After the unveiling of Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi last week, Cruise Arabia & Africa predicted that the city would grow in prominence as a cruise destination and now Celebrity Cruises has confirmed that it will deploy a cruise ship in the Middle East from November 2016.
Celebrity Constellation, a Millennium-class cruise ship, is 294m long and carries more than 2,000 passengers. She will be homeported in Abu Dhabi rather than the traditional cruise hub of Dubai, signalling the city’s ambitions to rival other Middle East ports as a cruise hub.
Celebrity Constellation will sail nine 15-night roundtrip Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi cruises between November 2016 and January 2017, bringing an estimated 15,000 cruise tourists to Abu Dhabi and the wider Middle East cruise industry.
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority acting director general Jasem Al Darmaki described Celebrity’s decision to base a cruise ship in the Middle East for the first time a “landmark decision for our cruise tourism ambitions reflecting a new horizon for Abu Dhabi’s sector development.”