Abu Dhabi expects a record-breaking cruise season in 2017-2018

Abu Dhabi expects a record-breaking cruise season in 2017-2018
Sir Bani Yas Island is a popular new cruise destination in the United Arab Emirates (Image: TCA Abu Dhabi)

Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates expects to welcome more than 300,000 passengers during 148 calls from 18 ships from 15 cruise lines during the 2017-2018 cruise season.

This marks a double-digit percentage growth in passenger numbers and an 8% increase in ship calls from the 2016-2017 season, which was also as record-breaking.

Growth in the number of passengers visiting Abu Dhabi port in 2016-2017 was largely driven by MSC Cruises and Celebrity Cruises homeporting ships in the city. Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation, for example, carried more than 13,000 guests during six 12- to 15-night voyages from the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal. Celebrity Constellation will return again in 2017-2018, as will MSC Cruises’ 3,900-passenger MSC Splendida.

An economic impact and forecasting report by Oxford Economics predicts that the Abu Dhabi cruise tourism segment will attract 450,000 cruise passengers by 2020, rising to 808,428 in 2025.

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