Abu Dhabi Maritime, the custodian of all of Abu Dhabi’s waterways and marine ecosystems, has assumed responsibility for all ferry services operating within Abu Dhabi’s waterways.

Operating under the AD Ports Group, with guidance from the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), the organisation is integrating the Ferry Operations Branch of the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) under the scope of its services. The move will see Abu Dhabi Maritime manage and oversee the daily operation of the Emirate’s two major ferry lines — the Dalma Island Water Transport Service, which connects Dalma Island and Jebel Dhanna Port, and the Al Aliah Island Water Transport Service, which connects Al Aliah Island and Al Saadiyat Island. The transition is in-line with Abu Dhabi Maritime’s mandate to position Abu Dhabi as a top global maritime centre through development of user-friendly regulation, advanced infrastructure, and world-class services.

As part of its new responsibilities, the organisation will also drive the development of several key business areas associated with ferry operations. This includes the creation of new infrastructure such as ferry stations, acquisition of vessels, enhancement of staff capabilities, fostering third-party contractor relationships, as well as leading the digitalisation of Abu Dhabi’s ferry services.

H.E. Hamad Al-Mutawa, Executive Director of Planning and Infrastructure Sector at DMT, said: “The integration is part of DMT’s long-term plan to deliver our leadership’s vision to establish our emirate as a top global maritime centre with streamlined ultra-modern services and infrastructure of the highest standards.

H.E. added: “The move will also support developing the maritime transport infrastructure further to serve the growing number of ferry users and will ensure a smoother experience for all commuters. This will also provide a sustained push to attract more tourists, support the economic development and give residents and tourists alike a safe, comfortable and reliable travel option in the Emirate.”

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO of AD Ports Group, said: “Consolidating ferry operations under a single entity that is focused solely on growing Abu Dhabi’s maritime sector, will help achieve our government’s vision of positioning our Emirate as a global maritime hub.

“Offering a world-class ferry service for vehicle and passenger traffic is a hallmark of a well-developed maritime capital, and the transition will help enhance the sector’s contribution to Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP by enhancing user experience and further attracting the local and global community to explore all that our maritime domain has to offer.”

Capt. Saif Al Mheiri, Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Maritime, AD Ports Group, said: “The transfer of all ferry services under the jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Maritime marks yet another critical step in our organisation’s efforts to consolidate all related water transport services under a single umbrella.

“We will support and oversee the ferry services’ daily operations and the future expansion of their activities, in-line with the overall growth of our maritime sector. Our userbase and the broader maritime community can rest assured that the transition is seamless and allows us to work together to pursue further service enhancements and drive the ferry network expansion.”

In addition to optimising operations and realising new levels of efficiency across all ferry-related activities, Abu Dhabi Maritime aims to further enrich the user experience through innovation and digitalisation. Part of this will include the adoption of an online digital ticketing solution, along with the integration with other related water services.

Since its inception in 2020, the organisation has committed its efforts to support Abu Dhabi’s transformation into a leading global maritime capital through fostering a regulatory environment built on industry-leading practices, as well as driving the development of ultra-modern infrastructure and world-class services.