Dubai’s traditional abra goes green

The new Hybrid Abra, a solar- and battery-powered upgrade to the traditional wooden boat (File/WAM)
Updated 30 December 2018
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Dubai’s traditional abra goes green

  • Traditional Emirati boat receives a new green upgrade
  • The Hybrid Abra mixes solar and battery-powered energy

DUBAI: Dubai announced on Saturday the launch of the first “green” abra —a traditional Emirati wooden boat— that uses a combination of solar and battery powered energy.

The traditional wooden boat, usually petrol-powered, now has 26 batteries, with solar energy panels and a standby generator to recharge them, UAE news agency WAM reported.

The abra has the capacity for 20 passengers and is used by local residents as a means of transport to cross the creek. With the new upgrade, it now features a variety of modern necessities, such as USB ports for recharging cell phones.

The Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai conducted the first test run of hybrid abra and will continue to operate on a trial basis.

“The trial run of the Hybrid Abra supports the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative,” the Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, Mattar Al-Tayer said.

The price for a ride remains consistent at 0.52 USD (AED 2) to travel across the creek. 


‘French Spiderman’ climbs Paris skyscraper harness-free

Updated 35 min 9 sec ago
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‘French Spiderman’ climbs Paris skyscraper harness-free

  • Climb was done to help to raise funds for the renovation of Notre-Dame cathedral
  • Robert has climbed more than 100 structures including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Burj al Khalifa in Dubai

PARIS: Dubbed the “French Spiderman,” Alain Robert scaled a skyscraper in Paris on Friday without a harness to raise funds for the renovation of Notre-Dame cathedral.
Television images showed the 56-year-old using horizontal struts running up the Engie headquarters’ curved facade and a protruding structure going top-to-bottom of the 185-meter glass-fronted building in La Defense business district
Robert halted regularly to chalk his hands.
He was arrested shortly after completing the climb.
“Because there’s no money left in the government coffers, the cathedral is falling into disrepair,” he said ahead of the climb. His sponsors were writing a cheque of €5,000 ($5,650) to help finance the renovations, he added.
During the stunt, bystanders at the bottom pointed smartphones toward clear blue skies as wispy clouds raced overheard in blustery winds.
Robert has climbed more than 100 structures including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Burj al Khalifa in Dubai, as well as the same tower in Paris in 2016.
The Archbishop of Paris is on a drive to raise more than €100 million to save Notre-Dame’s crumbling gargoyles and gothic arches.