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Abu Dhabi to become an international cruise hub?

Abu Dhabi’s ambition to become an international cruise hub has received a significant boost following the signing of a landmark co-operation agreement between Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and MSC Cruises that will see the world’s fastest growing cruise operators deploy one of its top vessels to the UAE capital on a homeport basis from October 2011.  ADTA’s strategy aims to attract 2.3 million hotel guests to the Emirate by the end of 2012. Under the terms of the agreement, Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed Port will serve as the primary embarkation and disembarkation point for the Italian operator’s maiden regional itinerary – scheduled for the 2011-2012 season – using its luxury MSC Lirica liner. With its ultra-modern fleet, MSC Cruises’ entry into the Arabian Gulf will see MSC Lirica – a 59,000-ton vessel with a capacity for 2,199 guests in 784 cabins – provide 19 eight-day/seven-night cruises covering five destinations, between November 2011 and March 2012.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. First time I’ve looked inside a cruise ship. It looks like a hotel. Just seen the photo and report of the worlds largest cruise ship leaving on it’s maiden voyage.
    It only had 30cm to spare going under a bridge.


  2. I’ve been on a few cruises but never to the Middle East. This blog has persuaded me to do it pretty soon though!

  3. There seems to be more and more short middle east cruises on the market offering cruisers some new destinations that were previously only available on sectors of the world cruise. Its a good gig for abu dhabi.

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