DM plans to link coastal projects

DUBAI — The Transport Department of Dubai Municipality is studying options to integrate inter-emirate and local ferries between new coastal developments in the emirate, a senior official revealed yesterday.

By Zaigham Ali Mirza

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Published: Tue 29 Nov 2005, 9:51 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:55 PM

Speaking to Khaleej Times yesterday, Essa Al Dosari, Assistant Director of Transport Department and member of the Dubai Metro Technical Committee, said that the public water transport strategy plans to connect all major coastal developments such as Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Jumeirah, Deira Palm, The World, and Dubai Waterfront and Business Bay with a water transport system, which would also extend to neighbouring emirates. The vessels serving these routes would also have access to the the creek extension once it is completed.

According to tentative estimates that are part of the medium term ferry route strategy 2010, the route connecting all these coastal projects will have considerably high ridership, with the annual passenger forecast for the Business Bay leading with an estimated 5.5 million passengers. The route to Sharjah could annually carry some 500,000 passengers, Maritime City route of up to 500,000, and the coastal route covering the island projects of up to 470,000 passengers annually.

Al Dosari also revealed that the department is also planning to try out natural gas powered Abras (water taxis).

“We are in discussions with the authorities in Sharjah to come up with a natural gas option for running the Abras. It would offer a quiet and environment friendly fuel for the much popular water transport system,” he said, adding that the specification of the gas-powered Abras and other requirements have been submitted to the authority in Sharjah, and options would be available in due course for a fast speed natural gas driven boat.

According to Al Dosari, the test runs for the solar powered Abras have been completed and while the results have been satisfying in all respects, their speed has been a setback. “The tests we conducted with the solar powered boat were good with low noise levels and other such aspects. But the top speech achieved on the boat was just five knots, which is way below the requirement. Passengers do not like such a slow boat,” he said, adding that the department is now looking out for a better option in solar technology.

Al Dosari noted that share of the public transport network in Dubai is five per cent at present and is likely to exceed by another 10 per cent after completion of the ongoing projects (Dubai Metro not including). “Our objective is to increase this share to 40 per cent in the near future,” he added.

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