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The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and the Department of Transport attend Dubai International Superyacht Summit

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and the emirate’s Department of Transport (DCT Abu Dhabi and DoT) took part in the second annual Dubai International Superyacht Summit on 27th February, to display their latest initiatives as the emirate bids to establish 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,” said Saeed Al Dhaheri, Special Interests Tourism Manager at DCT Abu Dhabi. “To achieve this, we have cast off previously restrictive procedures, and smoothed and simplified the application process, working hand-in-hand with the Department of Transport 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 – with visitors now able to 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.

“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,” said Captain Saif Rashid Al Mheiri, Acting Executive Director Maritime Sector for the DoT. “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.”

These incentives, plus the fact that Abu Dhabi has two centrally located marinas able to accommodate superyachts – Yas Marina and Emirates Palace Marina – are intended to increase the appeal of the emirate for marine visitors.

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