Dubai: RTA to manufacture 3D-printed abras in 3 weeks

The eco-friendly electric-powered boat will not only come cheaper but will also retain the heritage identity of traditional abras

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Angel Tesorero

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Photos: Angel Tesorero/KT
Photos: Angel Tesorero/KT

Published: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 6:27 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 11:26 PM

Harnessing technology whilst preserving the rich heritage, the Roads and Transports Authority (RTA) will manufacture 3D-printed abras to significantly reduce production time in three weeks from the current turnaround of 6-7 months.

The eco-friendly electric-powered boat will not only come cheaper (manufacturing cost is expected to be down by 30 per cent) but will also retain the heritage identity of traditional abras, according to RTA.

A model of the 3D-abra is currently on display at the three-day Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and Dubai Solar Energy (DSS) show that opened in Dubai on Wednesday.

Manufacturing is expected to begin by first quarter of 2024, using fibre-reinforced thermoplastic made from recyclable organic fibres.

The 3D-abra will be 12 metres long with a capacity to accommodate 20 passengers, including dedicated seats for people of determination. Its speed is expected to be between 4 and 6 knots (7.4 and 11kmph).

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Merging tradition with technology

Abra is taken from the Arabic word 'abara' which means 'to cross'. For centuries, abras have remained one of Dubai's most frequented modes of transport, making it a symbol of the city's history and heritage.

By manufacturing 3D-printed abra, RTA say they are merging tradition with technology. The modern abra will be equipped with the latest technologies to ensure a safe and comfortable cruise, while commuters can sit back and travel along the historic Dubai Creek.

Abra is also the best mode of transport to discover Al Fahidi area and its historical district, souqs, mosques, and museums.

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