ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi’s cruise tourism continues to grow exponentially, recording a 40 per cent increase in vessel calls and 48 per cent increase in passengers to Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas during the 2016/2017 cruise season, said a report.
The 2016/2017 cruise season saw more than 345,662 tourists visit the emirate, up from 232,605 in 2015/2016. Likewise, vessel numbers increased from 115 in 2015/2016 to 161 in 2016/2017, said a report.
Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of the emirate’s commercial and community as well as Khalifa Industrial Zone, announced the close of its best-ever cruise season at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal with the maiden call of Princess Cruise Lines’ Majestic Princess.
Abdul Kareem Al Masabi, Executive Vice President of Ports at Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Since developing the cruise terminal we have worked diligently and closely with cruise lines to promote Abu Dhabi as a unique travel destination. We launched Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach as a ‘must visit’ destination on cruise liner routes this season, which has contributed to a 40 per cent growth in number of vessel calls this season, doubling last year’s forecast of 21 per cent increase for 2016/2017.”
The top 10 nationalities arriving at the cruise terminal include Germany at 48 per cent, the UK at 21 per cent, followed by Italy at 10 per cent, Russia at 5 per cent, the Netherlands with 4 per cent, USA and Spain at 3 per cent, and Belgium, Switzerland and Austria at 2 per cent each.