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Thu 8 Dec 2016 06:01 PM

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Dubai Water Canal to 'transform boating industry in the UAE'

Gulf Craft CEO says 3.2km long waterway is major boon to leisure boating; calls for park and ride scheme to improve access

Dubai Water Canal to 'transform boating industry in the UAE'
(Image: Dubai Media Office)

The newly-opened Dubai Water Canal project will change how boating is perceived in the UAE, according to the boss of a UAE-based superyacht builder.

Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft, said Dubai’s latest waterfront development will give yacht enthusiasts an opportunity to enjoy “protective waterway cruising”, allowing them to sail through the heart of Dubai.

“The Dubai Canal will enable existing and aspiring yacht owners to experience the yachting lifestyle without having to venture out into the open seas, eliminating the barrier often associated with fear of navigation and seasickness,” said Bamps.

“This project is essentially changing the landscape of boating in the UAE, creating a waterway in the centre of new communities, similar to other cruising sanctuaries found in modern cities around the world, such as the beautiful waterways adjoining the Sydney Harbour.”

The project is promised to become a yachting destination and tourist attraction in its own right, added Bamps.

However, he said seamless access to and from the canal is crucial to realising this potential.

“A park and ride concept, similar to that of hop-on, hop-off buses, except on water, will help create memorable experiences not only at various drop-off points along the canal, but also while traveling up and down the waterway,” said Bamps.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recently opened more than 1,600 parking spots under the Sheikh Zayed Road bridge, in the Business Bay and Safa areas, allowing visitors to park their car on either side of the canal.

With a width ranging from 80-120 metres, the 3.2km long Dubai Canal allows boats up to 32 metres in length and 8.5 metres in height to pass through its waterways at a maximum speed of 7 knots.

Dubai Water Canal, which was opened last month, is expected to attract more than 30 million visitors per annum, according to the RTA.

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