ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi’s expanding cruise infrastructure and the appeal of this flourishing sector will be the focus of discussions at the world’s largest business-to-business cruise event Seatrade Cruise Global 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, United States, this week.
Seatrade Cruise Global will be held from March 13 to 17, 2017 with a series of one-to-one meetings, and a week of networking, sourcing, innovation and education by leading cruise executives.
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) will present its ‘Cruise Abu Dhabi’ proposition to thousands of delegates at the annual industry get-together as part of the regional Cruise Arabia alliance.
Abu Dhabi is set to welcome over 250,000 passengers in 26 ships, with the sector forecast to grow to reach a total of 450,000 cruise passengers by 2020.
“We have ambitious targets for cruise passenger growth and events such as Seatrade Cruise Global allow us to encourage more cruise lines to base their ships in Abu Dhabi and build on the appeal of the dedicated cruise beach stopover at Sir Bani Yas Island,” said Saeed Al Dhaheri, Cruise Tourism and City Tour Development Manager at TCA Abu Dhabi.
“Launching our new promotional video and updated Cruise Tour Tips brochure in the international cruise industry will help maximise our efforts to increase the profile of the destination’s cruise attributes,” Saeed Al Dhaheri added.
Abu Dhabi has identified the ‘Halal Cruising’ segment as a new market and stated its intent to encourage cruise lines to offer facilities and a range of holiday packages adhering to Islamic beliefs and practices.
The global promotional push, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Ports and Hala Abu Dhabi, is set to highlight the opportunities for cruise line itinerary development and diversification through Halal Cruising, as well as leverage the successful opening of the Arabian Gulf’s only dedicated cruise beach stopover on Sir Bani Yas Island.
Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri, Cruise Terminal Manager, Abu Dhabi Ports, said, “With 39 calls confirmed for this season and greater expectations for next year, Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach has proven its popularity and success.”
Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach can accommodate 2,500 passengers for day-call visits and excursions.
Darren Peisley, Managing Director of the Hala Group, said, “Since launching last December, Hala has enjoyed great success as the exclusive shore excursion and activities provider for the Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach. Our involvement at the Seatrade Conference will highlight our network of flights to key markets around the world.”