Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has directed to provide marine transport services along the Dubai Water Canal and the Business Bay once the Canal is open to link with the service in Dubai Creek and coastal areas of Dubai.
In implementation of these directives, the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has approved in a meeting chaired by HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of Board of Executive Directors of RTA, a plan for operating marine transport services in nine new stations.
The service, which will start on the day following the official opening of the Canal, will call at five stations along the Canal, namely Sheikh Zayed Road, Safa Park, Al Wasl, Jumeirah, Dubai Canal stations. It will also call at four stations along the Business Bay namely Dubai Design District, Al Wajeha Al Maeyah, Marasi, and the Business Bay stations. Thus, the total number of marine transport stations and stops in Dubai will rise to 42.
“The service will be available on demand on board the Water Taxi from 10 am to 10 pm in all new stations. The Dubai Ferry will offer service in five stations, two at the Dubai Water Canal, and three at the Business Bay. There will be three newly scheduled two-way daily services for the Dubai Ferry from Al Jaddaf Station calling at Dubai Design District, Al Wajeha Al Maeyah, and Marasi stations in the Business Bay; and the Sheikh Zayed Road and the Dubai Canal stations in the Dubai Water Canal. The services will start at 10 am, 12 midday and 05:30 pm. The current line of the Dubai Ferry shuttling between Al Ghubaiba Station and Marina Mall Station will be modified to call the Dubai Canal Station. Thus, the Dubai Canal Station will link between Al Ghubaiba, Marina Mall, Business Bay and Al Jaddaf. Due attention has been given to the integration of other transit modes (buses, trains and taxis) in order to provide a smooth and safe service for commuters,” explained Al Tayer.
“The fare of the tourist class of the Dubai Ferry will be Dh15 to one station, Dh25 to two stations, Dh35 to three stations, Dh45 to 4 stations, and Dh50 over the entire line. The fare of the gold class will be Dh25 to one station, Dh35 to two stations, Dh50 to three stations, Dh60 to 4 stations, and Dh75 over the entire line. The fare of the Water Taxi will range from Dh55 to Dh205, and the cost of charting the Water Taxi for one-hour amounts to Dh400,” added Al Tayer.
The marine transport sector is set to undergo a quantum shift in the number of transit modes, stations and riders with the operation of the new stations following the link between the Business Bay and the Arabian Gulf beaches via the Dubai Water Canal.
The marine transit modes will be the ideal choice of considerable numbers of citizens, residents, tourists in moving around and enjoying the picturesque tourist and urban facilities at the two sides of the Dubai Creek, Business Bay and the Dubai Water Canal.
“The Marine transport sector is an integral part of the mass transit network in the Emirate with estimated ridership in the tune of 13 million riders per annum. In view of the importance of this sector as a vital transit mode, RTA has developed a master plan for upgrading marine transport systems in the Emirate including the operation of Dubai Creek lines, coastal line alongside the Jumeirah Beaches, new islands service lines, in addition to the Business Bay and Dubai Water Canal lines. Over the past few years, RTA embarked on the operation of a number of electricity-powered traditional abras. These abras are deployed at some tourist destinations such as the Dubai Mall Lake, Global Village, Atlantis Hotel, and Mamzar Beach. It has also opened Al Jaddaf Station that links between Dubai Creek, the Business Bay, and the Dubai Water Canal,” explained Al Tayer.
“RTA has also operated the air-conditioned traditional abra, which boasts of spectacular design combining the traditional shape of the Abra, and the use of the latest technologies along with a panoramic roof, air-conditioned passenger cabin, and convenient seats for 20 riders. The abra has a single-base low-wash fiberglass body, and two eco-friendly engines powered by high-octane gasoline with minimal gas emissions,” he added.
Dubai Ferry is one of the key marine transit means operated by RTA.
It features a fabulous design, a dual base structure (Catamaran Low Wash), air-conditioned interior, convenient seats for about 100 passengers (84 seats in the Silver Class, 14 seats in the Gold Class and 2 seats for the disabled).
The Ferry is fitted with 4 LCD and DVD monitors, 3 toilets (men, women and for the disabled), and has a corner dedicated for selling gifts and snacks,” he added.
The Ferry extends 32 meters in length, and 7.6 meters in width and can travels at a speed up to 24 knots.
It weighs about 20 tons and is fitted with two diesel-powered engines of 1400 hp.
The Ferry is used as a quick marine transit mode to serve new areas not covered by the marine transport system.
The Ferry operates in several locations in Dubai Creek, the coastal stretch along the Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Marina and the waterfront projects.
Water Taxi is characterized by its ergonomic design combining the traditional shape of the abra, and the modern design of the roof inspired by the design of of the Dubai Metro Stations and the latest technologies in this field.
Water Taxi has a Catamaran Low Wash dual base, sleek roof, air-conditioned interior and comfortable seats similar to aircraft’s Business Class seats, equipped with remotely controlled LCD monitors fitted at seatbacks, a reclining seat up to 45 degrees and a food tray.
Water Taxi can accommodate 11 passengers + the driver, and a bespoke design for the disabled where 20% of the seats are dedicated to this category.
Such seats are foldable thus provide ample space for the smooth entry and exit of wheelchairs while maintaining a firm and safe grip in the cabin’s floor.
Water Taxi service is available on demand through booking via phone or smart app and the rider has to wait at the agreed station.
Disembarkation is allowed at any stop of the Water Taxi.
The Water Taxi can also be charted for tourist purposes.