Abu Dhabi’s cruise industry stakeholders laud visa changes
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The prospect of cruise passengers entering the UAE on multi-entry visas has been looked on positively by stakeholders in Abu Dhabi’s cruise industry.
The recent Ministerial Decree amends the regulations to the law of entry for cruise passengers visiting the UAE, including Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed, with the move expected to significantly enhance cruise arrivals.
“This new visa rule will provide opportunities for passengers to return and experience more of Abu Dhabi and has the potential to attract new cruise passengers from strong emerging markets such as Russia, China and India,” said Noura Al Dhaheri, leisure product development manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi). “We anticipate it being a strong talking point among operators at the Marseille event.”
Abu Dhabi has experienced significant growth in cruise arrivals in the past six years and expects to receive 180,000 passengers from 88 vessels in the current 2012-13 season – generating 19% more passengers from 14 extra arrivals on last season – up from just 35,000 passengers from 29 arrivals in 2006/2007.
“We are on-track to welcome over 100 vessels and around 250,000 passengers per season by 2014/2015, from a cruise market currently dominated by European arrivals,” added Al Dhaheri.