United Arab Emirates News

Abu Dhabi Cruise Season Sets Sail with ‘Crystal Symphony’ Inaugural Docking

The ‘Crystal Symphony’, a luxurious 12-deck vessel operated by Crystal Cruises, set a historic precedent by becoming the inaugural ship to dock at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Zayed Port. This signifies the official commencement of what is anticipated to be a bustling season for AD Ports Group in 2023-2024.

Over the course of the upcoming season, a remarkable total of 126 cruise ships are scheduled to make port in Abu Dhabi, commencing from November 1. This surge in maritime traffic is poised to bring substantial growth to the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal. Furthermore, Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, which welcomed its first ship on October 31, is slated to host 63 calls.

Among the notable highlights are nine maiden voyages, signifying ships making their inaugural visit to Abu Dhabi.

Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, Chief Executive Officer of Cruise Business at AD Ports Group, expressed, “We are excited to announce the official start of cruise season here in Abu Dhabi with the arrival of Crystal Symphony.”

She continued, “Last season, Zayed Port emerged as the busiest cruise port in the region; a testament to Abu Dhabi’s position as a premier tourist destination, and the exceptional infrastructure that effortlessly accommodates the region’s largest vessels. We remain dedicated to partnering with cruise lines to elevate Abu Dhabi’s global cruise destination standing.”

Launched in December 2015, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal is poised to host over 7,000 visitors during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi event, offering them world-class hospitality.

In the 2022-2023 season, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal registered over 600,000 visitors arriving in the capital, with more than 82,000 passengers embarking on their journeys from Abu Dhabi. The first quarter of 2023 exhibited remarkable strength, with 363,494 visitors and 120 calls 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 entire year of 2022 by more than 37 percent.

As part of the Ports Cluster, Abu Dhabi Cruise business has extended its operations to the Red Sea with the successful inauguration of the Aqaba Cruise Terminal in January 2023.

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