Dubai Week

Traditional abras are going to connect Business Bay

abras Dubai Creek

Live or work in Business Bay? You could soon have a different – and very affordable – way to get about.

Dubai Properties and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) want to connect Business Bay with traditional abras. Costing just AED 1 per trip, the motorised wooden water taxis have been ferrying passengers across Dubai Creek for hundreds of years.

A free trial is already running between Al Wajeha Al Mayeh station, close to Bay Avenue, to Marasi Marina, the first fully-operational jetty at the Dubai Water Canal. It’s been mooted that two new abra stations could open along the Canallater in March, opposite the 157-berth Marina and Al Wajeha station.

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A survey sent out to resident and commuters asks when they’d be most likely to hop onboard, so it looks like the abras run between set times, rather than the 24 hours a day service between Deira and Bur Dubai.

Although you can already travel up and down the Canal by ferry and water taxi , the abra service would cost only AED 1 per trip (which you pay directly to the driver, in cash), making it the most affordable way to get around Business Bay (other than walking!).

So, why would you want to head there? Last year Business Bay was voted among the 10 of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods and a clutch of new places to hang out by travel guide Lonely Planet have opened there or are coming soon – including Doubletree by Hilton and Renaissance Downtown hotels, the Marasi Business Bay Promenade, which once complete will add 10-12km of waterfront promenade, five tree-lined marinas, plus homes, offices and restaurants to the ever-growing area.

Here are five things you can only do in Business Bay.


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