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Dubai’s oldest wooden vessels get a smart, green upgrade

Sun 27 Dec 2020    
| 2 min read

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched the enhanced new generation of traditional wooden ‘Abras’ (or ferries) replicating the same design of the existing Abras while conforming to the highest security, safety and environmental standards.

The traditional Abras are one of the most important and the eldest marine transport services in Dubai. The new, rejuvenated vessel is said to be a much-improved version of its predecessor set to operate on the waters of Dubai Creek.

It is manufactured of the African teak wood, measures 35 feet in length and 10.5 feet in width and has a draft of 5.5 feet, and can accommodate up to 20 passengers.

Compatible with the highest security and safety standards, the key changes introduced are the relocation of the driver seat to have a better view compared with the low-level location of the driver in the traditional Abras.

The new vessels conform to the stipulations of the Dubai Universal Design Code for People of Determination, and have designated spaces for 2 wheelchairs. Life jackets are now placed under the seats to make them more and quickly accessible to passengers when needed compared to regular Abras where they are placed on top.

Moreover, the new generation Abras are fitted with smart transportation systems, GPS systems, cameras and Nol payment systems.

RTA has also had the engine room fitted with soundproofing and anti-vibration systems to reduce noise pollution. As such, the noise is decreased in the new Abra to less than 65 dB, the universally permissible limit.

“Operating the new Abra is part of a master plan developed by RTA to overhaul Dubai’s marine transport systems which are used by 14 million riders per annum,” revealed His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, the Director-General, and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.

With plans to open new lines on Dubai Creek and the coastal strip along the Jumeirah beaches, as well as new lines to serve the new islands and others along the Dubai Water Canal, RTA hopes to increase the number of marine transport stations to 59 stations by 2025 and manufacture 26 marine transport modes.

Marine transport — with its urban, picturesque scenes along the Arabian skyline — have enjoyed significant traffic in the emirate over the years and have the potential to become the ideal choice of many citizens, residents and tourists for the years to come.

[Sourced from Agencies]