will bring 205,000 passengers.
This will represent a fivefold increase in the number of passengers visiting Zayed Port since the first cruise season during 2006-2007 that had hosted 36,000 passengers from 29 ship calls. The growth is projected to reach more than 300,000 passengers on 130 scheduled ship calls by 2019-2020 season, catalyzed by the new world-class cruise terminal at Zayed Port.
“These developments describe the significant expansion of Abu Dhabi’s cruise industry that further boosts the Emirate’s tourism development, a major component in its economic diversification. As an enabler of maritime industry that supports this vision, Abu Dhabi Ports derives inspiration from these advancements to offer inventive and unique services in this sector,” said Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports.
“The upcoming modern cruise terminal at Zayed Port will be a demonstration of our commitment to innovation and stakeholder focus,” he added.
The construction of the terminal achieved 60 per cent completion by the end of August. The building envelope has already been completed and the fit-out of the main passenger hall is 30 per cent complete. The fit-out of retail units, installation of new entrance, and works of wall glazing have already been started.