If you want a private boat trip to the destination of your choice, rather than a designated journey shared with others on the Ferry Dubai, then the Water Taxis will satisfy your needs. The taxis are 11 meters long and 4meters wide and conform to the maritime regulations, with all required safety equipment on board. The facility to accommodate wheelchairs, maintain privacy, safety and comfort is a high priority for the RTA. There are 5 of these boats in operation with the potential and capacity to increase these numbers, dependant on how popular and successful they are.
Dubai’s fleet of water taxis are reminiscent of being in an aeroplane, with the passenger seats similar to the ones on a business class flight, as well as having LCD screens and a fold down food tray to eat while on the move. The modern design looks like something you would see in the latest action films, such as James Bond. The taxis have the facility to provide you with the ultimate in comfort, as you travel across the water at speeds of up to 25 knots.
The RTA operates the taxi service from 18 stations in Dubai, between the hours of 10am and 10pm, at a set cost of Dhs400 (£67.00) per hour to the destination of your choice to end at the station of your choice. If you simply want set routes then one stop will cost Dhs50 (£8.50), whilst to travel the full length of the station route will cost you Dhs570 (£96.00). The chart below from the RTA website shows the designated stations, and shows how water transport continues to grow, with the gradual increase of taxi stations needed to accommodate the needs of the passengers, particularly holiday makers.
In 2009 the amount of marine transport commuters for all movements on the waters around Dubai reached 17m, so the need to satisfy demand is crucial, and with the new concepts continually being investigated to ease traffic congestion, any additional water transport is beneficial to the community, by keeping further traffic from the road network. Although the water taxis are primarily designed for tourists, it is hoped that by taking a lot of tourist traffic from the roads to the water, will ease the conditions for everyday commuters.
Unlike other forms of water transport, the water taxi’s are the only marine public transport vessels, that are able to navigate the waters of the Arabian Gulf. The other water faring transport such as the Abras and Waterbus are confined to the creek.
The RTA’s water taxi tariff and the taxi station locations.
Courtesy of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority.