UAE Cruise Industry: Abu Dhabi in the Spotlight

The United Arab Emirates travel and tourism market is going strong; in particular a growing number of cruises are bringing visitors to the country with an economic impact that is becoming a significant per cent of the UAE’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). More cruise lines from around the world are making port calls with thousands of passengers and additional cruise terminal facilities have been built to cater for the anticipated growth of the Cruise Tourism.

Thanks to this trend UAE’s tourism sector is expected to grow even more, said the Director of Cruise Tourism, Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), with passengers choosing the Arabian Gulf as one of the world’s most attractive cruise destinations. But it’s not just about the location. Marine terminals and their efficient operations have been critical to the cruise business, and tourists appreciate the easy access to a range of attractions that can cater to any needs and wishes.

“The cruise sector’s [is] contributing to the emirate’s economic diversification,” says Saif Saeed Ghobash, the director general of TCA Abu Dhabi, and is also helping innovation in the tourism sector.

Abu Dhabi cruise season is in full swing and is taking full advantage of the capital’s state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal. The Abu Dhabi cruise season runs from October to June; visitors from onboard arrive at the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Zayed Port with efficient terminal facilities and services, as well as excellent transport links for visitors to explore a wide variety of cultural attractions and entertainment activities or other leisure options the capital has to offer.

For the 2017/18 season the cruise business is actually “running at 23 per cent ahead of the corresponding period last year,” TCA Abu Dhabi reports. The terminal is “a viable home port base for the world’s leading cruise lines,” said Saeed Al Dhaheri, the cruise tourism and city tour development manager at TCA Abu Dhabi, speaking at the Arabian Travel Market. Even more cruise lines are said to follow suit and deploy ships in and out of Abu Dhabi thanks to the offer of innovative itineraries and quality of land tourism once in harbor.

Implementing a multiple entry UAE visa for the cruise tourists also opened the cruise market to new vacationers; this has given a boost to tourism in the country and created a wider marketing perspective, said Hamad bin Mejren, the executive director of Business Tourism at of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). This is an elemental part of the emirate’s tourism development strategy, adds Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of DTCM.

UAE Cruise Industry: A Promising Trend

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