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New Cruise Terminal added to Abu Dhabi Port

Travellers taking Abu Dhabi holidays via cruise ship will be able to use the new cruise terminal at Mina Zayed port. The new tented terminal is capable of accommodating 1,300 passengers and will be used for the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 cruise seasons.

New Cruise Terminal added to Abu Dhabi Port

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) and Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) have joined together to provide a new tented cruise terminal at Mina Zayed Port in the northeast of the emirate.

The new cruise terminal is capable of simultaneously accommodating 1,300 tourists taking Abu Dhabi holidays via the port and has been designed to cater for the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 cruise seasons.

The terminal is located on the site of the former Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority visitor information centre and it spans 2,000 square-metres across two dedicated halls; one of which will be used as a luggage handling facility, and the other will be a passenger centre comprising a waiting lounge, security section, prayer rooms, currency exchange, visitor information centre and custom and immigration control facilities for tourists arriving to and departing from Abu Dhabi holidays.

The Vice-President of Operations for Ports Unit at ADPC, Captain Mohamed Al Shamisi, said: “We are delighted to see the establishment of a cruise terminal at Mina Zayed and look forward to receiving the first passengers. The port is a key part of Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure and this project demonstrates the ongoing support between Government organisations to develop the economy and the tourism sector in the emirate.”

 Msc Lirica en Ilha Bela
Image by: Cariito2011, on Flickr

The new cruise terminal will officially open during a welcome ceremony at the end of October when the luxurious MSC Lirica cruise liner arrives in Abu Dhabi. The city will be used as its home port as it sets off on its series of eight day/seven night cruises around the Arabian Gulf. The 59,000 ton vessel will bring 2,199 passengers to holidays in Abu Dhabi and the Gulf region over the winter months.

The MSC Lirica is the first liner to use the United Arab Emirates capital as its homeport and it is expected to bring an influx of international tourists taking holidays to Abu Dhabi, provide alternative accommodation to Abu Dhabi hotels, and bring a range of benefits to the local economy.

Image by: Sea Cruises Travel Brazil, on Flickr

The Director General of ADTA, HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, said: “Cruise shipping has enjoyed strong recession-proof growth for many years. The market obviously ranges between low cost volume cruise business and very high end exclusive cruises – Abu Dhabi is targeting the higher end segment.”

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority is planning to build a permanent cruise terminal at Mina Zayed and Al Muhairi explained: “Ultimately our capacity to build the cruise tourism business will rely on a combination of good planning, good infrastructure, strong marketing and industry co-operation.

“With this in mind, we now have government approval for the concept of a world-class cruise terminal which is required if we are to fulfil our ambition of becoming a home port of choice. We have singled out three possible sites in the Mina Zayed vicinity and have commissioned technical feasibility studies into these. Once these are complete, we will go to the design stage. We intend to make the permanent facility truly world-class. We realise we will be servicing new generation vessels that need ashore the same high-level facilities the passengers experience on board.

Al Muhairi added: “We have strong hopes of the cruise business continuing to grow into the future with longer term projects for 300 calls and 600,000 passengers by 2030.”

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