Mattar Al Tayer
Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, at the helm of the hybrid abra during the test run with other officials. Image Credit: RTA

  • 20 riders can sit on new Abra (water taxi)
  • It is powered by a 20KW electric motor.
  • It runs on 26 lead crystal batteries, with solar panels on top
  • It has a standby generator to recharge batteries when running low on power
  • New abra is fitted with automated firefighting system
  • The abra has ventilation and cooling system and USB ports for recharging cell phones. 
  • Emissions are 87 per cent lower than petrol-powered abras

Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has launched the test run of the first hybrid abra marking the addition of the hybrid marine transit means to RTA’s transport fleet.

The trail run of the hybrid abra will be conducted on the Al Seef-Al Ghubaiba line, one of the key marine transit lines linking four stations (Al Seef, Baniyas, Dubai Old Souq, and Al Ghubaiba). The fare will be Dh2 only for transiting between two stations.

The hybrid abra’s test run was by launched Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA. The hybrid abra preserves the authentic design and features of the traditional abra.

The hybrid abra
The hybrid abra preserves the authentic design and features of the traditional vessel. Image Credit: RTA

During a ride aboard the new abra, Al Tayer was briefed by Ahmad Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency about the features of the new abra, which has a capacity for 20 riders.

It is powered by a 20-kilowatt electric motor.

The hybrid abra is characterised by low carbon emissions, which are 87 per cent lower than petrol-powered abras, the RTA said.

It reduces fuel consumption by 172 per cent and therefore saves about 134 per cent of fuel cost. Its operational and maintenance costs are 83 per cent lower compared to any traditional abra and it reduces the noise level to a minimum.

Future plan

The trial run of the Hybrid Abra supports the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The step is in line with the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, Dubai Plan 2021, and the UAE Vision 2021. It is also compatible with RTA’s Master Plan for leveraging marine transport in Dubai which is used by 13 million riders per annum,” said Al Tayer.

“The Plan envisages the construction of 11 new marine transit stations in Dubai over the period of 2018-2020, thus raising the number to 58 marine transport stations in Dubai by 2020.

It also encompasses the manufacturing of 11 boats to bring the total number to 61 boats by 2020. New lines will be opened on Dubai Creek, Jumeirah Beach, new islands, and the Dubai Water Canal as well as the ferry service between Dubai and Sharjah.”