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Cruise liners to return to Abu Dhabi in September

Only fully vaccinated passengers will be allowed to disembark in the emirate 

Abu Dhabi will welcome back cruise liners into the emirate from 1 September, following months of closure from 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), only vaccinated passengers will be allowed to disembark in the emirate and strict Covid-19 preventive measures will be in place.

Abu Dhabi Ports managing director of Cruise Business, Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri said: “We are well prepared to receive and welcome vaccinated visitors to the UAE’s capital once again and are excited to see the resumption of cruise activities at both Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas Island.

“We have implemented a cruise management plan to ensure an efficient, smooth and safe return to regular cruise operations. In line with Abu Dhabi’s health protocols for international arrivals, Abu Dhabi Ports is initiating several health and safety measures to protect passengers and crew, which includes daily sterilisation activities across the terminal, the requirement of PCR testing before embarkation, as well as the implementation of a comprehensive emergency response plan for handling positive cases within the terminal.”

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Maritime tourism has been growing in Abu Dhabi, and in 2019, around 500,000 cruise visitors arrived in the emirate’s ports, marking a 46% increase compared to 2018. The number of cruise calls also rose 43% year-on-year in 2019 to reach a total of 192.

This move will help strengthen the UAE capital’s position as a hub for maritime tourism. DCT Abu Dhabi executive director of Tourism and Marketing Ali Al Shaiba said: “We are delighted to welcome all cruise liners back to Abu Dhabi after a challenging year.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners at Abu Dhabi Ports to further boost the maritime tourism sector and attract more businesses and tourists providing them with unparalleled services and experiences while exploring Abu Dhabi and its diverse offerings.”

Abu Dhabi is gradually reopening to tourists. Visitors with Abu Dhabi-issued visit visas or those eligible for visas on arrival can now receive Covid-19 vaccines in the emirate.

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