Jalboot boats: German design but made in Dubai

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Jalboot boats: German design but made in Dubai
Modern catamarans running on jet ski type of engines, the Jalboot's maximum speed is 30 knots.

Abu Dhabi - 40-seat Jalboot luxury boats also available for parties and other functions.

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Published: Tue 27 Oct 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 27 Oct 2015, 8:46 AM

For two years Thomas Rebollini has been watching Jalboot take shape, from just a drawing to a modern, luxurious boat.
"It is a German design, but the boat was made locally, in Dubai," he said.
Rebollini, who is the head of finance, sales and marketing of Jalboot Marine Network, has an impressive portfolio, working for some of the biggest international corporations, from Financial Times to Ernst & Young and Mubadala. Yet, at heart, he is a seaman.
"We worked hard for two years to prepare the boat, and it is the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi," he said. With 40 leather passenger seats, glass walls from top to bottom to take in the full view of the scenic Abu Dhabi coastline and fully air-condition cabin, the first Jalboot ferry had its soft launch a week ago as the emirate's only private scheduled passenger service.
Running twice daily from 2pm to 6pm, the service starts from Abu Dhabi Mall and stops over at Yas Marina, Fairmont bab Al Bahr and Etihad Towers, covering over 100 kilometres of scenic waterways.
"This is only a soft launch, but by next year we are planning full services, an all day schedule, more boats and more stops," said Rebollini.
Named to paid homage to the UAE's traditional pearl diving boats, Jalboot ferries are actually modern catamarans, running on jet ski type of engines - no propellers - that are less disturbing to marine life.
This first of Jalboot ferry to take to the water runs under the flagship of Al Dana, the name of one of the biggest and most prized pearl in the Arabian Gulf.
Three more ferries will join Al Dana soon. Although marketed as a passenger public transport service, Rebollini expects that Al Dana will be used as much by residents as it will be by tourists.
"We are now in the process of producing destination videos that we will run on the boat's screen for each of the stops, telling people what they could do, visit at Etihad towers, Marina Mall, Yas or Abu Dhabi Mall," he told Khaleej Times. "We are also partnering with Etihad Towers' Al Gusto Cafe to offer snacks and beverages to passengers."
All these services will be available from January.
Also in the future plans are services from Abu Dhabi to Dubai that will run on Thursday afternoons meant to help out people planning to spend the weekend in Dubai, when the highways are most congested.
Further stops along the Abu Dhabi coastline will be added as well, including one on the Corniche and one on Saadiyat Island near the future Louvre museum, planned to open to the public early next year.
"Jalboot ferries are available for hire too, for birthday parties or any kind of functions. The minimum hire is three hours and we can go anywhere people want, as long as there is a jetty," said Rebollini. According to him, private groups could have a little bit of extra fun, such as asking the captain to rock the boat.
"We rock the boat by pushing it to its full speed," said Raynan Malubey, one of Jalboot's captains. "The maximum speed for this boat is 30 knots, but we don't usually go beyond 25 knots," added Jay Eler, also a captain for Jalboot. Tickets for the service start at Dh40 for one stop.

Ferry Captains Ruyman Malubay and Jay Eler during media launching of Jalboot Marine Network.
Ferry Captains Ruyman Malubay and Jay Eler during media launching of Jalboot Marine Network.

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