Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, (ADTA), in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Terminals, has erected a new tented cruise terminal at Mina Zayed which is capable of simultaneously accommodating 1,300 passengers.
The facility has been designed to cater for the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 cruise seasons.
The terminal spans 2,000 square metres and comprises two dedicated halls – one a luggage-handling facility, the other a passenger centre complete with a waiting lounge, security section, prayer rooms, offices, visitor information centre, currency exchange as well as customs and immigration facilities.
“Cruise shipping has enjoyed strong recession-proof growth for many years,” explained HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, ADTA. “The market obviously ranges between low cost volume cruise business and very high end exclusive cruises – Abu Dhabi is targeting the higher end segment.”
The new terminal will open to welcome the 59,000 ton, luxurious MSC Lirica which will, from the end of this month, use Abu Dhabi as its home port as it embarks on 19, eight day/seven night cruises around the Arabian Gulf. The first liner to homeport in the UAE capital, MSC Lirica has a capacity for 2,199 guests in 784 cabins.