Aquabus Aims for Dubai Contract

Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Waterbuses signed by Welshmen could soon be ferrying the population of Dubai around. Aquabus Water Transport Solutions of Cardiff is competing to win the contract to replace many of the 300 vessels that are currently in service. A delegation of the Dubai Road & Traffic Authority's marine division visited the Welsh capital last month. They met co-founder Roger Meredith and First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

The Aquabus team have been to Dubai twice this year to discuss the project. Aquabus was formed last year through the fusion of Cardiff Bay Cruises and Cardiff Baylink, specifically with the goal of winning the commission to design and construct waterbuses and water taxis for Dubai. Cardiff Baylink is already building a waterbus in Taffs Well for a soon-to-be-launched service in Cardiff Bay. Cardiff Bay Cruises operates a corporate hospitality vessel Seren-y-Bae; this is based on the hull of their planned 116-passenger waterbus design. A consortium of Welsh companies has been formed for this multi-million-pound venture, including naval architects, marine safety consultants and electronic systems specialists.

The Dubai delegation celebrated with a halal meal aboard the Seren-y-Bae, and visited the construction facilities. If it does win the contract, the boats will be manufactured in Dubai, reducing construction costs. Source: icWales

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