Abu Dhabi Ports experienced increases of 16% in passenger numbers and 20% in vessel calls, it announced.
The 2015-2016 cruise season numbers represent ports operator’s best performance figures, a statement said.
The increase in visitors arriving by sea follows the launch of the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in 2015. The facility welcomed 231,660 tourists, a huge increase on the 35,366 who arrived at Zayed Port 10 years ago.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said:
“This impressive double-digit growth in the face of economic headwinds is a remarkable achievement and further strengthens Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal’s role in boosting the country’s tourism industry.
“We are working closely with our strategic partners to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position as a major global destination and attract international cruise liners to not only call at Abu Dhabi as part of their itinerary but also to choose the emirate as their starting point for regional cruises by making it their homeport.”
Some 113 cruise ships called at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal during the 2015-2016 season, marking a 20% growth over the 94 ships that docked at Zayed Port during the 2014-15 season.
“Our ongoing efforts in increasing the level of awareness of the cutting-edge Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and the wider emirate are yielding rewarding results. Cruise operators have been promoting Abu Dhabi and the region within their itineraries with great success,” said cruise terminal manager at Abu Dhabi Ports, Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri.