In an important development for the UAE cruise shipping sector, AD Ports Group has opened up a new jetty at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, equipped with eight mooring dolphins, firefighting equipment, and solar lighting. The jetty is designed to enable two vessels to dock at the same time, and for more than 5,000 passengers to embark and disembark at an accelerated rate at this increasingly important location.
The inauguration took place with MSC Virtuosa berthed at Sir Bani Yas Island as part of the ship’s regular 7-night cruises in the Arabian Gulf.
Previously, cruise ships set anchor about 1km offshore from the island and visitors were ferried to and from the beach via tender craft. The new jetty will significantly increase the visitor capacity of the island, reduce the time it takes to move to and from a vessel, as well as enhance the overall experience for cruise passengers.
Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri, Managing Director, Cruise Business, AD Ports Group, said: “The launch of the enhanced jetty at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach heralds an exciting new phase in the ongoing success story of Abu Dhabi’s cruise business, as we are now able to cater to the arrival of two cruise ships visiting one of the emirate’s most popular attractions at the same time. We are thankful for the opportunity to elevate Abu Dhabi’s cruise offerings to new heights to drive the future growth of one of the UAE’s fastest-growing industries.”
Several of the world’s top cruise liners have resumed their cruise activities in Abu Dhabi, while visitors and guests from all over the world have begun to arrive at the UAE’s capital. Mein Schiff 6, a German TUI-owned cruise ship, became the first cruise vessel to arrive at the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Zayed Port following the commencement of the current cruise season.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division, MSC Group, added: “We welcome the unveiling of a new jetty at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, a key development that will aid operational efficiency at an increasingly popular stop on our Gulf itinerary. The commitment by AD Ports Group to spearhead the development of industry-leading facilities supporting cruise activities will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of our highly popular and fast-growing industry as we at MSC Cruises look to strengthen our own position as the sector’s market leader in the Gulf by deploying the most modern ships to what is a key region for us in our ambitious global growth programme.”
Located in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra Region, Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach is the gateway to one of the UAE’s largest natural reserves open to the public. As such the island offers a unique experience to its visitors. AD Ports Group has been supporting the ongoing development of Al Dhafra region. Its ports play a vital role in serving the local fishing industry, providing jobs for the local communities, and facilitating the current redevelopment on the surrounding islands.