Abu Dhabi receives more than 700,000 cruise visitors

This is compared to compared to 177,639 and 130 calls in the 2021/2022 season, reflecting the rebound of the UAE cruise industry post Covid-19

By WAM

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Published: Wed 10 May 2023, 7:44 PM

The Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, the operator of local and international cruise and leisure destinations, has registered a significant increase in the number of visitors and ship calls in the 2022/2023 season, making it the busiest cruise destination in the region in terms of cruise calls.

Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal recorded more than 700,000 visitors arriving in Abu Dhabi, with more than 82,000 passengers starting their journey from Abu Dhabi as an embarkation port. The first quarter of 2023 was particularly strong, 363,494 visitors and 120 calls were recorded compared to Q1 of 2022 which saw 89,953 visitors and 60 calls. Passenger volumes for Q1 2023 surpassed the number of visitors accommodated for the full year of 2022 by more than 37 percent.


Overall, the growth in contrast to the previous season was impressive. The 2022/2023 season registered more than 700,000 visitors and 184 calls, compared to 177,639 visitors and 130 calls in the 2021/2022 season. This rise reflects the forecasted rebound of the UAE cruise industry post Covid-19 and the unwavering commitment of Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal.

Commenting on this remarkable achievement, Saif Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer – Ports Cluster, AD Ports Group, said, "The increasing number of visitors is a testament to Abu Dhabi's position as a world class hub for maritime tourism and the trust bestowed on us by our partners in the cruise industry to deploy their latest and largest vessels to the region.


"Both Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach have evolved to offer an incredible and unique cruise experience for all guests, providing them with the opportunity to discover both the extraordinary attractions within Abu Dhabi and the natural beauty of Sir Bani Yas Island."

Saleh Al Geziry, Director General of the Tourism Sector at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, "Tourism is a driving force of Abu Dhabi's economic progress and prosperity, with the growing attractiveness of the emirate to cruise passengers playing a significant role in its success. The solid performance from the 2022-23 season demonstrates the rapid development of this visitor segment and showcases the effectiveness of our robust growth strategy for cruise travel in Abu Dhabi."

Noura Al Dhaheri, Managing Director of Cruise Business, AD Ports Group, said, "It is very exciting to continue to welcome thousands of visitors to Abu Dhabi. The management and operations teams at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal have worked  relentlessly to make us the busiest cruise hub in the region. This achievement would not have been possible without the world-class infrastructure and the constant upgrades to our facilities, the commercial incentives offered, and our operational excellence. All these factors are crucial to attracting larger number of visitors. We remain committed to working closely with cruise lines to position Abu Dhabi as one of the top cruise destinations globally."

Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal was launched in December 2015, providing a well-located base for cruise-liner passengers, enabling them to explore and experience the UAE capital. The Cruise Terminal is furnished with restaurants, retail outlets, duty-free shops, Etihad Airline check-in, and baggage storage.

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