Does the idea of speeding through the heart of a city on water, like something out of a James Bond film, float your boat?
Then we have excellent news for you – that’ll be a reality in Dubai in the very near future.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) have announced that nine marine stations will be opening on the upcoming Dubai Canal, meaning commuters will soon have a way to beat the Sheikh Zayed Road traffic.
Water taxis and ferries will traverse the city’s newest manmade waterway when it opens – which is slated to happen this week. (There’s no official date though, so be prepared if it’s pushed back a little).
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According to a statement by Dubai Media Office, the service will run from the day after the Canal’s opening.
So where will the new ferries and water taxis run?
Well, there’ll be five new stops along the Canal itself and four along Business Bay, bringing the total number of marine stations in Dubai to 42.
The upcoming stations will be known as Sheikh Zayed Road, Safa Park, Al Wasl, Jumeirah, and Dubai Canal, while the Business Bay ones will cover Dubai Design District, Al Wajeha Al Maeyah, Marasi, and Business Bay.
A new ferry service from Al Jaddaf will traverse between five of these stations three times a day – from 10am, 12pm and 5.30pm.
Those five stations will be Dubai Design District, Al Wajeha Al Maeyah, Marasi, Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai Canal.
And that’s not all – the existing Dubai Water Taxi Service will now run from 10am to 10pm, and can be requested from all of the new stations.
“The current line of the Dubai Ferry shuttling between Al Ghubaiba Station and Marina Mall Station will be modified to call at the Dubai Canal Station. Thus, the Dubai Canal Station will link Al Ghubaiba, Marina Mall, Business Bay and Al Jaddaf,” said HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the RTA’s Board of Executive Directors.
“Due attention has been given to the integration of other transit modes (buses, trains and taxis) in order to provide a smooth and safe service for commuters.”
How much will the new services cost?
Two classes of fares have been announced for the ferry – the silver one will cost between Dhs15 and Dhs50, and the gold class will cost between Dhs25 Dhs75, depending on how many stations you’re travelling between.
The water taxi will cost between Dhs55 and Dhs205 depending on the distance – or you can charter it for a whole hour for Dhs400.
The ferry can carry 100 passengers at a time, while the water taxi seats 11 people.
What is the Dubai Canal, you ask?
Well, it’s a 3.2-kilometre waterway that’ll pass right from Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf, and it’ll be six metres deep when finished.
It can be used for water traffic – but it’s not just about aqua activities.
The project will see the entire canal lined with retail and restaurants, parks, accommodation, greenery, seating areas and environmentally friendly lighting.
Pretty exciting, huh? If you want to know more about the project, click here – and in the meantime we’re counting down the days until we can get a water taxi through the heart of the city…