Abu Dhabi looking to make waves at Seatrade Global in Miami

April 8, 2019

ABU DHABI, 7th April, 2019 (WAM) -- Abu Dhabi will promote its cruise sector attractions at the Seatrade Cruise Global, leading annual cruise industry event, which will take place from 8th to 11th April in Miami, Florida, USA.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, is leading a delegation to the event, comprising partners such as Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Airways and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Abu Dhabi.

The delegation is co-chaired by Lt. Col. Salim Mohammed Al Ameri, Head of Maritime Ports Centres, from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and Captain Seif Ali Al Habsi, Director of Zayed Port Branch. The delegates’ aim is to promote the potential and the attractions of the maritime sector in Abu Dhabi, as part of preparations for the upcoming 2019/2020 maritime tourism season.

The Miami Beach-hosted event will bring together 11,000 international cruise industry professionals to network, discover the latest trends, and build profitable partnerships, with the event comprising more than 50 hours of content sessions with a focus on industry news, cruise sector innovations, marine safety and cyber security.

This visit from the ‘Cruise Arabia’ alliance coincides at a time when Abu Dhabi ports, with both Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach now recognised as first-class destinations by cruise operators and passengers alike. Seatrade Cruise Global provides a valuable opportunity to further promote Abu Dhabi’s cruise sector, building and strengthening long-term partnerships as well as offering a platform to explore new business opportunities with global industry pioneers, experts, and influencers.

Abu Dhabi’s cruise sector is looking forward to welcoming returning cruise lines in 2019, with global cruise operators now recognising the emirate as a top-tier destination. These returning cruise lines include Costa, Celebrity, Aida, MSC Splendida, MSC Lirica, and Crystal Cruise.

'Cruise tourism is one of the Abu Dhabi’s most important tourism sectors for growth,' said Saeed Al Dhahri, Director of Tourism, Special Interest, Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi. 'We are looking to attract more visitors from around the world, and we are confident of achieving our targets and surpassing last year’s visitor numbers. This visit to Seatrade Cruise Global forms a key component of our strategic planning, due to its world-class facilities and prime access to networking opportunities with industry representatives from our key target markets.'

Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, Cruise Terminal Manager, Abu Dhabi Ports, said, 'Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal is one of the region’s hubs for cruise business. Taking part in Seatrade Cruise Global, which attracts representatives of world-class cruise liners, will raise the profile of Abu Dhabi as a key destination for cruise tourism. We wish to continue the success of our efforts thus far, which have seen an increase in international cruise liners visiting Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal. Abu Dhabi Ports is committed to delivering state-of-the-art cruise infrastructure facilities and providing streamlined and distinctive services to cruise liners in line with Abu Dhabi’s drive to expand its tourism offering.'

Hareb Al Muhairy, Senior Vice President of Destination and Leisure Management, Etihad Airways, said, 'In recent years, Abu Dhabi has become a major global cultural destination with tremendous appeal for all types of visitors, including luxury travellers. Etihad’s guests arriving in the emirate enjoy year-round sunshine, modern infrastructure, unique leisure activities and incredible architectural highlights. The booming cruise tourism industry provides yet another mode of travel for visitors. Etihad is well positioned to facilitate the most memorable travel experience.'

Throughout 2018, approximately 300,000 cruise passengers passed through the Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach stopovers, an increase of 18 percent on the year before. Additionally, both Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach saw increased rates of shipping, with an additional 130 and 50 stopovers respectively.