The London-based World Cruise Awards has named Abu Dhabi the "World’s Best Cruise Destination" this year, following a strong rebound in visitor traffic.

The emirate was also hailed as the “Middle East’s Best Cruise Destination”, while AD Ports Group’s Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port bagged the “World’s Best Cruise Terminal” and the “Middle East’s Best Cruise Terminal” titles for this year, the award-giving body revealed on its website.

“The four awards are a testament to Abu Dhabi’s position as a cruise destination of choice, highlighting the emirate’s world-class facilities and hospitality,” Abu Dhabi Media Office said on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi won the "best cruise destination" title over other top destinations that were nominated this year, including Mauritius, Mexico, Jamaica, Alaska and the Philippines, according to the World Cruise Awards.

The annual awards programme seeks to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in the global cruise sector.

The world’s cruise industry was hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, posting billion-dollar losses. As economies around the world reopened, cruise passenger numbers started to recover.

The Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port has recently posted remarkable growth, registering more than 700,000 visitors to the emirate during the 2022-23 season, nearly quadrupling the previous season’s 177,639 visitors.

The 2022-23 season also registered 184 ship calls, up from 130 calls in the previous season.

The first quarter of 2023 was also particularly strong, with 363,494 visitors and 120 calls recorded, compared to the first quarter of 2022, which saw 89,953 visitors and 60 calls.

First-quarter 2023 passenger volumes surpassed the number of visitors accommodated for the full year of 2022 by more than 37%, the Abu Dhabi Media office reported earlier.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)