share
by Matt Alderton | September 16, 2014
When it opens in 2016, a new cruise terminal at Zayed Port will stimulate a new wave of sea tourism in the Arabian Gulf, according to the terminal's developers, the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), which yesterday unveiled their design for the cutting-edge cruise hub.

"Our investment in a larger, higher-quality cruise terminal building recognizes the fact that Abu Dhabi is now featured on a growing number of itineraries," ADPC CEO Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said in a statement. "This makes us very proud and keen to ensure that this important industry is fully catered for and encouraged."

Encompassing more than 26,000 square feet, the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal will include all essential passenger facilities, plus a mezzanine level with souvenir shops, restaurants, office space and waiting areas for cruise staff. Upon completion, it will be able to handle at least three vessels simultaneously, each carrying up to 2,500 passengers.

"It is a statement of just how serious Abu Dhabi is about cruise tourism," aid TCA Abu Dhabi Acting Executive Director Sultan Al Dhaheri. "For our part we are stepping up promotion of this particular industry sector with the imminent launch of a dedicated cruise tourism section on our visitabudhabi.ae online destination resource and the creation of highly differentiated shore excursions which lift the value of the Arabian Gulf cruise proposition with Abu Dhabi as both a home port and port-of-call."

According to TCA Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi's cruise passenger arrivals have increased five-fold since the sector began in the emirate in 2007. Arrivals this season are anticipated to reach 200,000 passengers from 95 vessel calls.