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Grove Boats To Offer Solar Technology For Dubai Abras

Grove Boats to provide solar power to Dubai Abras

Switzerland based company, Grove Boats, has announced to provide solar power technology for Dubai Abras.

As reported in Khaleej Times, Guy Wolfensberger, managing director of Swiss-based Grove Boats, will discuss this proposal with RTA officials during the Dubai Boat Show in March.

We have a plan for the RTA to provide solar power technology for the abras. We can provide the technology to replace the diesel engines with the solar power. With the technology, the traditional image and looks of these boats will not be affected. The solar-powered boats will also help protect the Creek’s environment as there will be no diesel discharge and no engine sound.

He said similar talks are being held with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport officials to sell passenger boats for transportation around Yas and Saadiyat islands. He said officials have been visiting their 24-seater Aquabus 1050, which has been brought here for the WFES exhibition, and shown their interest in the boat. After the summit exhibition, the boat will sail to Dubai to take part in Dubai Boat Show in March.

In addition to marketing the solar-powered vessels, the company also plans to set up a manufacturing plant in the UAE. Wolfensberger said they are already looking for investors and partners in the UAE to set up the plant.

Grove Boats, though based in Switzerland, its boat making facility is in Croatia. The company builds different types of solar-powered boats of different sizes, including luxury boats, ferries and, currently have manufactured a small sea cleaning boat.

The company, targeting tourism industry, including resorts, and public transport sector, is now designing new prototype and futuristic boats. It makes boats with capacity to carry ten to 100 people. The prizes for these boats vary from $100,000 to close $1 million.

Image: Khaleej Times

dubai expat life

RTA plans 100 bicycle stands in Dubai

RTA Cycle stands in Dubai

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has set 100 locations for parking bikes in key areas across the Emirate with the aim of inducing an additional mobility means in a well rehearsed approach intended to minimize the reliance on private vehicles in traveling, particularly for short distances.

Commenting on this move the Director of Strategic Planning, RTA Strategy & Corporate Governance Sector Nasir Abu Shehab said: “RTA intended to provide parking spaces for bicycles near all the metro stations in a bid to enhance the integration of the Dubai Metro with other transit modes in the Emirate. In an advanced phase of the Project, all the metro stations will be integrated with the dedicated cycling tracks.”

“All areas served by the cycling tracks will be fitted with bike stands including key areas such as the Gold Souk, abra marinas, Al Shindagha area, Al Fuhaidi Museum and Al Bastakiya area. RTA plan also includes setting bike racks at other prime locations such as malls, recreational clubs, schools, colleges, and hospitals as well as public and private entities.”

“RTA has finalised studies encompassing the construction of cycling tracks with an overall length of about 900km under 5 phases scheduled for completion by 2020. The trial run of the Project has started in some key spots in Dubai such as the streets of Jumeirah, Dubai Academic City, Nad El Sheba and Al Mankhool in addition to the Creek Corniche. Work has been completed in the construction of cycling tracks at Jumeirah Street in a sector extending 12 km and the work in other phases will proceed according to plan in order to complete the tracks under the trial phase extending 32 km.

From: Emirates 24|7

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Riding the Abra

Abra is a traditional boat made of wood, used to transport people across Dubai Creek in Dubai. A medium-sized single-engine craft with a capacity of about 20 passengers, it is driven by a single operator from a sort of cockpit stepped in the center of the hull. The short platform around the cockpit, sheltered by a canopy, is where the passengers are seated, all facing outwards 10 on each side. The speed of the engine may be varied, while the steering system is basic: often a wooden rudder connected to the cockpit’s mechanism by means of ropes and pulleys.

Abra was the sole mean of transport between Deira and Bur Dubai, the two sides of Dubai Creek, long before Al Shindagha Tunnel was constructed for vehicular traffic. Although the creek can now be crossed through bus and taxis, Abra still remains the economical, and fastest, mode of transport to cross the creek, usually taking not more than 10 minutes for a journey between Deira and Bur Dubai.

Abra is regulated by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). There are about 149 Abras in service at present, operating from about 5:30am till about midnight. 10 abras run one of the three routes at all hours.

Abra charge 1 dirham per crossing per head, or 100 dirhams per hour for exclusive hire. “Rowing” abras are also available at 1 dirham per head or 30 dirhams per hour.

RTA has also introduced Water Bus which can be termed as a luxurious Abra. It is also working on a Water Taxi project.

Riding the Abra is must for anybody visiting Dubai.