Hala Abu Dhabi – DMC of the Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) – has been selected as the exclusive shore excursions and activities provider for Sir Bani Yas Island and Beach Oasis, the latest cruise destination stop in the UAE, for the 2016/2017 season.
The announcement was made at the Seatrade Cruise Med conference, held recently at the International Trade Fair and Congress Centre in Tenerife. The new cruise destination for Abu Dhabi will open by December 5, 2016, when Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises return to the Arabian Gulf.
Acting CEO, Hala Group, Darren Peisley said: “We’re delighted to have been selected for this exciting development. Sir Bani Yas Island will be one of the best new locations to enter the cruise market this year.
“By offering customised add-ons including flights, visa processing, accommodation, in-house operated tours and safaris alongside multi-lingual tour guides, Hala is able to provide a one-stop-shop solution to cruise operators in the Gulf.”
Sir Bani Yas Island will be the Arabian Gulf’s only dedicated cruise beach stopover and one of Abu Dhabi’s primary cruise tourism assets. The Island is one of the largest natural islands in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and one of the eight islands collectively known as the Desert Islands. In 1971, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding president of the UAE, established Sir Bani Yas as home to one of Arabia’s largest wildlife reserves.
Acting Executive Director Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), Sultan Al Dhaheri said: “Sir Bani Yas Island allows us to present the effectiveness of our co-ordinated stakeholder approach to the development of Abu Dhabi’s cruise sector, and is just one of many differentiated and diverse shore excursion opportunities available to cruise passengers.”
He added: “The Island is expected to welcome 40 calls from eight ships this cruise season, and in addition to enjoying access to a fully-equipped beach, cruise passengers can join an array of Hala Abu Dhabi’s exciting natural land and sea-based shore excursions unique to this island getaway in the sea.”