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Sat 12 Dec 2015 01:01 AM

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Abu Dhabi set to open new terminal in cruise tourism push

Zayed Port to launch new terminal this month as more than 200,000 cruise passengers are expected in emirate during 2015-16 season

Abu Dhabi set to open new terminal in cruise tourism push
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Abu Dhabi will officially open its new state-of-the-art cruise terminal at Zayed Port on Sunday, it has been announced.

The permanent cruise passenger terminal will help Abu Dhabi Ports serve the increasing number of cruise liners and passengers visiting the emirate, a statement said, adding that it will boost Abu Dhabi's standing as a winter-sun cruise destination.

Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: "We have achieved a major milestone by completing this ambitious cruise terminal project within one year. This will serve Abu Dhabi's rapidly growing cruise industry."

Zayed Port has scheduled 111 vessel calls with 205,000 passengers from across the globe during 2015/2016 season, a fivefold increase in number of passengers and ships visiting Abu Dhabi since the first cruise season during 2006-2007.

This growth is projected to reach more than 300,000 passengers expected on 130 scheduled ship calls by 2019-2020 season.

Zayed Port recently hosted three luxury cruise vessels on the same day. Island Sky, owned by Noble Caledonia, docked at Zayed Port as part of a 16-day voyage from Muscat in Oman to Mumbai in India. EUROPA 2, owned by Hapag-Lloyod, was on a 20-day cruise from Dubai to Mauritius. Seven Seas Voyager, owned by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, berthed at Abu Dhabi as part of their global itinerary.

The growing attraction of the Middle East to cruise tourists is especially visible in Europe and the United Kingdom. A recent survey revealed that 57 percent of the cruise tourists visiting Abu Dhabi were Germans, followed by Italians, with a total of 108 nationalities welcomed at Zayed Port.

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