The opening of Abu Dhabi’s cruise terminal in Zayed Port this month will add to the number of visitors to the Emirate with the terminal expected to welcome 220,000 passengers from 113 ship calls during 2016.
MSC Cruises is the first cruise line to make the new terminal its home, with the 2,550-passenger MSC Musica offering 16 week- long Arabian Gulf sailings out of Abu Dhabi until March 26, 2016, calling at Khor al Fakkan in Sharjah, Muscat and Khasab in Oman, and Dubai in the UAE.
Celebrity Cruises will make the cruise terminal the homeport for its flagship Celebrity Constellation from November 2016 until mid-January 2017.
2016 will also see further cruise ships stop at Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region. One of the largest natural islands in the UAE, Sir Bani Yas features three luxury Anantara resorts and the Arabian Wildlife Park, home to more than 13,000 free-roaming animals, including endangered Arabian oryx, gazelles, giraffes and even cheetahs. To see our piece on this, click here
Cruise lines Seabourn and Noble Caledonia already call at the island. Temporary facilities currently allow cruise guests to enjoy game drives and other activities, such as archery, kayaking, hiking and mountain biking. Permanent facilities, including wooden boardwalks, barbecue facilities, hammocks, beach cabanas and a visitors’ centre, are expected to be completed in late 2016, making Abu Dhabi a double-stopover destination in the Gulf.