H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, today inaugurated AD Ports Group’s cruise jetty at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach.
Developed by AD Ports Group, Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach is renowned as the first and only dedicated cruise beach of its kind in the region offering a blend of relaxation and adventure to visitors.
The new jetty will significantly increase the capacity of the number of visitors to the island, reduce the time it takes to move to and from a vessel, as well as enhance the overall experience for cruise passengers.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Ahmed Matar Al Dhaheri, Court Undersecretary of the Ruler’s Representative in Al-Dhafra region; Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Issa Hamad Bushehab, the Advisor to the Chairman of Emirates Red Crescent; Nasser Mohammed Matar Al Mansouri, Acting Undersecretary of the Ruler’s Representative Court in Al Dhafra Region; Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group; Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri, Managing Director - Cruise Business, AD Ports Group; and other official executives.
At the beginning of the ceremony, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan was briefed by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi and Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri, about the features of the new jetty that is equipped with eight mooring dolphins, firefighting equipment, and solar lighting. The new Jetty will allow two vessels to dock at the same time, which will enable more than 5,000 passengers to embark and disembark at an accelerated rate at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach.
Previously, cruise ships set anchor about one kilometre offshore from the island and visitors were ferried to and from the beach via tender craft.
Sheikh Hamdan then rang the bell to mark the official inauguration of the new Jetty and then toured the MSC Virtuosa cruise ship berthed at Sir Bani Yas Island as part of the ship’s regular in the Arabian Gulf where His Highness was informed about the suites facilities and services provided to passengers.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed emphasised that with the support of infrastructure and tourism projects, Al Dhafra region continues to work towards enhancing its position in the tourism sector, while also elevating its contribution to the growth of tourism and leisure sectors within the region.
His Highness noted the importance of these projects and their impact on various sectors, especially the private sector, which is of great importance in supporting the continued development of Al Dhafra region and fostering new opportunities.
He said: "Inspired by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision and Plan Al Dhafra 2030, the opening of this new jetty is a milestone in Al Dhafra’s ambitious development plans. Economic diversification is fundamental to the long-term roadmap for the Emirate’s progress.
"We applaud AD Ports Group’s efforts in fostering this growth through world-class leisure and tourism infrastructure that will not only strengthen tourism across the GCC region but will also further reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position as a premier global tourism destination."
Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said: "It is our privilege to welcome H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the opening of the new jetty at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach. We are grateful for his valuable support and contribution to the significant ongoing development of Al Dhafra region.
"The tourism sector, and cruise tourism in particular, plays a key role in driving economic diversification and sustainable development, with a significant impact on local, regional and national economies. With the creation of these enhanced facilities, we will be able to welcome more visitors to Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach than ever before and offer a superior disembarkation experience for passengers, raising the profile of Abu Dhabi and the Al Dhafra region in particular for global travellers. Today marks an important step forward in our strategy to establish Abu Dhabi as one of the leading hubs in the world for cruise tourism."
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: "AD Ports Group continues to support the development of significant maritime, logistics and tourism projects within the UAE and across the region, because we recognise the wider benefits such strategic investments deliver for the economy and the community. By developing Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach as a sustainable cruise destination, we are supporting our leadership’s vision".
In 2019, prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the world cruise industry was valued at more than US$150 billion in direct and indirect revenues. With a strong recovery, we believe that it will achieve growth beyond that record and are working hard to ensure that Abu Dhabi builds its leadership position in this sector."
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 to 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 of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: "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. Rich with UAE heritage and natural marvels, 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.