ABU DHABI // Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach was opened on Thursday, creating another keynote destination for cruise ship passengers in the Arabian Gulf.
The ceremony was performed by Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region.
“The development of new economic and tourism projects across the Western Region is a key priority for Abu Dhabi’s visionary government led by the President Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
Sir Bani Yas is one of the country’s largest natural reserves open to the public, and investment in its development will build upon the island’s flourishing reputation into a tourist destination, he said.
The beach will contribute towards increasing cruise passenger traffic, which is estimated to grow by 9 percent in the 2016-2017 season.
James Hogan, president and chief executive of the Etihad Aviation Group – one of TDIC’s partners in the venture – said: “Today’s opening ceremony marks another important milestone as we look to develop a world leading cruise industry for the UAE.”
The official launch of Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach coincided with the arrival of the 18-deck vessel, MSC Fantasia, which made Abu Dhabi Cruise terminal its winter-sun home and set sail to Sir Bani Yas with almost 4000 passengers.
The beach is expected to attract more than 60,000 passengers from 39 stopover cruise line calls in its first season alone.