The new cruise ship pier for Sir Bani Yas Island is expected to boost cruise tourism in the Arabian Gulf by providing greater passenger capacity as ships will no longer need to anchor offshore.
Prior to the development of the cruise ship pier, vessels calling at Sir Bani Yas had to carry passengers ashore in tenders from the anchorage several nautical miles from the island.
The new cruise ship pier was opened by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler’s representative (mayor) in the Al Dhafra Region in Abu Dhabi.
“Inspired by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision and Plan Al Dhafra 2030, the opening of this new jetty is a milestone in Al Dhafra’s ambitious development plans. Economic diversification is fundamental to the long-term roadmap for the Emirate’s progress,” Al Nahyan said.
“We applaud AD Ports Group’s efforts in fostering this growth through world-class leisure and tourism infrastructure that will not only strengthen tourism across the GCC region but will also further reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position as a premier global tourism destination,” he added.
The new jetty is equipped with eight mooring dolphins, firefighting equipment, and solar lighting, and canaccommodate two vessels simultaneously, enabling more than 5,000 passengers to embark and disembark faster at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach.
The inauguration took place with the MSC Virtuosa berthed at Sir Bani Yas Island as part of the ship’s regular seven-night cruises in the Arabian Gulf out of Dubai.
Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach is the first and only dedicated cruise beach of its kind in the region, offering a blend of relaxation and adventure to visitors. It features a private beach, water sports, kayaking in the mangroves, game safaris into the interior of the island and more.
Previously, cruise ships had to anchor about one kilometer offshore from the island and visitors were ferried to and from the beach via tender craft.
The new jetty will significantly increase the capacity of the number of visitors to the island, reduce the time it takes to move to and from a vessel, as well as enhance the overall experience for cruise passengers.
“With the creation of these enhanced facilities, we will be able to welcome more visitors to Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach than ever before and offer a superior disembarkation experience for passengers,” said Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Ports, which manages the cruise beach.
“Today marks an important step forward in our strategy to establish Abu Dhabi as one of the leading hubs in the world for cruise tourism,” he added.