Port Khor Fakkan is ranked one of the world's largest containership / cargo ports. It is located on UAE's Indian Ocean coast and along Gulf of Oman. At about 3 hours driving distance from the cruise port are located the country's largest cities - Sharjah (metro population around 1,4 million) and the port cities Dubai (capital) and Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf (aka Arabian Gulf).
Port's strategic location (on the main east-west shipping trade routes) makes it preferable for cargo and cruise ship passenger shippping requiring easy access to UAE. Khor Fakkan has population around 35,000, ranking it UAE's second largest city (after Fujairah).
- City's main landmark is Jabal Javi Mountain. Near is located the 4-stared "Oceanic Hotel" (beach resort). Al Wurrayah Falls (water falls) are at approx 4,5 km (3 ml) to the north of the resort.
- Rifaisa Dam is another popular tourist attraction located in the mountains. It was built over a village. When the water is still, you can see the tops of the flooded houses.
- Sharjah Ports Authority also manages Port Khalid (in Sharjah) and Mina Al Hamriya Port (in Dubai).
- The list of other UAE cruise ports also includes Sir Bani Yas Island - private resort destination for MSC and Costa cruise ship passengers).
In 2016, Sharjah 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 country 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).
Sharjah is UAE's 3rd largest and most populous city. It is part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman (DSA) metro area, with total population of around 5,3 million people.
Sharjah Emirate covers a total area of 2,600 km2 (1,000 ml2). It straddles the Arabian Peninsula and overlooks to the west the Perisan Gulf, and to the east - the Gulf of Oman. The emirates also has of some of the UAE's most superb waterfront areas. Today, Sharjah is known as the country's cultural capital.
- In 1971 was discovered the Mubarak oilfield (near Abu Musa Island). In 1981 the reserves started to dwindle, Soon was discovered an onshore gas field.
- In 1979 was inaugurated the Sharjah's Khorfakkan port - the first one in the middle east with fully equipped container facilities (Sharjah Container Terminal). The port provides all needed facilities for passenger and cargo vessels that don't need to enter the Persian Gulf.
- The Sharjah emirate has modern-designed waterfront hotels, lakefront apartment complexes, restaurants, beautiful parks, lush gardens, well-maintained museums. The emirate is also renowned for its souqs (open-air markets) - among the region's best places for bargain hunters.
Khor Fakkan cruise terminal
Khor Fakkan's cruise ship port is part of a large container cargo area. The port features a natural deep-water harbor waterway. Free bus shuttles are provided for transferring cruise passengers to the port's entrance, as walking through the area is forbidden.
- At the port's entrance there are two souks (open-air markets) - one for fish (open in the AM hours only), and another for fruits and vegetables. There is also a taxi stand. From here, the walking distance to the city's centre is about 20-min, along the corniche road and the beach.
- Know that temperatures are often high (the route has no shady areas) and wearing bathing suits at the beach is forbidden.
- Across from the cruise ship dock there is a duty-free shop and a cafe bar with good Wi-Fi coverage.
An USD 82 million project involved reclaiming over 150,000 m2 (1,6 million ft2) to increase the port's cargo storage capacity (the space was increased to 450,000 m2 / 4,84 million sq ft) and also to facilitate large gantry cranes (a total of 20). A total of 6 quays (depth 16 m / 52 ft) were built to accommodate larger container ships (with LOA length over 400 m / 1,300 ft).
- Khorfakkan Container Terminal was opened in 1979.
- Of all the 20 gantries, 6 are Super Post-Panamax and 4 are Mega-max Tandem-Lift. The total berth length they serve is around 800 m (2625 ft). The draugth alongside is 16 m (52,5 ft).
- As the Khorfakkan port offers an easy open-sea access, cargo containers are handled by ship-to-shore gantry cranes in addition to the yard gantries, RTG's (rubber-tyred gantry cranes), tractors, trailers, forklifts. The port has a total storage facility of over 45,000 TEUs, a 3000 m2 (332,290 ft2) dedicated transit shed and LCL cargo storage area. It also can accommodate over 1000 reefers (refrigerated containers).
- Among the Khor Fakkan port's main statistics are - 6 quays (total length 2 km / 6560 ft), 20 gantry cranes (for containers), 26 yard gantries, 30 container handlers, 116 port terminal tractors.
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Reservations are open for the 2023 itineraries on Crystal Symphony. In all, the premium cruise ship is scheduled to sail 36 itineraries (6- to 15...August 1, 2020
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