United Arab Emirates News

Dubai’s RTA Unveils Innovative 3D-Printed Abras, Merging Tradition with Technology

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai is embarking on an innovative project to manufacture 3D-printed abras, traditional boats widely used for transportation in the region. This initiative is part of the RTA’s efforts to harness technology while preserving the rich heritage of the area.

The key goal of introducing 3D-printed abras is to significantly reduce the production time from the current 6-7 months to just three weeks. This substantial reduction in turnaround time is expected to enhance efficiency and streamline the manufacturing process.

Moreover, the 3D-printed abras are designed to be eco-friendly and cost-effective. According to the RTA, the manufacturing cost is anticipated to decrease by approximately 30%. This cost reduction aligns with broader sustainability goals and contributes to the economic viability of the project.

One of the notable features of these electric-powered boats is their commitment to retaining the heritage identity of traditional abras. Despite the incorporation of modern technologies and 3D-printing techniques, the new abras aim to preserve the historical and cultural significance associated with these traditional watercraft.

A model of the 3D-abra is currently on display at the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and Dubai Solar Energy (DSS) show, emphasizing the RTA’s commitment to showcasing and promoting sustainable and innovative solutions.

Manufacturing for the 3D-abra is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2024. The boats will be constructed using fiber-reinforced thermoplastic made from recyclable organic fibers, aligning with environmental consciousness and responsible material use.

The 3D-abra itself is set to be 12 meters long, with a capacity to accommodate 20 passengers. This includes dedicated seats for people with disabilities, emphasizing inclusivity in public transportation.

In terms of performance, the 3D-abra is projected to have a speed range between 4 and 6 knots (approximately 7.4 to 11 km/h). The adoption of electric power further contributes to the eco-friendly aspect of these boats, aligning with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions in various sectors.

The RTA’s approach to merging tradition with technology is a strategic move to celebrate and preserve the historical significance of abras, which have been a symbol of Dubai’s history and heritage. These traditional boats have been a part of the city’s transportation system for centuries and hold cultural significance.

By incorporating modern manufacturing techniques like 3D printing and using advanced materials, the RTA aims to create a seamless blend of tradition and innovation. This project is not only a reflection of Dubai’s commitment to technological advancement but also a nod to the importance of preserving cultural heritage in the face of progress. The 3D-printed abras are anticipated to offer a safe, comfortable, and sustainable mode of transport, allowing commuters to experience a modernized yet culturally rich journey along the historic Dubai Creek.

In conclusion, the introduction of 3D-printed abras by the RTA is a multifaceted initiative that addresses efficiency, sustainability, inclusivity, and cultural preservation. As manufacturing commences in 2024, the project is poised to be a noteworthy addition to Dubai’s transportation landscape, offering a glimpse into the future of traditional modes of travel enhanced by cutting-edge technologies.

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