By Sam Bridge
$27m project will allow two vessels to dock at any given time and provide up to 5,000 passengers with direct access to island
Abu Dhabi Ports announced on Saturday plans to design and construct a new cruise jetty at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
The AED100 million ($27 million) new jetty project will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, in time for the launch of the 2021 cruise season.
The expansion will allow two vessels to dock at any given time and provide up to 5,000 passengers with direct access to embark and disembark at an accelerated rate on the southeast beach of Sir Bani Yas Island, state news agency WAM reported.
Currently, cruise ships set anchor about 1km offshore from the island and visitors are ferried to and from the beach via tender craft.
BAM International, the operating name for the Dutch construction company Royal BAM Group outside of Europe, has been selected to design and construct the new jetty.
Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, cruise terminal director at Abu Dhabi Ports, said: "Today’s announcement heralds an exciting new phase in the spectacular success of Abu Dhabi’s cruise business at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach. Our commitment to its ongoing development will help us significantly increase the total number of visitors to the island, and reduce the time it takes to move them to and from a vessel."
Eric van Zuthem, chairman of BAM International, added: "The new cruise jetty at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach is our first project with Abu Dhabi Ports, and we look forward to commencing a long and successful relationship between our organisations."
Located in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra Region, Sir Bani Yas Island is the Arabian Gulf’s first and only dedicated cruise beach stopover destination and boasts some of the most spectacular wildlife and historical treasures in the region.