Jet skis, fishing boats not allowed on Dubai canal

Dubai: Jet skis, fishing boats, commercial dhows and a few other categories of vessels are banned from entering the newly opened Dubai Water Canal, Gulf News can confirm.

The banned boats, including towing vessels, passenger boats exceeding 35 metres in length as well as the traditional wooden dhows transporting cargo, are in for a fine of up to Dh5,000 if they enter the canal. Safety is cited as the primary reason for not allowing jet skis and some types of boats.

“The Dubai Water Canal is open for a wide range of vessels including private boats that don’t exceed the limit of 35 metres, including luxury yachts, but jet skis are not allowed because they are not safe for a water body like the canal,” said Mansour Al Falasi, director of Marine Transport at the Roads and Transport Authority.

Dubai Water Canal is up to six metres deep and has width ranging from 80 metres to 120 metres.

Amer Ali, executive director of Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the regulator of all marine activities in the Dubai also confirmed that entering Dubai Water Canal with jet skis will attract heavy penalties.

Ali said that the DMCA is watching the activities of the canal very closely in order to regulate the traffic and ensure safety of all.

Some of the boats that are allowed to navigate in the canal include pleasure boats, tourist vessels and public transport vessels.

“The traditional wooden dhows can operate in the canal if they are used for tourists, like the floating restaurants, but the cargo dhows are not allowed. Fishing and other commercial vehicles are also not permitted to enter the canal,” said Ali.

Navigation in the 12-kilometre waterway including the Business Bay canal is restricted to a maximum speed of seven knots, exceeding which can make you poorer by Dh2,000.

Hindering the movement of the RTA’s ferries and other boats in the water can also set you back by Dh2,000.

To penalise the violating vessels, Ali said the DMCA will apply the Executive Council Resolution No. (11) of 2013 concerning the Licensing of Vessels in the Emirate of Dubai.

The canal was opened for marine traffic on November 9 and since then, the RTA has been operating three scheduled ferry trips daily at 10am, 12 noon and 5.30pm. The RTA also operates chartered abras and water taxis between 10am and 10pm.

The Dh3.7-billion waterway connects the Arabian Gulf with the Dubai Creek flowing along Shindagha, Festival City, Ras Al Khor, Zabeel, Dubai Design District all the way to Business Bay, Al Safa and Jumeirah.

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