Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, the first dedicated island cruise stopover in the Middle East, played a leading role in the growth in cruise passenger numbers reported for Abu Dhabi during the 2016/17 cruise season.
This year’s cruise season was the first full-length one for the cruise island in the Arabian Gulf, with 33 cruise ship calls and 54,000 cruise passengers visiting the island during the winter Middle East cruise season.
Abu Dhabi Port, which operates both Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and the cruise beach at Sir Bani Yas Island, have said that further “added value offerings for cruise visitors” are being planned for the island and will be ready by the 2017/18 cruise season, but further details have not yet been released.
Sir Bani Yas Island is one of the UAE’s largest natural reserves open to the public. Because of the Government of Abu Dhabi’s continuous investment in the island, it is developing into one of the most sought after tourist destination in the region and is home to several hotels as well as the cruise beach.
The cruise beach is like no other in the region and was developed to meet the demand for a beach call addition to the itineraries of the world’s leading cruise lines sailing in the Arabian Gulf.
It gives Abu Dhabi a competitive advantage, as anchoring at this multi award-winning nature-conservation desert island adds a unique proposition to an already diverse array of passengers seeking a mix of luxury and adventure.
“This remarkable cruise beach brings a unique opportunity to attract regional cruise itineraries and enhance cruise operators’ offering. It played a vital role in increasing cruise passenger traffic in the 2016/17 season,” said Abdulkareem Al Masabi, Executive Vice President, Ports, at Abu Dhabi Ports.
“Despite the few cancellations, due to uncontrolled weather conditions, the beach successfully operated for the cruise season 2016/2017 with this beautiful island, its wildlife and nature reserve offering a unique opportunity for regional cruise itineraries,” he added.
Launched in December 2016, Sir Bani Yas Island offers its cruise visitors all the activities regularly anticipated on an island call, such as beach sports, snorkelling, kayaking, but also unique excursions such as a cultural heritage tours of the island and a safari tour of the wildlife reserve.
Abu Dhabi Ports continues to develop extensive facilities for cruise passengers while keeping with local culture and always mindful of the delicate island eco-system.