Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of commercial and community ports within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as Fujairah Terminals and the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) signed an agreement with Jalboot Marine, a local-based company that provides ferry services around Abu Dhabi, to begin cruise trips to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in addition to other landmarks in the city.
The signing took place October 24 between Abdulkareem Al Masabi, Executive Vice President – Ports and Mohamed Roestali, CEO of Jalboot Holdings in the presence of Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports. The agreement allows Jalboot Marine to operate cruise ships and tours from Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Mina Zayed.
Captain Al Shamisi remarked: “It has been a remarkable season for Abu Dhabi’s marine tourism sector with Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and Sir Bani Yas Island being key factors in this continued prosperity. We have signed an agreement with Jalboot Marine to operate marine cruise ships and tours to Abu Dhabi’s most important cultural and tourist attractions as part of our efforts to enhance customer experiences and provide a variety of activities and attractions.
“Abu Dhabi Ports is keen to play a pivotal role in further supporting Abu Dhabi’s positioning as a unique touristic destination. We can see ample avenues to expand alongside our partners and stakeholders and look forward to this opportunity to work with Jalboot Holdings and to further contribute to the success of the cruise sector.” He added
Expected to commence operating in the current season, Abu Dhabi’s first water-taxi shuttle services will be available for residents and visitors for city sight-seeing and drop-off by the end of the year. Passenger pickup will be from Zayed Port’s Cruise Terminal and will include several stops at lively destinations such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Yas Island and Etihad Towers.
Commenting on the agreement, Abdulkareem Al Masabi Executive Vice President – Ports said: “We are pleased to partner with Jalboot Marine for the first time to continue supporting Abu Dhabi’s tourism. With the new Louvre Museum opening its doors in November, there is no doubt there will be a wave of sight-seers coming into the city. We are happy to facilitate the new luxurious water shuttle service through our fast-growing terminal which aims to further enhance the tourism sector in the emirate. We will continue to work closely with all relevant organisations to showcase Abu Dhabi’s spectacular views through the maritime transportation sector. Our partnership with Jalboot will open new gateways for Abu Dhabi’s tourism and leisure as well as offer a unique sight-seeing experience around the city’s touristic attractions.”
Jalboot Holdings CEO, Mohamed Roestali, said: “We are delighted that our relationship with Abu Dhabi Ports has progressed to the next level with this strategic agreement to provide water transport and sight-seeing services from the Cruise Terminal and invest in infrastructure that will benefit visitors to Abu Dhabi. Since Jalboot launched in October 2015 we have been progressively adding to our network, with 2016 seeing the launch of our Raha Beach, Yas Island service and expansion of our routes and fleet of vessels. This latest addition will allow Cruise Terminal visitors to Abu Dhabi unprecedented access to the waterways around the capital, with many destinations close by. We welcome the partnership with our colleagues at Abu Dhabi Ports and thank Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, for his support in making this collaboration a success. We also thank his team and our strategic partners the Department of Culture and Tourism, Miral and Aldar for their continued support in the development of the water transportation sector in Abu Dhabi.”
The agreement also includes building a new20 m long jetty with wheelchair access and secure gated access.
Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal is forecasted to welcome 92 ship calls from 18 different cruise lines, making the emirate a firm fixture on the world cruise map with international cruise liners continuing to base their regional Arabian Gulf operations at the terminal.