Facelift for Dubai’s Famed Abras

DUBAI - The city’s traditional abras, one of the oldest forms of public transport in the emirate, is poised for a state-of-the-art replacement in the
near future.

By Joy Sengupta

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Published: Wed 18 Mar 2009, 12:50 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 8:28 PM

The new age counterparts, promising high standards of luxury and safety, are expected to be operational in the near future, a senior official of the Marine Agency at the RTA told Khaleej Times on Monday.

Regulations pertaining to a proper and decent dress code aboard the new age abras are also being discussed, said Mohammed Obeid Al Mulla, the CEO of the Marine Agency.

The Marine Agency intends to commence operations of the new abras along the new marine areas of The Palm and Dubai Marina by the end ofthis year.

“We may replace the existing ones operating in the creek, based on their performance, with new abras. A decision regarding this will be taken soon. These new abras promise very high safety and luxury standards,” saidAl Mulla.

The official said the total number of new abras was being decided atthe moment.

The new abras will be made of composite fibre and aluminum with mahogany wood coat and a thin film of wood to preserve the traditional shape of abras.

They will be pollution free, and feature safety of the highest standards.

The seats behind the abra operator will be reserved for families and ladies, while the rest will be for men.

“These abras will have more space and comfortable seats as well as adequate lighting and navigational facilities,” he said.

Each of the 22 seats will have lifejackets, a special bay for First Aid kits and another easily accessible compartment for fire extinguishers.

The new boats are fitted with passenger protective rails, a hydraulic door and other features required for the use of special need persons.

The engine in the new abras will be replaced by electrical motors for environment protection and reducing fuel consumption.

The Marine Agency currently operates 149 motorised abras manned by 300 operators with an overall passenger capacity of 28 million commuters per annum, and an annual growth rate of 7 percent.


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