x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Water taxis limited to 12 passengers and crew

New regulations are released for Dubai water taxis.

DUBAI // Water taxis must carry no more than 12 passengers and crew under regulations announced yesterday.

Outside Dubai Creek the service will be suspended if waves are higher than 7.5cm and wind speed is above 15knots (28kph), and passengers will no longer be allowed to sit in the open-top part of the deck, at the rear of the boat.

Before the start of any journey the crew is responsible for ensuring that all electronics and safety systems, including life rafts and life jackets, are in working order, said Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dosari, chief executive of the Roads and Transport Authority's Public Transport Agency.

"The water taxis are fitted with a number of devices, including three hand-held fire extinguishers, a marine wireless communications device, navigational lights, as well as enough life rafts for passengers and crew," he said.

"These rafts can open and inflate automatically once thrown into the water and must be certified by international rating authorities. There must also be 12 internationally accredited life jackets for adults, in addition to two easily accessible lifebuoys for children."

Other requirements include the provision of flares, sea radar, GPS systems and bilge pumps to bail out the taxi if it floods.

ealghalib@thenational.ae