The last ship of the 2014/2015 cruise season has called at Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi. The Regent Seven Seas Voyager closed out the season with its final call on May 2.

Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season ran from October 2014 until May 2015, and welcomed a record 200,407 passengers and 94 ship calls.

Abu Dhabi Ports conducted a season-long survey to discover what the visiting passengers like to do. The figures reveal that more than 61,000 of the cruise tourists who booked tours, visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, while 70,028 went shopping. 

A further 43,700 explored the Heritage Village while others enjoyed Big Bus tours, visits to Al Ain or trips to the Arabian Nights Village.

In addition, 31,470 of the cruise tourists booked a taxi to or from the cruise terminal, although this figure only captures those booked direct through tour operators and not any additional journeys.

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi commented: “It is hard to quantify the amount cruise passengers contribute to the economy, but these figures supplied to us by the tour leaders and cruise shipping agents give a good indication of the impact this growing industry.

“Increasing tourism is a key objective of the UAE’s leaderships’ plans to diversify the economy.  Our work to build and enhance this valuable industry, in conjunction with the Tourism & Culture Authority Abu Dhabi and our partners in Cruise Arabia is clearly delivering solid and impressive results”.

In addition, this seasons cruise passengers also took tours to Al Ain city, Ferrari World, The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island, a circuit tour of the Yas Marina F1 Circuit, Jumeirah Etihad Towers, the Arabian Nights Village and the Big Bus tour.

This cruise season has seen some important developments taking the cruise industry in Abu Dhabi to the next level. Construction is now well underway on the new permanent cruise terminal building, and work has started on the facilities to develop Sir Bani Yas Island into the region's first island stopover destination.