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| 07 March, 2018

Cruise Arabia and the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Lead Delegation Participating in SeaTrade Cruise Global in Florida, USA

Cruise Arabia and the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Lead Delegation Participating in SeaTrade Cruise Global in Florida, USA

Abu Dhabi – Cruise Arabia, in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is spearheading the Abu Dhabi delegation that is currently participating at SeaTrade Cruise Global, taking place 5-8 March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Abu Dhabi’s participation in this international event is just one in a series of initiatives aimed at further promoting the cruise tourism sector in the Arabian Gulf and positioning Abu Dhabi as the leading cruise destination in the lead up to the 2018-2019 cruise season.

SeaTrade Cruise Global is the leading annual global business-to-business event for the cruise industry. Bringing together buyers and suppliers for a four-day conference and three-day exhibition, the forum draws more than 11,000 registered attendees, over 700 exhibiting companies from 113 countries and more than 300 international journalists to become the cruise industry’s epicentre of ideas, products, and services. The Abu Dhabi delegation at SeaTrade Cruise Global includes Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Airways, and the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi.

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HE Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Tourism Sector, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, highlighted the importance of SeaTrade Cruise Global as a platform to provide the Emirate with invaluable exposure to key stakeholders and enable it to showcase its modern and holistic infrastructure catering to the cruise lines’ needs, its diverse tourism programmes both at sea and on land, in addition to its cultural, leisure and entertainment offerings thus making it the preferred destination for cruise tourism.

Al Dhaheri said: “The event gives us the opportunity to connect with holiday and cruise agents across the Americas and leverage business opportunities to establish Abu Dhabi a preferred stopover destination within their cruise programmes. We have had several positive meetings with cruise line operators encouraging them to make Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal the hub for their cruises across the Arabian Gulf region, a move that we hope will increase the number of visitors and create additional revenue streams due to the direct and indirect spends by crews and passengers during their anchorage in Abu Dhabi. Upon arrival to the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, visitors will get to experience the unique spirit of hospitality that is deeply rooted the Emirati culture through activities such as falconry shows and the range of unique entertainment options at the old market and heritage area.”

He continued: “The cruise tourism sector is growing steadily, fuelled by marketing and promotional initiatives locally, regionally and globally, in addition to participation in key international exhibitions and conferences alongside our partners including Abu Dhabi Ports, Hala Abu DHabi and Etihad Airways. The Emirate offers world-class facilities, including the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal located close to the centre of the UAE capital in Zayed Port, and the Sir Bani Yas Island Cruise Beach Stopover on Sir Bani Yas Island in Al Dhafra Region, a one-of-its kind island across the Arabian Gulf. The latter is considered one of the leading sustainable destinations for tourism across the world which includes beaches, natural protected sites, rare wildlife, adventure activities, 5-star boutique hotels, resorts, and luxury villas, dedicated watersports centre, purpose-built stables and historical sites. Reachable within just a few minutes from the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, the newly-opened Louvre Abu Dhabi continues to generate more interest in our cultural and tourist attractions. Looking ahead, we look forward to propelling further growth in the number of cruise ships and visitors during the 2017-2018 season, which will welcome four new cruise lines docking in the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal for the first time ever.”

Captain Abdulkareem Al Masabi, Executive Vice President, Ports, Abu Dhabi Ports, highlighted that Abu Dhabi Ports’ participation in this international event, which drives leading companies operating in the shipping and maritime transportation, aims to promote the booming status of Abu Dhabi as the prime destination for cruise travels that attracts tourists from around the world: “Abu Dhabi Ports, via its subsidiary Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, offers exciting opportunities for tourists to discover cultural and fun landmarks of Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE in appealing surroundings. Thanks to the efforts of government entities, Abu Dhabi is now a key player in the global tourism map.”

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi is represented by the Directorate of Passports at SeaTrade Cruise Global to join efforts in promoting the capital’s cruise tourism sector and strengthening ties with cruise line operators and global maritime companies. The Directorate’s participation in the delegation led by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is focused on reaffirming Abu Dhabi’s global position as a leading sustainable tourism destination. Attending from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi are First Lt. Col. Hamad Hassan Al Zaabi, Deputy Director of Air and Sea Ports, Lt. Mohammed Saeed Al Kaabi, Chief of the Media and Public Relations Section, and Mr. Mohammed Abdullah Rashid Al Shehhi, Coordinator of eServices.

Gavin Halliday, Managing Director, Hala Group, said: "Abu Dhabi is a truly unique destination with a rich cultural history and exceptional entertainment and leisure attractions. The Emirate is quickly gaining a reputation as world-class tourist attraction with an abundance of offerings for all kinds of tourists. At Hala, our focus is on providing unparalleled experiential vacations that not only highlight the multifaceted offerings of our Emirate, but also enables visitors to experience it in a truly comprehensive way - from the second they arrive in Abu Dhabi throughout their entire stay, and until their departure."

Abu Dhabi has emerged as the leading cruise destination in the region with over 329,105 cruise tourists visiting the city during the 2017 season. As such, Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of the Arabian Gulf’s ambitions to become the leading international cruise destination. By participating in important events and networking forums, Abu Dhabi aims to attract and increasing number of vessels and passengers by raising awareness of its unmatched product offerings and attractions.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s participation at SeaTrade Cruise Global is the first of a series of roadshows that it will participate in this year. It will be followed by SeaTrade Med, and SeaTrade Cruise Forum Middle East.

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About The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi:

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike.  The Department manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment.  Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.  The Department of Culture and Tourism supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage.  A key role played by the Department is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.  http://tcaabudhabi.ae/en

© Press Release 2018