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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Dubai Marina swaps waterbuses for air-conditioned abras

Commuting across Dubai Marina just got a lot more fun, and all at no extra cost 

Watertaxis replaced by air-conditioned abras. Pawan Singh / The National
Watertaxis replaced by air-conditioned abras. Pawan Singh / The National

Commuting across Dubai Marina just got a lot more fun as several waterbuses have been replaced with air-conditioned abras, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Saturday.

With an enhanced view of the picturesque landscape of Dubai city, and the service costing exactly the same fare, the new abras are more convenient to riders and are definitely more enjoyable.

“The move is part of the Public Transport Agency’s efforts to improve marine transit means in the emirate, which involves rolling out several initiatives and improvements at site," said Mansour Al Falasi, director of Marine Transport, Public Transport Agency, at the RTA.

More than 6.2 million commuters rode in abras during the first half of last year, according to the Roads and Transport Authority, making it the preferred mode of marine transport in Dubai.

“The attractiveness of abras underscores their nature as true historical marine transit modes involving a unique blend of the past and the future,” said Abdullah Yousef Al Ali, chief executive of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

“Abras of all types, traditional, electrical or air-conditioned, have accounted for the lion-share of ridership. This is indicative of the public keenness to use these transit modes which offer users enjoyable and convenient rides.”

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Among other initiatives to improve the marine transport service was the rejuvenation of Al Seef Marine Transport Station. It follows the redevelopment of the entire neighbourhood by Meraas.

“Broadening the scope of the marine transport network in the area is expected to attract additional passengers to these modes to commute from Al Seef Station to other Creek stations, as there are plentiful tourist attractions and facilities along the Creek,” Mr Al Falasi said.

“The marine transit modes of the RTA are vital for the integration of public transport systems in Dubai, and form an important component of the infrastructure in the emirate, especially after the opening of the Dubai Water Canal.”

The Canal has brought in a new look to the emirate and added to the strategic importance of marine transport for the public or tourists.

The RTA’s marine transit modes include abras of different types, Water Taxi and Dubai Ferry.

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