Abu Dhabi named “World’s Best Cruise Destination”, tourist numbers up 400%

Cruise terminal at Zayed Port secures top honors in World Cruise Awards
Abu Dhabi named “World’s Best Cruise Destination”, tourist numbers up 400%
The terminal recorded over 700,000 visitors during the 2022-23 season

In yet another achievement, Abu Dhabi has emerged as the World’s Best Cruise Destination in 2023 at the prestigious World Cruise Awards. This marks a significant milestone in the emirate’s efforts to become a global hub for cruise tourism. The award is also a testament to Abu Dhabi’s resilience and success in reviving its tourism sector.

Sweeping wins for Abu Dhabi

In addition to the coveted title of the World’s Best Cruise Destination, Abu Dhabi also won the Middle East’s Best Cruise Destination. Moreover, the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port also secured top honors with two awards. It was named the World’s Best Cruise Terminal and the Middle East’s Best Cruise Terminal for the year.

Abu Dhabi competed against Mauritius, Mexico, Jamaica, Alaska, and the Philippines for the best cruise destination category. Thus, the win underscores Abu Dhabi’s unparalleled appeal and establishes it as a premier choice for cruise enthusiasts worldwide.

The global cruise industry faced severe challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, grappling with substantial financial losses. However, as economies reopened and travel resumed, Abu Dhabi demonstrated remarkable resilience.

The World Cruise Awards recognized the emirate’s ability to not only recover but to excel in the cruise sector. It showcases its commitment to providing a safe and exceptional experience for visitors.

Remarkable growth

The Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal at Zayed Port has played a pivotal role in the emirate’s success story. The terminal recorded a staggering growth, welcoming over 700,000 cruise visitors during the 2022-23 season. That is an almost 400 percent increase from the previous season’s 177,639 visitors. Additionally, the 2022-23 season witnessed an increase in ship calls, with 184 compared to the previous season’s 130.

The first quarter of 2023 proved particularly robust for Abu Dhabi’s cruise sector. The Abu Dhabi Media Office reported that the emirate welcomed 363,494 visitors and recorded 120 ship calls during this period. These figures surpassed the first quarter of 2022, indicating an impressive year-over-year growth of more than 37 percent. Moreover, the first-quarter passenger volumes alone exceeded the total number of visitors accommodated for the entire year of 2022.

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A testament to Abu Dhabi’s hospitality

The Abu Dhabi Media Office emphasized that the four awards are a testament to Abu Dhabi’s position as a cruise destination of choice. The recognition not only highlights the emirate’s world-class facilities but also underscores its commitment to providing unparalleled hospitality. It ensures that visitors have a memorable and enjoyable cruise experience.

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