Dubai has opened the UAE’s first smart floating marine transport station at Festival City as part of plans to expand facilities over the next two years.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said it plans to build seven new marine transport stations at Business Bay, Dubai Water Canal and coastal areas over the next couple of years; which will bring the total number to 55.
The plan includes operating marine transport services along Dubai Creek and Jumeirah Beaches in addition to the New Islands, Business Bay and Dubai Water Canals services.
Dubai’s marine transit system is used by more than 14 million riders annually, the RTA said.
Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the RTA, opened the smart floating marine transport station at Dubai Festival City which accommodates more than 25 passengers.
Abra services will run every 10 minutes between Dubai Festival City and Jadaf Stations daily for a fare of AED2.
Al Tayer toured Dubai Festival City Station which has witnessed a considerable rise in the number of visitors which is forecast to hit 245,000 last year.
He said the floating station is also open for future expansion and is relocatable. It has ticket sale service facilities and waiting areas overlooking Dubai Creek.
The floating station provides real-time passenger information, timetables of marine transport services and weather conditions.
A relief call (SOS) device has been installed in the station to monitor the safety of customers along with a sound system and smart cameras while WiFi is provided free of charge.
Al Tayer said: “The construction of this station is part of RTA master plan for improving Dubai marine transit systems, which are used by more than 14 m riders annually.
“The marine transport sector is witnessing a sustained growth in terms of the number and modes of transit means, stations and ridership since the opening of the Dubai Water Canal linking Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf.”