Abra comes from the Arabic verb ‘abara’, which means ‘to cross’. Tourists must consider riding on the Dubai Abra because it is the city’s most traditional mode of transport. Abras were the oldest form of the public transport system in Dubai. They enabled the movement of men and materials between the two shores of the Deira and Bur Dubai creek. Interestingly, these are still water taxis run by the Dubai government. For centuries, it has remained one of Dubai’s most frequented modes of transportation, making it the symbol of the city’s history and heritage.
Today, there are different types of Abra in service. One of which is the motorized traditional Abra. It is the most popular mode of transportation for cruising around Dubai Creek, a spectacular 14-kilometre stretch which divides Deira and Bur Dubai. Hop on for a glimpse of the soulful side of the city. Passengers can discover the charm of old Dubai in this traditional half-boat, half-raft vessel as they can take a glimpse of the soulful side of the city.
- Route: Bur Dubai Abra Station to Deira Old Souk Abra Station and vice versa. Dubai Old Souk Station to Al Sabhkha Abra Station and vice versa
- Timings: Bur Dubai to Old Souk 05:00 am – 12:00 midnight | Dubai Old Souk to Al Sabkha Abra 24 hours
- Abra fare: AED 1 per person for a single trip
- Private bookings: Abras can be booked for a private charter for a cruise along the Dubai Creek for AED 120 per hour
Another one is the air-conditioned Abra. It combines the style of a traditional abra and the latest technologies. In addition, this abra ride gives the passengers a comfortable cruise in a fully air-conditioned atmosphere. Travelling to the Creek Metro Station is more relaxing, leading them to some favourite stores, restaurants and cafes in Dubai Festival City.
- Route: Al Jaddaf Marine Station to Dubai Festival City (BM2), abras leaves every 10 minutes
- Timings: Everyday 07:00 am – 12:00 midnight | Friday 09:00 am – 12:00 midnight
- Abra fare: AED 2 per person per trip in one direction.
Moreover, the Petrol abra is a modern take on the traditional Abra. According to its website, the latest technology makes it safe and accessible for all the passengers while delivering the traditional Abra experience. It also provides a large seating capacity of up to 20 passengers. They can experience a combination of contrasts as they pass Dubai’s modern skyline and the waterfall in a stylish Petrol Heritage Abra. Passengers can then relax as they get to their destination, refreshed and ready to either walk or cycle through the vibrant city of Dubai. The trip will last over 45 minutes.
- Al Sabkha to Al Fahidi and Deira Old Souk covered by abra CR5: Saturday to Thursday 07:00 am – 10:00 am, Friday 10:00 am – 01:00 am.
- Dubai Old Souk to Baniyas covered by abra CR3: Saturday to Thursday 07:00 am – 11:00 am and 05:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Friday and public holidays 10:00 am – 01:00 am.
- Al Seef to Baniyas covered by abra CR6: Sunday to Wednesday 07:00 am – 09:55 pm, Thursday and Saturday 07:00 am – 10:55 pm, Friday and public holidays 10:00 am – 12:50 am
Furthermore, there is the Electrical traditional Abra. The environment-friendly Abra, with a seating capacity of 8 passengers, has become a tourists’ favourite for cruising along the city’s popular attractions. In 2018, Dubai’s transport authority launched the first hybrid abra test run, announcing plans to build 11 new marine transit stations across the city. The new generation abra is characterized by low carbon emissions 87 per cent lower than petrol-powered abras. It reduces fuel consumption by 172 per cent and significantly lowers fuel costs.
Route 1: Dubai Mall, Burj Plaza, The Palace
- Route 1 timings: Tourist routes 06:00 pm – 11:30 pm | Commuter routes: 12:00 pm – 11:30 pm
- Route 1 fares: AED 68.25 per person for a 25 minutes trip | AED 20 per person for a commuter route
- Route 2 timings: Commuter routes 04:00 pm – 12:00 midnight
- Route 2 fare: AED 52.5 for booking the entire Abra for a single trip lasting 12 to 15 minutes
Route 3: Al Seef Station
- Route 3 timings: Sunday to Wednesday 04:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Thursday, Friday and Saturday 04:00 pm – 11:30 pm
- Route 3 fare: AED 60 per 30 minutes trip | AED 120 for a 1-hour trip
778R+3CC – Al Fahidi
Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 284 4444
Photo courtesy: https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/ae/public-transport/marine/dubai-abra
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