DCT Abu Dhabi announces participation at SeaTrade Cruise Med in Portugal

ABU DHABI, 17th September, 2018 (WAM) -- The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), as part of the Cruise Arabia delegation, is to attend SeaTrade Cruise Med, a high-level event which will take place from the 19th – 20th September in Lisbon, Portugal.

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 2018/19 cruise season.

Cruise Arabia is an umbrella organisation comprising DCT Abu Dhabi and the tourism authorities of Sharjah and Dubai, Abu Dhabi Ports and Etihad Airways, tasked with promoting cruise tourism in the region.

Bringing together buyers and suppliers for a two-day conference, SeaTrade Cruise Med will welcome more than 26,000 registered attendees, over 160 exhibiting companies from 60 countries and more than 30 cruise line brands, in what has become the cruise industry’s epicentre of ideas, products, and services. The Abu Dhabi delegation will include Abu Dhabi Ports and Etihad Airways.

Saeed Abdulla Al Dhaheri, Special Interests Tourism Manager, at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "Through this event, we aim to connect with our key holiday and cruise agents across Europe to establish Abu Dhabi as the stopover destination of choice within their cruise programmes. We look forward to meeting with cruise line operators and educate them about Abu Dhabi’s offerings which will hopefully increase our number of cruise visitors."

Abu Dhabi is working towards becoming the leading cruise destination in the Middle East with over 329,000 cruise tourists visiting the city during the 2017 season. As such, the capital 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 an increasing number of vessels and passengers by raising awareness of its unmatched product offerings and attractions.

Mario Alovisi, Vice President Revenue Management, Itinerary and Transportation at Costa Cruises, said, "Costa Cruises was the first cruise company in the world, together with our sister brand Aida Cruises, to start regular cruises in the Arabian Gulf back in 2006. Since then, Abu Dhabi has always been one of the main destinations for our cruises in the area, both as a transit port and as a home port. During the next winter season Costa Mediterranea will be in Abu Dhabi every Thursday for a two-day overnight call, while in winter 2019/20 we will deploy to Abu Dhabi our flagship Costa Diadema".

Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, Cruise Terminal Manager at Abu Dhabi Ports, said, "Along with our partners, Abu Dhabi Ports has heavily invested in dedicated facilities such as Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach by offering seamless operations for our passengers.

"Cruise tourism is a core pillar within Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification strategy. As a key industry player, Abu Dhabi Ports is committed to investing in renowned events such as SeaTrade Cruise Med that further cement Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading hub for visitors, as well as offers us the platform to highlight the unique offerings and distinguished services available for passengers and vessels. We will continue to support Cruise Arabia in its efforts to promote Abu Dhabi globally."

Robin Kamark, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Commercial Officer, said, "SeaTrade Cruise Med is an ideal platform for Etihad Airways and Hala Abu Dhabi, as a major enablers of cruise tourism to the Arabian Gulf, to meet important industry partners and to play our part in achieving Abu Dhabi’s ambition of becoming a world-leading cruise destination.

"Etihad’s extensive global network allows us to seek and develop new source markets for inbound fly-cruise packages with major operators including AIDA, TUI and Oceana, and to increase outbound tourism from the UAE to major cruise destinations around the world, soon to be joined by our new service to Barcelona, further bolstering the growth of trade and tourism in the region. Furthermore, Hala Abu Dhabi’s cruise department continues to maintain flawless operations, providing the highest standards of service."

DCT 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 Cruise Forum Middle East.


WAM/Esraa Ismail