Will go you for a ride on a JetPad?
A UAE-based company takes personal watercraft to the next level. And no, the owners say it’s not another version of Jet Ski.
March 5, 2012 5:06 by Precious de Leon
JetPad is the newest personal watercraft brand to hit any shores around the world—and it’s poised to blow its competitors out of the water.
But will it succeed? Considering that JetSkis are technically banned in the UAE, there’s a gap that needs to be filled—although have been numerous occasions where I’ve seen JetSkis being used along the UAE’s 800km coastline. In any case, we won’t really know for sure until it officially launches in the Dubai International Boat Show, which will be held from March 13-17.
Manufactured right here in the UAE, the JetPad is developed by a company of the same name, in collaboration with a Europe-based design company. It took about 18 months of development and the first orders are scheduled to be delivered by May.
What’s so special about the JetPad, you may ask. Well, here are a few things:
- weighs 70kg—about 3x lighter than a Jet Ski
- has a runtime of 60 minutes
- a 30-minute power charging time
- runs on lithium battery, which means zero emissions and noise-free
- Geo-fencing feature (This means the device can only operate in an allowed or pre-determined patch or zone of water. If the device ventures out of the zone, the machine will start to slow down until the driver veers back into the proper zone—swimmers will be glad of this feature!)
- It’s got a Take Me Home button, so if you’ve ventured out farther than you expected, then the vehicle will turn back to its designated shoreline for you
If you are thinking about why the price hasn’t been mentioned at all, it’s because the company hasn’t revealed final price ranges just yet. Although when pressed repeatedly during the conference, Chairman Alexander Schellnast quoted that it was in a similar price range of some of the top-of-the-line Jet Ski products—which would be around 70,000AED, we’re told.
In the future, the product will extend its e-commerce distribution, which the company reports will feature more options to customise each individual vehicle. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The product is being introduced to hoteliers and tourism groups first, particularly because each device will have to be plugged in to recharge after an hour’s use. But the company is working on developing the JetPad for individual consumption. Geographically speaking, the company will test the market in the UAE first before rolling out in the GCC and then globally.
Here’s a few more of the Jet Pad: