Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a ferry service with 42 daily journeys to commute passengers between Al Ghubaiba Marine Station in Dubai and Aquarium Marine Station in Sharjah.
The new line, which marks the first marine transit service operated between Dubai and any other emirate, has a capacity to serve 1.3 million riders per year and is subject to increase if needed. The service comes with an affordable fare of Dh15 ($4.08) in Silver Class and Dh25 in Gold Class, and the journey is free for people of determination and children below five. Free wi-fi connection will be provided for riders.
The transit time between Al Ghubaiba and Aquarium stations will be about 35 minutes, and the service frequency is every 30 minutes during morning peak hours (from 5 am to 9 am) and evening peak hours (from 4 pm to 8.30 pm) from Saturday to Sunday. The service interval will be 1 and a half hours during off-peak times. The first journey will depart from Dubai at 5.15 am and the last journey will leave at 8 pm. From Sharjah, the first journey will be at 5 am and the last one will depart at 7.30 pm.
Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of RTA, said: “The new marine transit line boosts the cooperation between Dubai and Sharjah by offering more mobility options between the two emirates. It will ease the pressure on roads through offering a safe and quick marine transport solution. The Ferry will be operating 42 journeys (21 in each direction) daily. Commuters are offered free parking as well as internal bus service at Sharjah Aquarium Marine Station.
“The two stations have been carefully selected for specific considerations. Al Ghubaiba is the key marine transit station in Dubai and is connected with Dubai Creek, Dubai Marina, and the Water Canal. It is also integrated with metro and bus stations and has a taxi service as well. Sharjah Aquarium Marine Station was selected as it will reduce the transit time, has abundant parking space, and is shaping into a tourist and residential hotspot. So the service is anticipated to attract all community segments.
“RTA has 9 ferries operating at 8 stations, namely: Al Ghubaiba, Al Marina Mall, Al Jadaf, Water Canal, Sheikh Zayed Road, Water Front, Marasi and Dubai Design District. The Ferry boasts of high safety standards, experienced crew, rescue and firefighting equipment and anti-maritime pollution. It is fitted with five life-rafts, has a capacity to accommodate 125 riders, 110 life jackets, and 6 safety life-buoy. The cockpit is fitted with navigation tools such as marine radar, sea depth measuring instrument, electronic maps, and tracking devices as required by international institutes,” added Al Tayer.
Salah bin Butti, advisor of Planning and Survey Department and vice chairman of Urban Planning Council in Sharjah, said: “Work is currently underway between Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai, Planning and Survey Department in Sharjah, and Roads and Transport Authority in Sharjah to enhance this service and align it with latest international practices of the industry.”
“To encourage the use of marine transit service, Aquarium Marine Station is being supported by Park-and-Ride facility for up to 300 vehicles for marine transit users. A shuttle bus service will be call at (Heart of Sharjah), passing by Corniche and Al Majaz, to connect with the marine station near Sharjah Aquarium. We also intend to expand the bus route to serve other parts of Sharjah city,” he added.