Abu Dhabi Ports has officially opened Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, offering cruise ship passengers a new beach destination with unmatched tourism experiences.
Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach lies approximately 170 kilometres along the coast from Abu Dhabi city and is the Gulf region’s only dedicated desert-island cruise stopover.
It extends over 1.3 kilometres of land, with the capacity to double in size and scale to meet the future demands of the market.
Guests can enjoy sandy beaches, shaded cabanas, more than 2,000 sunbeds, spa and sports facilities, cooking stations and beachside BBQs.
Hala Abu Dhabi, the destination management company of the Etihad Aviation Group, is the exclusive shore excursions and activities provider for Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach during the 2016/17 season.
Shore excursions include eco-tourism wildlife tours in the region’s largest wildlife reserve – located on neighbouring Sir Bani Yas Island – and activities such as mountain biking, snorkelling and kayaking.
James Hogan, president, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Sir Bani Yas will be a hugely popular new destination for cruise passengers arriving in the Arabian Gulf this cruise season.
“Together with our partners at TCA Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Ports and Tourism Development & Investment Company, we have invested in a unique product to support leading cruise lines bringing ships to the region.
“Following so soon after the opening of the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port [in Abu Dhabi city] last year, today’s opening ceremony marks another important milestone as we look to develop a world leading cruise industry for the UAE.”
The official launch of Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach coincided with the arrival of the 18-deck vessel, MSC Fantasia, which has made Abu Dhabi Cruise
Terminal its winter-sun home this season and set sail to Sir Bani Yas with almost 4,000 passengers.
Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach is expected to attract more than 60,000 passengers from 39 stopover cruise-line calls in its first season alone.
The creation of both city and beach ports in Abu Dhabi is a major step in the evolution of the emirate’s cruise industry, with the goal of attracting half a million cruise visitors by 2020.