It’s A Boat, It’s A Car – It’s Dubai Customs Agents!

Open Jaw

Ships carrying hazardous and illegal substances can now be busted from a distance of 300 metres with the launch of a 1st-of-its-kind amphibious vehicle designed by Dubai Customs.


The solar-powered and environmentally friendly vehicle is being used by maritime Customs inspectors at Dubai Creek to speed up the process of inspections.


Looking like something out of a Disney movie, the vehicle is equipped with sophisticated inspection gadgets and the latest technologies to work both on land and in water.


Dubai officials say the amphibious vehicle can detect, scan, analyze and document any illegal materials found in ships docked at Dubai Creek, before sending the results to the main control room at Dubai Customs for follow-up.


“It’s the 1st amphibious laboratory in the world that can detect illegal and hazardous substances, such as drugs and radioactive materials smuggled in steamboats and wooden dhows, as it is has been equipped with advanced cameras that can send live videos and images to the main control room,” said Sami Eisa, the person behind the idea and manager of the intelligence department at Dubai Customs.


Eisa said the vehicle was needed to protect inspectors from several risks and dangers such as inhaling toxic fumes, being exposed to radioactive materials or getting bitten by snakes found on ships.


“Now the inspections can be done from a distance, without having to enter the ships and putting their lives at risk. It also speeds the entire inspection process and eases the overall trade,” he said. “Since it’s portable, we no longer require fixed inspection devices at each port, which cost around Dh1 million each. The amphibious car can be taken anywhere and can do the same job.”


Eisa said Dubai Customs is currently studying how many more of these amphibious vehicles they want to create, since it has already proved very successful.

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