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Dubai: RTA to manufacture 3D printed abras in 3 weeks – News

Photos: Ángel Tesorero/KT

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 6:27 p.m.

Last update: Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 11:26 p.m.

Leveraging technology while preserving rich heritage, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will manufacture 3D printed abras to significantly reduce production time by three weeks from the current lead time of 6 to 7 months.

The electric-powered eco-boat will not only be cheaper (the manufacturing cost is expected to be reduced by 30 percent), but will also retain the heritage identity of traditional abras, according to RTA.

A model of the 3D-abra is currently on display at the three-day Water, Energy, Technology and Environment (WETEX) and Dubai Solar Energy (DSS) exhibition that opened in Dubai on Wednesday.

Manufacturing is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024, using fiber-reinforced thermoplastic made from recyclable organic fibers.

The 3D-abra will be 12 meters long and will have the capacity to accommodate 20 passengers, including dedicated seats for determined people. Its speed is expected to be between 4 and 6 knots (7.4 and 11 kilometers per hour).

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Fusing tradition with technology

Abra comes from the Arabic word “abara” which means “to cross.” For centuries, the abras has remained one of the most frequented modes of transportation in Dubai, making it a symbol of the city’s history and heritage.

By making 3D printed abras, RTA says they are fusing tradition with technology. The modern port will be equipped with the latest technologies to ensure a safe and comfortable cruise, while travelers will be able to sit back and ride along the historic Dubai Creek.

Abra is also the best means of transport to discover the Al Fahidi area and its historic district, souks, mosques and museums.

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