The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and the Department of Transport (DoT) took part in the second annual Dubai International Superyacht Summit on February 27, in a bid to highlight their latest initiatives as the emirate establishes itself as a regional hub for vessel owners and operators.
DCT Abu Dhabi and the DoT took the opportunity to present Abu Dhabi’s uniquely appealing offering for superyacht owners, including relaxed regulations and new incentives introduced to streamline the processes necessary to enter and dock in Abu Dhabi.
“In line with our general plans for further developing and promoting our booming cruise and tourism industry, we are aiming to establish Abu Dhabi as a regional hub for superyacht operations and activities,” special interests tourism manager, DCT Abu Dhabi, Saeed Al Dhaheri remarked. “To achieve this, we have cast off previously restrictive procedures and smoothed and simplified the application process, working hand-in-hand with the DoT to reduce administrative requirements and red tape wherever possible, and also crafting several initiatives designed to increase Abu Dhabi’s appeal to this market.”
DCT Abu Dhabi is offering four new initiatives designed to attract superyacht custom. First, the duration of the Cruising Permit and Navigation License has now been dramatically extended. Initially granted for just 21 days, superyachts can now stay in Abu Dhabi waters for up to six months, providing visitors a greater degree of flexibility and choice in their exploration of the emirate.
DCT Abu Dhabi has also worked closely with the DoT to smooth access and lessen delays in arrival to the final port-of-call. Where previously it was a requirement for vessels to first dock at Zayed Port to apply for permits and licenses, now that step has been bypassed. Visitors can now go straight to their destination marina to complete all necessary paperwork.
Another enticing development is the new offering of charter fleet permissions to foreign vessels. This is the first time these permissions have been granted in the region, offering boat owners an additional source of income whilst they are in Abu Dhabi.
Lastly, DCT Abu Dhabi and DoT are collaborating on producing a bespoke five-stop itinerary for superyachts arriving in Abu Dhabi. This itinerary will guide boats to destinations that showcase the very best of the emirate, providing practical features such as the required route to be taken and a list of all requisite permissions needed to access these special locations.
The itinerary will include visits to a number of the most spectacular islands and attractions that Abu Dhabi has to offer.
Acting executive director maritime sector, DoT, Captain Saif Rashid Al Mheiri stressed: “Establishing Abu Dhabi as a destination attractive to Super Yacht owners is of prime importance for the future plans of the DoT, as we look to boost inbound traffic for the emirate. Working in partnership with DCT Abu Dhabi, we have streamlined processes and launched new incentives in order to position Abu Dhabi as a destination that is accessible, intriguing, hospitable and potentially profitable.”