First cruise ships call at Sir Bani Yas in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Ports─the master developer, operator and manager of ports and industrial zones in the Emirate―has started welcoming cruise liners at Sir Bani Yas Island, the Gulf’s first cruise beach stopover in Abu Dhabi. Two prominent luxury cruise vessels made their maiden calls at the Island last week as part of their international itinerary.

Sir Bani Yas Island, an award-winning nature and wildlife island reserve, has long been a popular leisure destination. One of the largest natural islands in the UAE, Sir Bani Yas features three luxury Anantara resorts as well as a wide range of activities for guests of all ages. These include archery, horseback riding, land sailing, pearl diving, kayaking and more. The Island also boasts the Arabian Wildlife Park, home to thousands of free-roaming wildlife, which can be explored with a Nature & Wildlife Drive.

“We are introducing this new beach stopover to cruise liners as part of our ongoing efforts to reinforce the Emirate’s appeal as a leading cruise tourism destination in the region. This beautiful beach destination will definitely enrich the itinerary of the visiting cruise ships,” said Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports.

“The 2015/16 cruise season will be a defining moment in the development of Abu Dhabi as one of the world’s most exciting emerging cruise destinations,” said Sultan al-Dhaheri, acting executive Director of Tourism at Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. “The addition of the Gulf’s first dedicated cruise beach stopover at Sir Bani Yas Island adds weight to Abu Dhabi’s distinct and diversified shore excursion opportunities, and this exclusive desert-island beach cruise passenger experience further strengthens the Emirate’s existing attraction, entertainment, shopping and rich cultural tour options.”

Abu Dhabi Ports is developing the Sir Bani Yas Island cruise stopover―to be opened in late 2016, Cruise passengers visiting these days will enjoy temporary facilities established by TDIC for their arrival, and will be given access to the Island’s diverse activities.

Once fully developed, the Sir Bani Yas Island cruise stopover will have wooden boardwalks around the Island, barbecue facilities, hammocks, cabanas along the beach, dining and visitor facilities and more. A dedicated information centre for cruise staff and tourists will also be developed. Additional beach, sports, and water sports facilities, including an aqua park, boat tours and wildlife excursions, will also enhance visitor experience.