Apart from the tall skyscrapers, luxury cars, and record-breaking feats, Dubai is also famous for its waterways. Dubai Ferry ride is a great way to enjoy these waterways. In the beginning, there was only a creek. But in the past two decades, there have been a few additions to this list. Dubai started the work of Dubai Marina in the early 2000s, which became the most wealthy neighborhood in Dubai within a few years. The latest and longest inland waterway in the emirate, the Dubai Water Canal, was opened in 2016.
The Water Canal has created a new opportunity for tourists to enjoy the attractions. Dubai water canal also cuts through the busiest financial district in Dubai — the Business Bay. The million-dollar bridge in the famous seven-lane highway in Dubai was a part of this canal. Dubai ferry makes the proper use of this opportunity by extending their route to the new canal, although it has existed even before the channel.
What is the Dubai Ferry service?
Dubai ferry is more of a tourist attraction like the dhows than a regular transport. The fact that its route encompasses all the scenic locations of Dubai and the comfort and facilities in the ferry is because of this. The ferry features a unique design and has shops and snack bars inside.
It was 2011 when the ferry first started service. Since then, it has expanded to newer routes and has improved features and facilities. The most notable addition was the recent opening of the Dubai water canal, which has added routes that provide beautiful views that haven’t been accessible from the water before. It is also easily the longest waterway in Dubai.
The main attraction of the ferry is that it goes along all the major tourist spots in Dubai like Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, Burj al Arab, Dubai water canal, Jaddaf, old Dubai, Ghubaiba, and recently, Sharjah as well. You can also choose to go to any of the two classes. The gold class gives you seating towards the front of the boat, where you can get a panoramic view through the large window. If you want a more open-air experience, you should go for the silver class. It gives you access to the upper deck of the ferry.
Large LCD screens onboard display exciting facts about the attractions you see along the way. There are restrooms for men and women. You can even get souvenirs from the onboard shops.
Dubai Ferry Routes
From Dubai Marina:
- To Ghubaiba through Dubai water canal stop
- Around the Palm Jumeirah to Burj al Arab and back
- To Atlantis, the palm resort and back
From Al Ghubaiba:
- To Dubai marina with a stop at Dubai water canal
- Through the creek to Dubai water canal station and back
- To Jumeirah beach and back
- To Sharjah aquarium marine station – The latest route added to the ferry service and the first-ever ferry service between two emirates.
From Dubai Canal station
- To Jaddaf
- T Al Ghubaiba
- To Dubai Marina
Dubai Sharjah Ferry Timings
Dubai Sharjah ferry has different timings for the weekends. On weekdays, you can catch a ferry ride from Al Ghubaiba or Sharjah Aquarium marina station every 30 minutes. On Fridays, the frequency becomes once every hour. But it reverts to 30 minutes intervals on Saturdays but with some changes in the first trip time and last trip time. The ride between Al Ghubaiba and Sharjah takes 35 minutes.
How to book Dubai Ferry
There is an online booking facility for the ferry. But unless you are a large group of people who want to travel together, you don’t have to book in advance. You can go with your NOL card and travel on the ferry as you would in any other public transport in Dubai.
Booking online is a better option if you are not using the NOL card. The line in front of the ticket kiosk can be quite long, especially on the weekends.
Dubai Ferry Stations
Currently, there are five ferry stations in operation in Dubai. They are:
- Dubai Marina
- Dubai Canal
- Sheikh Zayed road station
- Al Jaddaf
- Al Ghubaiba
If you consider the ferry station in Sharjah Aquarium marine station, that’ll be six.