Abu Dhabi is an Arabian Gulf cruise port part of the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Prior to the discovery of oil 1958, Abu Dhabi was a poor, rural wasteland. Now the city has one of the world's highest per-capita incomes. The city is the capital of the UAE, with population around 250,000.
Port Abu Dhabi is part of the Cruise Arabia alliance, which also includes Dubai and Sharjah (both in UAE), plus ports in Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. Since December 2016, Abu Dhabi has the Arabian Gulf's only dedicated desert cruise island port - Sir Bani Yas island. Many regular holiday tourists visit Yas Island as a day trip or overnight vacation destination.
Traditionally for the UAE, the city is modern, clean, featuring high rise buildings and numerous palm trees. Tourist attractions include souks (marketplaces), Petroleum Exhibition, palaces owned by local sheiks. The walled coastal road (corniche) runs for about 13 km (8 ml) along Arabian (Persian) Gulf. The city has an attractive park with flower gardens and 2200 year-old tomb ("Round Structure").
Abu Dhabi accounts for nearly 2/3 of the USD 400-billion UAE economy. It is the 4th most expensive city for expatriate employees in the area, and in 2014 was the world's 68th most expensive large city. The city features numerous modern amenities and attractions, like hotels, shopping, tours / excursions, also Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Ferrari World, Falcon Hospital. The more popular Dubai is only a short ride away.
Abu Dhabi cruise port (Zayed Port)
Abu Dhabi is also gaining popularity as a wedding destination for guests from India, Europe, the USA.
- Zayed Port's cruising season is October through July.
- The cooperation with the UAE's national carrier Etihad Airways resulted in a relatively steady annual increase in visiting cruise tourists from India (around 10% per year) and also in tourists flying to Abu Dhabi from Delhi or Mumbai (around 30% per year). The Etihad Airways has additionally partnered with Jet Airways for connecting cheap flights to all major airport cities in India.
- The option for cruises to UAE leaving from ports in India is expected to become reality in the following years.
- During season 2014-2015, the cruise port handled a total of 94 ship calls and around 190,000 passengers. During season 2015/2016, these numbers grew to 113 ship visits and 231,660 passengers (increase 22% / 16%). For comparison, Zayed Port during season 2006-2007 handled a total of 35,366 cruise ship tourists.
- During season 2016-2017, the cruise port's business was increased by 15% over the previous season - with over 345,660 passengers, which is up from 232,600 in 2015-2016. The estimated number of cruise tourists by the year 2020 is 450,000 and by the year 2025 - 808,000. Ship numbers increased from 115 (2015-2016) to 161 (2016-2017). In 2017, the port reported a 48% increase in passengers volumes at its cruise terminals - about 6 times the 8% increase in 2016.
- In 2016, Abu Dhabi and other UAE cities introduced a new (multi-entry) visa system allowing cruise passengers to visit various UAE tour destinations with 1 permit. Previously, UAE visas were only for tourists arriving and leaving the UAE on a cruise ship. The new visas allow toursts to fly to Dubai Airport, embark on a cruise vessel in Mina Rashid and cruise to Abu Dhabi and also to other Persian Gulf countries with a single visa rather than obtaining 2 or 3 separate visas. The new visas are also cheaper (AUD 59) in comparison to Dubai's 96-hours visa (AUD 44).
Highlights: Petroleum Exhibition, Al Ain museum, Palaces, camel market
Abu Dhabi cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Abu Dhabi dock in Zayed Port. The following photo shows Abu Dhabi cruise ship terminal with a docked Costa ship.
(new) Mina Zayed cruise terminal (Abu Dhabi)
The new Port Zayed cruise terminal in Abu Dhabi has exclusive check-in facilities (operated via partnership with Etihad Airways). Since its inauguration on December 13, 2015, the number of visiting tourists was significantly increased.
- The terminal is also in close proximity to popular city attractions, such as Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (at just 20-min drive) and Saadiyat (city's cultural district featuring the Louvre Abu Dhabi / opened in 2017).
- The cruise terminal building became an Arabian Gulf tourism landmark. The construction project underlined the UAE's ambitions for a leading position in the South Asian tourism sector. The building as design is a fusion of traditional Arabic ornaments and modern architecture. The roof's design is a lattice work inspired by the UAE’s national tree Ghaf (flowering tree in the pea family). Inside the terminal building, the wooden beams design was inspired by the country's traditional sailing boats.
- The terminal is sized approx 800 m2 (8,600 ft2)and has capacity to handle 3 cruise vessels (over 7,000 passengers) at a time.
- The building include as facilities tourist info counters, check-in counters, security checks. On the mezzanine floor are located souvenir shops, bars and restaurants, offices, cruise ship crew / staff waiting areas.
The Abu Dhabi cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Abu Dhabi, UAE.
If you lose the Abu Dhabi location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port Abu Dhabi cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Abu Dhabi, UAE. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ships in port|
23 October, 2017
30 October, 2017
31 October, 2017
Crystal Cruises unveiled 3 exclusive ways for vacationers to experience the most spectacular international event in the UAE this...June 27, 2017
Costa Cruises' Costa neoRiviera ship suffered loss of electricity onboard during a visit to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, December 21, switching to...December 24, 2016
- show more news