Under a masterplan running to 2030, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that its marine transport network will grow by 188% to 158km, while the number of scheduled passenger lines is to grow by 400% to 35. In addition, the marine transit fleet is to grow 32% to reach 258, while the number of marine transport stations will see a 65% increase to 79 stations by 2030.
“Marine transport is an integral part of the public transport network in Dubai. It ferries about 14m riders every year and the sector is witnessing sustained growth in the number of means, stations and riders. The marine sector is expected to expand considerably with the completion of construction works in urban and tourist facilities on both sides of the Dubai Water Canal and other waterfront development projects,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.
He added, “Marine transport will be the favourite mobility means for citizens, residents and tourists visiting Dubai relishing the scenic structures and facilities on the shores of both the Canal and the Arabian Sea. In 2020, the marine transport network increased 24km to reach 79km. Moreover, five abras from the new generation of wooden traditional abras were deployed to bring the total number of RTA’s marine transport means to 55 vessels.”
In the statement from the RTA, he pointed out that the sector managed to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing corporate agility principles and practices and optimising the use of resources, which ensured the continuity of marine transport services.
He explained, “Despite the ongoing challenges, the ridership of marine transport means last year clocked 8.049m riders. The RTA also started the trial run of five traditional abras powered by Biodiesel 5, which is officially approved in the UAE.” He stated that the Biodiesel 5 initiative, which was run in collaboration with Enoc, yielded extremely positive results.
The statement noted that the RTA plans to open four water transport lines extending 10km this year, which will extend the total length of the marine transport network to 89km. The new lines will link Deira Night Market with Al Ghubaiba Station and the Waterfront Market Station. The other three lines will link Dubai Creek Project with Dubai Festival City Station, Blue Water Station with the marine transport network at the Dubai Marina, and the Heritage Village with Jaddaf Station and Dubai Festival City Station.