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|August 10th, 2009, 09:45 PM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Likes (Received): 21
#PROJECT: ABU DHABI HIGH SPEED FERRY
High-speed ferry service for Abu Dhabi
High-speed ferry service for Abu Dhabi
Last Updated: August 08. 2009 12:21AM UAE / August 7. 2009 8:21PM GMT
Two of the FastCat ferries docked in North Vancouver that are on their way for service in the Middle East. Jonathan Hayward / AP Photo / The Canadian Press
A new high-speed ferry service from Abu Dhabi will be launched in the New Year.
The service’s destination will be announced after the conclusion of Ramadan in September, but likely routes include Doha, Bahrain or perhaps southern Iran.
The first details emerged last week with the sale of three ferries from a Canadian company to Abu Dhabi MAR, a yacht builder based in the capital.
The privately owned company is setting up a new division to operate the ferries once they have been refitted for use in the Gulf.
With a top speed of 68kph, the catamaran-style ships could reach several international destinations within a few hours.
The vessels can carry 1,000 passengers and up to 250 vehicles, depending on their size.
Details of the ferries’ route, along with fares and freight charges, are scheduled to be released in late September.
The first sailing is expected to take place in the New Year.
Several potential destinations could be profitable for Abu Dhabi MAR.
The Qatari capital would be around 4 hours 15 minutes sailing time from Abu Dhabi. A service to Qatar could prove an attractive alternative to the overland route, which can often involve long delays at the Ghweifat border with Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this year, a change in customs regulations by the Saudi authorities left lorries stranded for up to a week as they tried to cross from the UAE.
There have long been proposals for a causeway between Qatar and the UAE, but the projected Dh47.7 billion cost (US$13bn) would make a ferry alternative much more attractive.
Bahrain’s capital, Manama, would be around six hours away, and it would take around five hours to reach the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
As well as refurbishing the 122-metre ships, Abu Dhabi MAR will build a terminal in the port area, and recruit crew.
The ferries were originally ordered by the government of British Columbia to provide local services from Vancouver.
Politically controversial because of their US$421 million cost – almost double the original estimate – the ships flopped commercially and had been taken out of service by the time the third vessel was completed in 2000.
They were auctioned in 2003 for US$18m to the Washington Marine Group, which had previously offered to buy them for US$47m.
Details of the sale to Abu Dhabi MAR have not been released.
The ferries will be loaded on to massive ship-carriers and sailed 20,000km across the Pacific. The journey to Abu Dhabi will take about six weeks.
In Canada, the ferries’ twin-hull design and powerful engines created a massive wake that damaged both property and the environment in the shallow waters around Vancouver Island, which added to their unpopularity. Abu Dhabi MAR said it did not envisage similar problems in the Gulf, which is deeper.
In barely 18 months, Abu Dhabi MAR has grown from having just five employees on its books to a workforce of 750.
The company is better known for the construction of private yachts, with work well advanced on the conversion of a former Dutch navy frigate for a local client.
The 141-metre private yacht will reportedly be one of the fastest in the world.
The new owner hopes to moor it in the new Yas Marina in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.
That will be followed by a 135-metre superyacht, which was also converted from a Dutch frigate and purchased by another local customer.
Other projects under way include a 50-metre private dhow, built on a traditional wooden hull, and a 53-metre catamaran.
Last month, Abu Dhabi MAR announced that it had bought a controlling stake in the Nobiskrug Shipyard in Rendsburg, Germany.
The yard, which was founded in 1905, has built several super yachts, including the 74-metre vessel, Siren.
The company part owns the CMN Shipyard in Cherbourg, France, which builds commercial and military vessels, including Corvettes and fast patrol boats.
|November 7th, 2010, 09:23 AM||#4|
Join Date: Oct 2005
Likes (Received): 54
There was a similar project from Dubai and Doha and it went eventually into losses. But this time over I think it would work.
اللهم اعز الاسلام والمسلمين
|May 10th, 2011, 12:08 PM||#5|
UAE AD Specialist
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Abu Dhabi
Likes (Received): 9
I was just running by that location this afternoon and noticed all the construction fencing, and also there seemed to be some kind of ceremony taking place at the old Lulu Island Ferry Terminal today.
Last edited by cmajewsk; May 14th, 2011 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Update