A brand new Dh8 million ferry that will halve the travel time between Sharjah and Abu Musa island will be ready in April, according to the chief of staff of the Emiri Court in Sharjah.
Rashed Al Sheikh said Emirati citizens travelling to and from the island on the new ferry, which has been commissioned by Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, would no longer have to spend more than one hour and 45 minutes onboard.
It currently takes three and a half hours to make the trip in the older ferries, which only cruise at 12 nautical miles per hour, The National's Arabic-language sister paper, Al Ittihad, reported on Monday.
Abu Musa, which the UAE has been in dispute over with Iran since 1971, occupies "a special place" in the Sharjah Ruler's heart, Mr Al Sheikh said, noting that a wali (governor) was appointed to oversee the affairs of Emirati citizens and residents there.
Speaking on a live radio programme, Mr Al Sheikh said the existing ferries linking the emirate to the island are 12 years old but there is a speed boat available on the island for emergencies.