The last ship of the 2014/2015 cruise season has called at Zayed Port, Abu Dhabi. The Seven Seas Voyager which has called three times this season, made its last visit on Saturday 2 May.
Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season ran from October 2014 until May 2015, and welcomed a record 200,407 passengers and 94 ship calls.
This year, Abu Dhabi Ports conducted a survey to discover what the visiting cruise tourists like to do when they visit the Emirate.
The figures reveal that more than 61,000 of the cruise tourists who booked tours, visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, while 70,028 chose to do shopping at the malls. A further 43,700 explored the Heritage Village while others enjoyed Big Bus tours, visits to Al Ain or trips to the Arabian Nights Village, to list just some of the many attractions on offer.
In addition, 31,470 of the cruise tourists booked a taxi to or from the cruise terminal, although this figure only captures those booked direct through tour operators and not any additional journeys.
Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi commented that: “It is hard to quantify the amount cruise passengers contribute to the economy, but these figures supplied to us by the tour leaders and cruise shipping agents give a good indication of the impact this growing industry.
“Increasing tourism is a key objective of the UAE’s leaderships’ plans to diversify the economy. Our work to build and enhance this valuable industry, in conjunction with the Tourism & Culture Authority Abu Dhabi and our partners in Cruise Arabia is clearly delivering solid and impressive results”.
The majority of global cruise tourists are European and American. Europeans in particular are attracted to the Gulf Region by its cultural offering and the winter sun. Abu Dhabi’s cruise tourists reflect this, with half of them originating from Germany and the next two biggest groups coming from Italy and the UK.
The Cruise Passenger survey data revealed that:
|Tourist attraction:||Number of tours booked:||percentage|
|Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque||61195||30%|
|Abu Dhabi Mall||49892||24.9%|
|Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi||43712||21.8%|
|World Trade Center Mall||70028||34.9%|
|Sheikh Zayed Cultural Center||34988||17.4%|
This cruise season has seen some important developments taking the cruise industry in Abu Dhabi to the next level. Construction is now well underway on the new permanent cruise terminal building, and work has started on the facilities to develop Sir Bani Yas Island into the regions first island stopover destination.
Building on this success, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal will be promoting everything that the Emirate has to offer cruise tourists with its Cruise Arabia partners at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015, from the 4-7 of May at the Dubai World Trade Centre.