Abu Dhabi Ports plans to develop a Dh100 million cruise jetty at the Sir Bani Yas cruise beach to add more capacity to handle cruise passengers.
The scheme, set for completion by the fourth quarter of 2020, will accommodate two vessels and provide 5,000 passengers with direct access to embark and disembark "at an accelerated rate" from the southeast of the Sir Bani Yas Island, the company said. The island located in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra region is the only dedicated cruise beach stopover in the Arabian Gulf.
Cruise ships currently moor a kilometre from the shoreline with the visitors ferried to the coast on tender crafts.
Dutch firm BAM International has been awarded the contract to design and construct the new jetty.
The development of the jetty will "significantly increase the total number of visitors to the island, and reduce the time it takes to move them to and from a vessel," said Abu Dhabi cruise terminal director Noura Al Dhaheri.
Plans to add a new jetty come amid expansion at the ports company, which plans to invest Dh3.8 billion by 2021 to boost capacity at the Khalifa Port.
Abu Dhabi Ports, which operates the Zayed and Khalifa Ports as well as the associated Kizad free zone, will channel investment into expanding Khalifa Port's facilities.
Around Dh2.2bn will be invested in expanding the port and developing its south quay and logistics facilities and Dh1.6bn will be invested in Abu Dhabi Terminals.
Abu Dhabi Ports operates the Zayed and Khalifa Ports as well as the associated Kizad free zone.