Abu Dhabi tourism officials have expressed confidence in the UAE cruise sector’s ability to quickly recover from the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic during the Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Miami, Florida.
At the annual Seatrade conference, which took place from 27 to 30 September this year, Abu Dhabi tourism officials showcased the city’s offerings as a cruise destination and said they expect cruise tourism to rebound quickly.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming travellers to Abu Dhabi and to see the resurgence of the cruise industry,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.
“Over the past few years, our cruise industry has witnessed unprecedented growth, allowing us to offer seafaring travellers unforgettable experiences when they visit the UAE capital,” he added.
“This year, we look forward to welcoming a host of cruise ships to our terminals and providing guests with the opportunity to discover both the amazing attractions within our emirate and its tranquil surrounding waters.”
Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two primary cruise ports in the Middle East, have both reopened to cruise tourism, with five cruise ships expected to homeport in Dubai for the coming 2021/22 cruise season between November and March.
While Dubai is used as a turnaround port for most cruise ships operating in the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi has also established itself as a popular alternative.
The city has reopened to vaccinated tourists globally, and will be used as a homeport by MSC Cruises and AIDA during the coming season.
The five cruise ships homeporting in the Arabian Gulf this year are scheduled to make more than 100 callsat the cruise terminals in Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island.
“We are excited to welcome vaccinated cruise passengers at the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach with our world-famous Emirati hospitality,” said Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, Managing Director of Cruise Business at AD Ports Group, which managed the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal.
“We have the best-in-class measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of passengers and crew, in line with Abu Dhabi’s health and safety protocols, and are confident that we are well prepared for the resumption of regular cruise activities in the emirate,” she added.