New creek ferries en route to Dubai

Creek-crossing ferries to start running in 2009.

The first two vessels of the 10-strong Ferry Dubai fleet on order from China are due to be delivered to the emirate in the middle of 2009, transport chiefs have revealed.

Work on six of the boats, which will provide an air-conditioned service across Dubai Creek, has already started and manufacturing of the remaining four is due to begin soon.

The new marine mode of transport is part of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) efforts to improve public transport in the emirate. The project is expected to ferry around three million passengers in the initial year.

A delegation from Marine Agency at the RTA has recently completed a five-day visit to the factory where Ferry Dubai boats are being built in Guangzhou City, China.

Khalid Mohammed al-Zahed, director of Marine Projects Department at RTA Marine Agency, said: "The main objective of the visit was to visit Damen Factory to review work progress and audit the technical specifications and timeline of the first phase of Ferry Dubai Project.

" Ferry Dubai will be a dual base (Catamaran Low Wash) vessel, with seating for 100 passengers (84 seats as economy class, 14 seats as business class and 2 seats for people with special needs).

The RTA will initially operate 10 ferries covering four key stations which include Gold Souk Station, Union Square Station, City Centre Station and Al-Ghubaiba Station.

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