View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ride an Abra when You’re in Dubai

Riding an abra (motorized ferry) across the Dubai Creek is something you must do when you visit Dubai.

What is an Abra?
According to Wikipedia:
“An abra (Arabic: عبرة‎) is a traditional boat made of wood, used to transport people across Dubai Creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A medium-sized single-engine craft with a capacity of about 20 passengers, it is driven by a single operator from a sort of cockpit stepped in the center of the hull. The short platform around the cockpit, sheltered by a canopy, is where the passengers are seated, all facing outwards 10 on each side. The speed of the engine may be varied, while the steering system is basic: often a wooden rudder connected to the cockpit's mechanism by means of ropes and pulleys.”

“Abras used to be the primary means of transportation between the two sides of the creek before cars could cross it via the several bridges or the Al Shindagha Tunnel. It is now mostly used by tourists, common folk and nostalgics. Yet it remains an essential and frequently-used part of Dubai transportation, ferrying 15 to 20 million passengers annually, and only growing in popularity. It takes under 10 minutes to cross between Deira and the other side of the creek, Bur Dubai.”

Latest figures reveal that more than 1 million passengers cross the creek by abra every month.

There are many regular commuters who use this service but tourists enjoy the journey and get a different perspective of Dubai city from the water.

Details about routes and points of departure and arrival can be found at this link:

Motorized Abras Lift 9m Passengers in 6 Months, Dubai City Guide, 23 August 2009.

On Related Sites
Power Shortage in Fujairah Leaves Sparks Flying, Fujairah in Focus, 26 August 2009.

Harrison Ford Adds to the America’s Cup Drama, America’s Cup in the UAE, 23 August 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: Abra putting across Dubai Creek.