Due to its geographical location on the edge of the Persian Golf, Dubai is also crossed by several (man-made) waterways: the Creek, the Marina and more recently the Dubai Water Canal.
These different waterways are most often used by the services of the Roads and Transport Authority and tourist operators which offer crossings using abras, cruises aboard dhows, magnificent ferries or very powerful yachts.
Among these different options, one of the most economical means is to take a cruise aboard the ferries managed by the Roads and Transport Authority: Dubai Ferry.
About the Dubai Ferry
With the development of public transport in Dubai and the establishment of the Dubai metro, the Tram and the expansion of the Bus network, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) naturally also wished to exploit the maritime transport network by establishing a sea shuttle service. In 2011 that the Dubai ferry began to operate.
Today, the Roads and Transport Authority has a fleet of nine ferries with a boarding capacity of 100 passengers that navigate the various waterways of Dubai: The Creek, the Dubai Marina, the Dubai and part of the Persian Gold.
The different classes of the Dubai Ferry
As with the Metro and Tram, the Dubai Ferry also offers two types of tickets: A Gold Class ticket and a Silver Class ticket.
With a Gold Class ticket you have access to the slightly more luxurious seats located at the front of the ferry and if you have a Silver Class ticket you only have access to the standard class as well as the outer deck at the back.
The boats, which are mostly covered and air-conditioned, do not have an upper deck but still have an outside deck at the back of the ferry which allows you to have a spectacular view of the Dubai skyline but also to enjoy the sea and sun.
Dubai Ferry route map
Here is a map of Dubai’s waterways as well as the different routes that RTA ferries travel.
Passing close to Dubai’s sights and tourist attractions, Dubai ferry services serve eight terminals on five different routes.
- Route 1 or FR1 on the map: Al Ghubaiba ferry terminal – Dubai Water Canal station – Dubai Marina Mall station and vice versa
- Route 2 or FR3 on the map: Al Ghubaiba Ferry Station – Floating Bridge – Hyatt Regency Hotel – Al Ghubaiba Ferry Station
- Route 3 or FR3 on the map: Al Ghubaiba Ferry Station – Jumeirah Beach – Al Ghubaiba Ferry Station
- Route 4 or FR4 on the map: Dubai Marina Mall Station – Palm Jumeirah – Atlantis the Palm – Dubaï Marina Mall Station
- Route 5 or FR4 on the map: Dubai Marina Mall Station – Palm Jumeirah – Atlantis the Palm – Dubai Marina Mall Station
- Route 6 or FR5 on the map: New route from Dubai Al Ghubaiba ferry station to Sharjah aquarium sea station
Roads and Transport Authority ferries currently serve AL Ghubaiba, Marina Mall, Jaddaf, Water Canal, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Wajeha Al Maeyah, Marasi and Dubai Design District stations.
The most touristic routes
Among the five routes that the Dubai ferry crisscrosses, the most touristic routes are the FR1 and FR4 routes which pass through the most beautiful sites and monuments of Dubai such as the skyscrapers of Dubai Marina, the famous Burj al Arab and the Palm Jumeirah, in front of the Atlantis The Palm hotel.
Where to buy tickets?
Tickets can be purchased directly on site at the ticket offices of the various ferry stations; Depending on your itinerary, rides will be charged from AED 68 for an adult in standard class and AED 52 for a child aged 5 to 12 in standard class.
Dubai ferry service schedules
Currently, the Dubai ferry operates every day but on fixed schedules, for some lines; these times are nevertheless likely to vary during the high season.
- Route 1: Hours: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm | Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes
- Route 2: Timetable: 3:00 p.m. | Duration: 1 hour – round trip
- Route 3: Timetable: 5:00 p.m. | Duration: 1 hour – round trip
- Route 4: Timetable: 3:00 p.m. | Duration: 1 hour – round trip
- Route 5: Timetable: 5:00 p.m. | Duration: 1 hour – round trip
- Route 6: Special timetables for the journey to the emirate of Sharjah
Note also that it is still necessary to reach a minimum of 10 passengers on board before the ferry can take off.