United Arab Emirates-based Abu Dhabi Ports Cruise Terminal has witnessed a 48% overall increase in passengers and a 40% increase in vessel calls during the 2016 / 2017 cruise season from the previous year.

More than 345,662 tourists have visited the port’s two new cruise destinations Zayed Port and the Bani Yas Island Cruise Beach during the 2016 / 2017 cruise season, which is up from the 232,605 tourists in 2015 / 2016.

Vessel numbers have also increased from 115 in 2015 / 2016 to 161 in 2016 / 2017, and the port has also extended its 2016 / 2017 cruise season to June for the first time due to high customer demand.

Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal has also called Princess Cruise Lines’ Majestic Princess to the port on her maiden voyage during the same season.

Abu Dhabi Ports executive vice-president Abdulkareem Al Masabi said: “Since developing the cruise terminal we have worked diligently and closely with cruise lines to promote Abu Dhabi as a unique travel destination.

"Since developing the cruise terminal we have worked diligently and closely with cruise lines to promote Abu Dhabi as a unique travel destination."

“We launched Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach as a ‘must visit’ destination on cruise liner routes this season, which has contributed to a 40% growth in number of vessel calls this season, doubling last year’s forecast of 21% increase for 2016 / 2017.”

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Abu Dhabi Ports noted that cruise ships from European and American markets now select Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminals as preferred destinations on their routes. This increase in demand has subsequently fuelled the growth of the port.

The nationalities of customers most frequently arriving at the cruise terminal are reportedly German (48%), British (21%), Italian (10%), Russian (5%), Dutch (4%), American and Spanish (3% each), while Belgian, Swiss and Austrian passengers are said to comprise 2% each.

Image: Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in United Arab Emirates. Photo: courtesy of AbuDhabiPorts.