The future is here: Aerial taxis to take off in Dubai by 2026
There are a number of huge transportation systems coming to the UAE, from Etihad Rail to driverless taxis, electric abras and flying taxis. If you thought this would be something that would come to life decades from now, think again because aerial taxis will take flight in Dubai as soon as 2026.
On February 11, 2023, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, together with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai witnessed the agreement signing to launch the service.
Joby Aviation (Joby), the world leader in aerial taxi development, and Skyports Infrastructure, the leading vertiport infrastructure provider for the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry will undertake the initiative which will integrate with Dubai’s public transport network.
The initial phase…
According to His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the initial phase will be launched at four prime locations: near Dubai International Airport, the Downtown area, Dubai Marina, and Palm Jumeirah.
Al Tayer stated that the ‘vertiports will stand out for their innovative design, featuring take-off and landing zones, dedicated spaces for passengers and security checks, electric charging stations, and integration with public transport systems’ such as taxis, e-scooters and bicycles, thus improving citywide connectivity and ensuring a smooth travel experience for passengers.
According to the Dubai Media Office, the aerial taxis are designed to accommodate four passengers plus the pilot safely and securely.
The aerial taxis will be able to cover a maximum distance of 161km and can travel to a top speed of 321km per hour. Al Tayer stated that a flight from Dubai International Airport to Palm Jumeirah is expected to take just 10 minutes – which is usually a 45 minute drive by car.
As for the the vertiport’s design, it will be modern to blend in with Dubai’s iconic landscape. It will showcase air-conditioned amenities and will be built to the highest international safety standards.
His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Civil Aviation Authority stated that all partners involved in the projects will build the infrastructure in accordance with the highest global standards to enable the future of advanced air mobility.
He noted it was ‘essential to ensure that all necessary preparations are made to safely and seamlessly operate vertical ports within cities, in coordination with existing airspace users.’
The sustainability factor
Worried about what this will mean for the environment? Aerial taxis, as per the RTA will be less noisy compared to helicopters and will have a low noise footprint and zero operating emissions.
Stay tuned as we learn more…
Images: Dubai Media Office