Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port is a new terminal developed by Abu Dhabi Ports- the master developer, operator and manager of ports and Khalifa Industrial Zone in the Emirate. A major landmark for cruise tourism in the Arabian Gulf, the terminal serves as a major boost in facilitsting the cruise tourism sector, which in turn will reflect positively on the Emirate’s economy. The state-of-the-art terminal is attracting international cruise lines to homeport at Abu Dhabi, making it their first destination within the region and allows passengers to enjoy a longer stay in the Emirate.
The new terminal is a further step towards Abu Dhabi’s ambition to establish itself as a leading winter sun cruise destination.
MSC Cruises and AIDA Cruises were the first cruise lines to choose Abu Dhabi and the new terminal as their home port for the 2015/16 season. MSC Cruises and Etihad Airways recently announced ‘Fly & Cruise’ packages for guests from Europe, who would fly with Etihad Airways and partner airlines to enjoy the cruise in the region on the vessels homeporting in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, with the support from Abu Dhabi Ports’ strategic partners, has taken every step to ensure the ease of the cruise passengers’ overall journey into and out of the Emirate. Through the terminal’s tourist information services, retail facilities, provision of city tours, passport border control counters and smooth and timely customs processes, tourists have an enjoyable experience.
The new terminal provides airline check-in counters to allow cruise passengers to check into their flights from within the terminal thereafter requiring only passport control at the airport for an exit stamp.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, pointed out that the design of the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal incorporated suggestions from the international cruise lines to ensure the efficiencies of all current and future operations. “This is the first permanent cruise terminal in the region that provides integrated facilities and operations with international airport passenger check-in capabilities. Such efficiencies will attract more cruise lines to choose Abu Dhabi as their homeport,” Al Shamisi said.
“Our collaboration with our strategic partners has attracted leading internationally recognized cruise line to choose Abu Dhabi and Zayed Port as their homeport.” added Captain Al Shamisi.
Sir Bani Yas Island
Meanwhile Abu Dhabi Ports has started welcoming cruise line calls at Sir Bani Yas Island, the Arabian Gulf’s first cruise beach stopover in Abu Dhabi. Two prominent luxury cruise vessels made their maiden calls at the Island in November 2015 as part of their international itinerary.
Once fully developed, the Sir Bani Yas Island cruise stopover will have wooden boardwalks around the Island, barbecue facilities, hammocks, cabanas along the beach, dining and visitor facilities and more. A dedicated information centre for cruise staff and tourists will also be developed. Additional beach, sports, and water sports facilities, including an aqua park, boat tours and wildlife excursions, will also enhance visitor experience.
Sir Bani Yas Island, an award-winning nature and wildlife island reserve, has long been a popular leisure destination. One of the largest natural islands in the UAE, Sir Bani Yas features three luxury Anantara resorts as well as a wide range of activities for guests of all ages. These include archery, horseback riding, land sailing, pearl diving, kayaking and more. The Island also boasts the Arabian Wildlife Park, home to thousands of free-roaming wildlife, which can be explored with a Nature & Wildlife Drive.