More and more people will be able to take advantage of marine transport services in Dubai, after plans to introduce 14 additional routes were unveiled.
The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has joined forces with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to ensure the city has enough water-based taxis and ferries to cater for rapidly growing demand.
Last year, more than 13 million people made use of the emirate's coastline transport options and this figure is expected to increase sharply in the coming years as Dubai's population continues to expand.
With so many new residential developments springing up on the outskirts of the sheikhdom, it is vitally important that people are able to travel across the city as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Executive director of DMCA Amer Ali said: "Our partnership with RTA is based on a common vision to streamline marine traffic flow and maintain the highest standards of maritime safety and integration among the different means of marine public transport in Dubai."
Meanwhile, chief executive officer of the RTA Public Transport Agency Dr Yousef Al Ali suggested that marine transport is important because it serves a multitude of residential and tourist areas, which explains why so many passengers used these routes last year.
"Marine public transport is increasingly being used by residents, nationals and tourists as it offers high levels of flexibility, convenience and cost-efficiency," he commented.
The RTA has put a great deal of work into extending the city's public transport network in the last few years and plans are in place to improve it further.
Last month, Emirates 24/7 reported that a temporary early morning service on the Dubai Metro was set to become a permanent fixture.
The train - which runs between Rashidiya and Jebel Ali from 05:30 local time - was first launched in October 2012 and it turned out to be more popular than the RTA was expecting, with up to 800 commuters using it on a daily basis.