Abu Dhabi Ports, which manages Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Airports for the provision of airport check-in counters at the terminal for departing cruise passengers.
Abu Dhabi Ports reported the best ever cruise performance for Abu Dhabi last season and with further growth expected, Abu Dhabi Airports introduced 15 check-in counters at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, located in Zayed Port, to streamline the travel experience for passengers.
Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal was opened in 2015 and is now integrated with Abu Dhabi International Airport.
It means that passengers disembarking their cruise ship in Abu Dhabi to fly home will be able to check-in at the terminal itself and then travel to the airport, negating the need to queue up at the airport or cart baggage around with them on their final day in the UAE capital.
“Year on year, Abu Dhabi continues to welcome an increasing number of visitors looking for unique and unrivalled experiences and Abu Dhabi Ports is committed to continue supporting the growth of the cruise tourism sector by providing passengers with services that address all their needs,” said Captain Al Shamisi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Port.
Celebrity Cruise Lines passengers cruising aboard Celebrity Constellation will be the prime beneficiaries of the new service as Constellation is the first cruise ship to homeport exclusively in Abu Dhabi for the Middle East cruise season in the Arabian Gulf.
Passengers aboard Celebrity Constellation will be first to benefit as she is the only cruise ship homeporting exclusively in Abu Dhabi.
Other cruise line based in the region during the winter cruise season homeport out of Dubai, such as MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, TUI and AIDA Cruises, for the 2017/18 Arabian Gulf cruise season. However, this year MSC Cruises and AIDA Cruises will both also offer Abu Dhabi as a turnaround port on their Arabian Gulf cruises.
MSC Cruises, AIDA, TUI and Costa will be homeporting in Dubai, but MSC and AIDA will also offer Abu Dhabi as a turnaround port.
Abu Dhabi cruise tourism officials see the integration of airport and cruise terminal as crucial to making the city a more attractive proposition for fly-cruise tourists coming to the UAE to join their cruise ship.
“As we embark on a new phase of our journey, soon operating one of the largest airport terminals worldwide, it is crucial that we tie the knot with key partners within the transport and tourism industries to create a strong network of entities driving growth and success for Abu Dhabi as a cruise destination,” said Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, Acting CEO at Abu Dhabi Airports.
Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri, Cruise Terminal Manager at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal added that it had played a pivotal role in boosting Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination generally. “Since it’s inauguration in 2015, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal has played a leading role in the development of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry attracting more and more visitors to the emirate, positioning itself as a world-class tourism hub,” he said.
“As we continue to offer our passengers unique and value-added services to streamline their visit to Abu Dhabi, we anticipate our partnership with Abu Dhabi Airports, which is a first for the region, will attract further growth and success during the upcoming season,” Al Dhaheri added.