Brand new anchor about to drop…

Cruise ships have been an absent sight in the capital for the past year and a half.

The few liners that have been braving the seven seas during the ongoing global health crisis, have been restricted from docking and disembarking passengers in Abu Dhabi due to the strict public health protection measures in the UAE.

But before the pandemic, providing a hub for leisure cruises was a blooming (and booming) business.

In 2019 more than 11.35 million international visitors came to experience the many and varied wonders of Abu Dhabi, roughly 518,000 (about 5 per cent) of those, came via 193 individual cruise calls

That might not sound like much, but it represents huge growth, a 46 per cent year-on-year increase in fact.

Ships ahoy

The big news is that as of September 1, 2021 — cruise liners will be welcomed back into Abu Dhabi, where passengers will be allowed to disembark, providing they are fully vaccinated.

Lots to sea

We residents are perfectly well versed on all the cultural, natural, historical, technological, beachy, peachy, nichey, arty, party, tasty gems in our emirate — but it’s theese alongside the year round sunshine that make Abu Dhabi such an international hit with the cruise-set.

These marine colossuses will be stopping at Mina Port Zayed on the mainland as well at the Sir Bani Yas Island port, the gateway to Abu Dhabi’s magical safari island.

Passengers headed for Mina Port Zayed won’t have to stray too far to get a taste of that capital kind of life either. The Marsa Mina development is packed with flavour expedition opportunities and crafty art installations.