Taking the Dubai FerryBecky Lucas steps aboard this oft-overlooked vehicle and sets sail to the Palm
If you’ve wandered round the ‘backside’ of Dubai Marina Mall any time recently, you’ll no doubt have noted the futuristic-looking capsule-shaped Dubai Ferry berthed outside, and perhaps even spotted a queue of people – tourists, residents, young and old – lining up to board. A couple of weeks ago I decided to jump on to experience it myself (my mum was in town and we’d had as many cups of tea as my liver could take).
The first nice surprise was the cost of the ticket: just Dhs50 for a silver option, or Dhs75 for gold class (entrance into a snazzier cabin, with bigger seats), while children aged ten and under travel for half price. If you want the whole place to yourself, charter packages for 100 people are available too.
Once inside, we spotted four fancy LCD screens showing safety and promotional videos as well as big comfy chairs. Unfortunately, however, we were also struck by the Baltic temperatures of the on-board A/C. For this reason, combined with the fact we wanted to get a better view of the passing scenery, we sauntered through the cabin and moved outside to the small open area at the rear of the boat (or stern, in nautical speak). The lack of space meant we then ended up perched on a metal ledge for most of the journey, which didn’t seem too luxurious.
Sore behinds aside, we did get to take in some of Dubai’s most famous sights during our journey. Starting from the Marina Mall stop, we headed around the marina, out to sea and around the Palm, doing a U-turn near Atlantis and heading back to shore, with some stunning skyline views on offer, all in one hour. I’d certainly advise this as something to do with visitors (or somewhere to put them, kind of like a floating crèche). One last tip: bring your own snacks – the food and drinks on board, sold from a counter, have a considerable mark-up.Dhs50 (silver ticket); Dhs75 (gold ticket). There are two stops to catch the ferry: Dubai Marina Mall and Al Ghubaiba on the Creek. The Al Ghubaiba route travels up to Jumeirah 2, near the World Islands, and back again. Daily 9am, 11am, 5pm and 7pm. For more info, see www.rta.ae.