HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has opened the smart floating marine transport station at Dubai Festival City, the first floating station in the UAE.
The station, which accommodates more than 25 passengers, contributes to the integration of marine transit modes by linking Jadaf-Dubai Festival City line with public buses and Creek Metro Station.
Abra service will be running every 10 minutes between Dubai Festival City and Jadaf Stations daily from 07:00 am up to 00:00 am (midnight) at a fare of two dirhams.
Al Tayer toured Dubai Festival City Station which has witnessed a considerable rise in the number of visitors from 42,863 riders in 2016 to 187,000 riders in 2017. The numbers continued the upward trend in 2018 recording a 24% increase to hit 245,000 riders.
Featuring a design inspired by marine habitats, the station is in harmony with green buildings standards and is connected with a pier and shaded outdoor areas.
It is also open for future expansions and relocatable as well. The building provides spaces dedicated to people of determination and top security and safety standards. It has ticket sale service facilities and waiting places overlooking Dubai Creek.
The station is capable of accommodating various marine transit means comprising the ferry, water bus, water taxi, traditional abra and air-conditioned abra. Its location is in close proximity to Jadaf Marine Transport Station, Dubai Metro Creek Station, and the public bus station on the opposite side of Dubai Creek.
The floating station is one of the first smart stations. The hi-tech devices fitted to the station provide real-time passenger information, timetables of marine transport services and weather condition.
Customer can plan their journeys at the Smart Kiosk in an integrated way with other marine transit modes.
The smart systems provided enable clients to process various transactions related to RTA while staying at the station. RTA has also provided a Smart Corner onboard Dubai Ferry rendering it the first floating smart marine transport station in the region.
It is run in five languages: Arabic, English, Malayalam, Urdu, and Chinese.
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 to give alerts and guidance about safety and security matters, especially during emergencies.
WiFi service is provided free of charge at the station to boost the happiness of marine transport riders.
Al Tayer was delighted with the opening of the floating marine transport station at Dubai Festival City; thus adding a quantum shift to the marine transport sector in the Emirate.
“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.
“RTA plan envisages the construction of seven new marine transport stations at the Business Bay, Dubai Water Canal and coastal areas over the next couple of years; which will bring the total number of marine transit stations in Dubai to 55 stations by 2020. 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.
“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. The growth rate of this sector will receive a boost upon the completion of urban and tourist facilities on both sides of the Canal and the building of marine transport stations at the Canal. The marine transit modes will be the ideal mobility choice for many citizens, residents and tourists who will also enjoy scenic views on both shores of Dubai Creek and Dubai Water Canal,” explained Al Tayer.
“We are extremely delighted to be part of RTA’s marine transport network. The new station enhances the destinations transportation options which include public buses and taxis making it easier for residents and tourists to get to Dubai Festival City and enjoy its many attractions,” said Omar Al Futtaim, Vice Chairman, Al-Futtaim.
“The new station also makes it easier for a significant number of residents and tourists who visit Dubai Festival City Mall to enjoy its retail, dining and entertainment options,” added Al Futtaim.
Last year, RTA launched Al Garhoud Workshop for Maintenance of Marine Transit Means (abra, ferry and water taxi), the first specialist workshop of marine transit means manufactured of fibreglass.
The workshop spans an area of 5000 square metres and contains a marina extending 250 metres and a dock capable of accommodating boats measuring up to 32m in length in addition to a boat lifting crane with a capacity of 100 tons.
The facility hosts five different workshops; each can accommodate 16 boats at a time.