Middle East Cruise News

UAE mobile operator Etisalat to offer Visitor Package at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal

Etisalat will be offering a Visitor Package to cruise tourists and crew disembarking at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal this coming cruise season, the UAE mobile operator has announced.

Etisalat, which is the UAE’s equivalent to T-Mobile or Vodafone, will provide a visitor SIM card and a booklet of vouchers with an array of deals and discounts on activities such as theme parks, restaurants, shopping and other lifestyle categories.

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The Visitor Packs will be provided by Etisalat via its store at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal.

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“We live in a connected world where travellers want to share their adventures at the touch of a button with friends and family back home as they experience them,” said Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri, Cruise Terminal Manager, Abu Dhabi Ports. “We are, therefore, delighted to partner with Etisalat on its ‘Visitor Package’ as additional service provided to Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal passengers’ and crew.”

The move makes Etisalat the first telecoms operator in the UAE to offer a visitor’s sim card option to incoming tourists and is intended to support the UAE’s efforts to grow the cruise tourism sector to more than 1-million by 2020.

“Etisalat is proud to be associated with Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal to launch this first of its kind initiative, which is exclusively for cruise visitors arriving at the Capital,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, General Manager, Etisalat Abu Dhabi and CEO Adviser. “We have always worked closely with the government in supporting initiatives that contribute to the tourism sector.”

While free Wi-Fi is already provided at both Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and Dubai Cruise Terminal, lack of connectivity while out and about on shore excursions can often be a problem for cruise tourists.

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Celebrity Constellation in port at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal.

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According to CNN, at least 20% of all cruise passengers say that being connected to Wi-Fi or data networks while on a cruise or shore excursion is extremely important. Yet finding time to visit a shop that sells sim cards can be difficult.

“These exclusive offers will add value to our visitors, especially the visitor SIM card bundled with offers,” says Al Dhaheri.

An added bonus is the fact that most cruise ships departing from Dubai or Abu Dhabi on roundtrip Arabian Gulf cruises visit several UAE ports on a single itinerary, such as Sir Bani Yas Island, Khor Fakkan, Fujairah or Ras Al-Khaimah.

The announcement comes just ahead of the 2018/2019 Middle East cruise season, which is expected to be the busiest on record with eight cruise ships homeporting in the UAE.

While Abu Dhabi is not the turnaround port for most of these ships, it is included as a destination on all roundtrip Dubai cruises.

“Last year was a hugely successful season for Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, and the new season looks likely to be even stronger, with additional homeporting ships and increased passenger volume,” said Noura. “So, the ‘Visitor Package’ from Etisalat is perfectly timed and yet another great reason to enjoy a cruise to Abu Dhabi.”

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