Abu Dhabi 2023-24 cruise season begins with grand arrival of Crystal Symphony

Abu Dhabi 2023-24 cruise season begins with grand arrival of Crystal Symphony

Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal is set to welcome 126 ship calls in total

As part of the 2023-24 cruise season, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port is slated for 126 calls, starting from 1 November, with more than 7,000 visitors during the UAE capital's F1 Grand Prix weekend alone.

Signalling the growing popularity of the cruise sector in the region, nine of the 27 calls will be maiden voyages on ships making their inaugural visits to Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi's second cruise port, Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, is set to host 63 calls, having welcomed the first on 31 October from the newly refurbished luxury cruise liner Crystal Symphony before the ship made its way to the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal for an overnight stay. 

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In the 2022-23 season, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal recorded over 600,000 visitors arriving in Abu Dhabi, with more than 82,000 passengers starting their journey from the UAE capital. Q1 2023 saw 363,494 visitors and 120 calls recorded compared to Q1 of 2022, which saw 89,953 visitors and 60 calls. Meanwhile, passenger volumes for Q1 2023 surpassed the number of visitors accommodated for the full year of 2022 by more than 37%.

Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, CEO of Cruise Business, AD Ports Group, said: “We are excited to announce the official start of cruise season here in Abu Dhabi with the arrival of Crystal Symphony.

“Last season, Zayed Port emerged as the busiest cruise port in the region; a testament to Abu Dhabi’s position as a premier tourist destination, and the exceptional infrastructure that effortlessly accommodates the region’s largest vessels. We remain dedicated to partnering with cruise lines to elevate Abu Dhabi’s global cruise destination standing.”


Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal opened in December 2015 and is home to restaurants, retail outlets, duty-free shops, an Etihad Airline check-in and baggage storage.

Abu Dhabi Cruise business, part of the Ports Cluster, has recently expanded its operations to the Red Sea with the successful inauguration of the Aqaba Cruise Terminal in Jordan in January.

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