The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced the resumption of cruise liners in Abu Dhabi starting from September 1st 2021, after months of closure in 2020 as a result of the strict COVID-19 precautionary measures.

In 2019, maritime tourism in Abu Dhabi witnessed impressive growth, resulting in a record-breaking year for the sector. Around 500,000 cruise visitors arrived in the Emirate’s ports throughout the year which marked a 46% percent increase compared to 2018. Similarly, the number of cruise calls witnessed a rise of 43% in 2019 to reach a total of 192.

“We are delighted to welcome all cruise liners back to Abu Dhabi after a challenging year. This step comes part of the leading efforts to enliven the Emirate’s tourism sector after the impressive results we’ve achieved in combatting the spread of the pandemic, and yet another step towards strengthening the UAE capital’s position as a world-class hub for maritime tourism. We will continue to work closely with our partners at Abu Dhabi Ports to further boost the maritime tourism sector and attract more businesses and tourists providing them with unparalleled services and experiences while exploring Abu Dhabi and its diverse offerings.” said HE Ali Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, Managing Director - Cruise Business, Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “We are well prepared to receive and welcome vaccinated visitors to the UAE’s capital once again and are excited to see the resumption of cruise activities at both Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas Island. As the well-being of all travellers visiting our esteemed Emirate remains our highest priority, we have implemented a cruise management plan to ensure an efficient, smooth, and safe return to regular cruise operations.

“In line with Abu Dhabi’s health protocols for international arrivals, Abu Dhabi Ports is initiating several health and safety measures to protect passengers and crew, which includes daily sterilisation activities across the terminal, the requirement of PCR testing before embarkation, as well as the implementation of a comprehensive emergency response plan for handling positive cases within the terminal.”

“Cruise passengers visiting Abu Dhabi can be assured that every measure to safeguard their health and safety during their stay is being undertaken.”

As part of its strategy, DCT Abu Dhabi will be announcing a series of initiatives throughout the year. These include upcoming projects and events, as well as participation in international events as part of its continuous efforts to promote the destination to global audiences. Abu Dhabi is also seeing the development of several landmark projects, such as Al Qana, the 2.4 kilometers canal project, World’s first Warner Bros Hotel, Waterfront of Al Qana, near the Grand Canal, the largest aquarium in the Middle East and Snow Abu Dhabi – the world’s largest indoor snow park with 11,660 square meters, all set to open later this year.