The signing was conducted by Director of Cruise Business at Abu Dhabi Ports, Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri and MSC Cruise CEO, Gianni Onorato, at MSC’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, reinforces Abu Dhabi’s position as a premier destination on the international cruise map. Most importantly, the deal will bring 1.3 million visitors to the capital over the tenure of the agreement.

It is reported that Abu Dhabi’s Cruise Terminal has experienced a growth in the past year, achieving a 47% increase in passenger numbers and a 45% rise in vessel calls.

Last December, the terminal recorded on of its busiest days of the 2019/20 winter season to date, welcoming up to 8,000 visitors as part of a triple call to Abu Dhabi, which included the maiden call of MSC Cruise’s luxury liner MSC Bellissima.

Given that Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach is the first and only dedicated cruise beach of its kind in the region it serves as the gateway to one of the UAE’s largest natural reserves open to the public.

During the signing ceremony Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri, Director – Cruise Business, Abu Dhabi Ports commented that

Our continued partnership with MSC Cruises is testament to our already strong relationship ... Our success in substantially boosting passenger volumes year on year demonstrates our commitment to develop a world-class cruise destination.

Recently, MSC cruises revealed its plans on becoming carbon neutral; MSC Cruises will offset all direct CO2 emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take action on greenhouse gas emissions.