The wooden abra has been a feature on Dubai’s waterways for hundreds of years, ferrying people across from one side of Dubai Creek to the other. Originally the Dubai abra was steered and powered manually but the abras on the creek these days are motorised and carry passengers across in just a few minutes.
Abras are used both by tourists for a great view of the creek and perhaps a trip across to the gold soukh, and commuters using a cheap way to get to and from work every day.
There are currently 4 abra stations on the creek and 2 routes with over 100 abras ferrying passengers 20 at a time across the water. The trip is a cheap one at 1 dirham per person and you pay the fare to the abra driver after you get on the abra.
Some abra drivers are paid on a monthly salary basis or some keep the excess money that they collect over the cost of renting the abra from the owner. No tickets are issued for an abra journey. You can also hire an abra for yourself for an hour or more. This usually costs around 100 dirhams.
Dubai Abra Locations
Check out the route page for information on where you can catch a Dubai abra from and to and where the abra stations are located.
Often the abras are used by tourists for a cheap trip across the creek but there are also a lot of regular users of the abras who travel on them in their daily business. Although there have been other more up to date means of transport opened in Dubai in recent years, the abras have still retained their popularity, probably due to the low cost and the ease of use.
There is often speculation that the abras will eventually be replaced by things like the water taxi, bus and ferry but this looks unlikely in the short term as long as people keep using the abra service.
The abras have long running hours as they are frequently in demand and in use – they run from 5am until midnight for one route and 24 hours for another and it is also possible to charter an abra for 100 dirhams per hour if you would like exclusive use of a Dubai abra.
Abras have also been introduced at Dubai Festival City and Dubai Water Canal where they offer cruises to view the sights and also at Burj Khalifa, Madinat Jumeirah and Global Village where electric abras have been plying their trade for a few years. In addition you can take a tourist trip on an abra at Atlantis Hotel on the Palm or a trip around Al Mamzar lake. See the separate pages on these abra trips for more information.
Given the success of the electric abras it has been announced by the RTA that all motorised abras on Dubai Creek will be replaced by electric ones in due course to aid pollution levels.
It is not known exactly when this will be implemented but the RTA has strong targets on keeping up with the latest technology innovations in public transport, to ahve green modes of transport and to be seen to be ahead of the rest of the world, so it is likely to happen relatively soon.