Director-General and Chairman of Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Mattar Al Tayer has opened the UAE’s first smart floating marine transport station at Dubai Festival City (DFC), as part of plans to expand facilities over the next two years, Invest-Gate reports.

With the capacity to accommodate over 25 passengers, the new station will contribute to the integration of marine transit modes by linking Jadaf-Dubai Festival City line with public buses and Creek Metro Station, RTA said in a statement on May 4.

“RTA plan envisages the construction of seven new marine transport stations at the Business Bay, Dubai Water Canal, and coastal areas over the next couple of years; which will bring the total number of marine transit stations in Dubai to 55 stations by 2020,” Al Tayer was quoted as saying.

“The plan includes operating marine transport services along Dubai Creek and Jumeirah Beaches in addition to the New Islands, Business Bay, and Dubai Water Canals services,” he elaborated.

Speaking of the station, it is designed to be in harmony with green buildings standards and is connected with a pier and shaded outdoor areas, RTA revealed, adding that Abra services will run every ten minutes, between Dubai Festival City and Jadaf Stations, daily for a fare of AED 2.

Meanwhile, Al Tayer toured DFC Station, which has witnessed a significant surge in the number of visitors, from 42,863 riders in 2016 to 187,000 riders in the following year. In 2018, the figures continued this upward trend and recorded a 24% rise to mark 245,000 riders.

“The marine transport sector is witnessing a sustained growth in terms of the number and modes of transit means, stations and ridership since the opening of the Dubai Water Canal linking Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf,” RTA’s chairman concluded.