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Sat 4 Nov 2017 02:20 AM

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Abu Dhabi expects 5% rise in cruise tourists in 2017-18

Department of Culture and Tourism launches new season, set to see 346,000 passengers

Abu Dhabi expects 5% rise in cruise tourists in 2017-18

Abu Dhabi's cruise tourism sector is expected to see growth of 5 percent in the coming season with 346,000 passengers set to visit the emirate.

The Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi has announced the launch of the 2017/2018 Cruise Season with the arrival of luxury cruise liner Seaborne Encore at the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, Mina Zayed.

With four maiden calls scheduled in Abu Dhabi, the emirate is at the forefront of the Gulf’s ambitions to become the leading international alternative winter sun cruise destination, it said in a statement.

The rise in projected passenger figures follows a series of initiatives to develop Abu Dhabi’s cruise sector as a primary niche product in its economic diversification, it added.

The cruise season in Abu Dhabi will run until May 2018.

Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Seaborne Encore for her journey across the Gulf. It is with the great pleasure that we launch the new season of cruise tourism in Abu Dhabi with partners Abu Dhabi Ports and Etihad Airways as we work towards achieving even greater growth in our cruise passenger numbers.”

Abdulkareem Al Masabi, executive vice president, Ports, added: “Abu Dhabi Ports is playing a crucial role, with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, in promoting Abu Dhabi as world-class leading cruise hub.

“We had a record-breaking year during the last cruise season, and we look forward to reviewing figures for the coming season and being part of new announcements during the course of this new cruise season,” he added.

Abu Dhabi is also home to the region’s only dedicated cruise stopover beach on Sir Bani Yas Island in the emirate’s Al Dhafra region. The first of its kind in the Gulf, the beach is a unique addition to Abu Dhabi’s cruise market offering.

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