Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Dubai-Sharjah ferry cutting down on hassle and congestion for passengers

The busy sea route – used by about 1,100 people a day – offers commuters a welcome change

Many commuters are jumping onboard the ferry to escape heavy traffic on the roads between Dubai and Sharjah. Antonie Robertson / The National
Many commuters are jumping onboard the ferry to escape heavy traffic on the roads between Dubai and Sharjah. Antonie Robertson / The National

A ferry service aiming to slash congestion between Dubai and Sharjah is being hailed a success by passengers.

The route opened at the end of July and the service has carried just under 48,000 travellers so far.

Carrying about 1,100 passengers every day, the ferry is slowly but surely gaining the attention of those seeking alternative methods of travelling between the two emirates.

Users told The National how they hoped ditching their vehicles for a vessel would reduce travel times and cut down on the stress of being stuck in long queues on the roads.

“I would have had to drive for an hour and a half, maybe two hours, before I would get home to Sharjah from Dubai,” said Liuba Poroshina, 78, before her first voyage home on the ferry.

“My friends and neighbours recommended it to me and to be able to get home in just over half an hour is fantastic. Driving home always meant being stuck in tailbacks,” the former tourism manager said.

The ferry runs 42 times a day between Al Ghubaiba on the Creek to Aquarium Marine Station in Sharjah and will have the capacity to serve 1.3 million passengers a year, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority said at the time of the launch.

A journey takes 35 minutes and costs Dh15 in silver class and Dh25 for gold class.

Children under the age of five and people with disabilities travel free. Each ferry can carry 125 passengers. Another person taking the ferry for the first time was Tahir Mahmood, 37, from Pakistan.

“I live and work in Dubai but I just wanted to try the ferry because so many people have been talking about it,” said the marketing manager, who was taking the trip across the water to Sharjah with his wife Mahrukh.

“It is just amazing to be able to get there so quickly and free of hassle. Previously, we would have been stuck in huge tailbacks for ages.”

Liuba Poroshina, 78, gets ready to set sail on the Dubai-Sharjah ferry with Lili Wellenkamp, 61. Antonie Robertson / The National
Liuba Poroshina, 78, gets ready to set sail on the Dubai-Sharjah ferry with Lili Wellenkamp, 61. Antonie Robertson / The National

The ferry is also a hit with families, as it makes it easier for people to connect with loved ones in different emirates.

“I am going to visit my dad who lives in Sharjah,” said Filipina Alsie Candido, 36, who was making the journey with other family members. We had read so many people raving about it online that we thought we should check it out and see for ourselves.

"It is brilliant that we can travel so freely and quickly to Sharjah from Dubai.”

Alsie Candido buys tickets for herself and family members, William and Wilma Candido and Hollu Caluracan. Antonie Robertson / The National
Alsie Candido buys tickets for herself and family members, William and Wilma Candido and Hollu Caluracan. Antonie Robertson / The National

She said that although the bus journey was only a few minutes longer than travelling by ferry, the new route was much more scenic, which meant a more relaxing and enjoyable experience for travellers.

“The launch of this vital service is part of the Roads and Transport Authority’s plan to improve the marine transport network,” said Mohammed Al Hashimi, Director of Marine Transport at Dubai’s Public Transport Agency. “It gives pleasure to people commuting between the two emirates aboard a safe and enjoyable transit means.”

The ferry sails every 30 minutes from 5am to 9am and from 4pm to 8.30pm, from Friday to Sunday

Updated: September 12, 2019 09:28 PM

SHARE

SHARE