Another day, another innovation to the capital’s transport sector…

Tech and transport have converged yet again to push boundaries in Abu Dhabi, as American sea glider manufacturer Regent has just signed a partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) on the sidelines of DriftX.

This means Regent will support and attract investment for the technology’s development and manufacturing at Masdar City’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry (SAVI) cluster. Interestingly, their fully-electric sea gliders could soon feature in the UAE’s transport network, getting you from the Abu Dhabi mainland to popular destinations including Sir Bani Yas Island and Delma Island.

There’s also a strong possibility Abu Dhabi could be involved in the manufacturing of Regent’s sea gliders by 2030, to help meet demand in the Middle East, Europe and surrounding regions.

Regent is currently in the process of developing its passenger craft, Viceroy, which uses wing-in-ground effect to travel at speeds of close to 300 km/h within a wingspan of the water’s surface using existing battery technology, more than halving travel times between coastal points. Once advancements are made to the existing battery technology, routes could be serviced at dizzying speeds of up to 800 km/h.

The manufacturer is now building a full-scale 20-metre wingspan model capable of carrying a dozen passengers, with testing in progress before it goes into full production in the US next year. Their line-up of sustainable maritime vehicles also includes the larger 100-passenger capacity Monarch.

What else can you look forward to?

If you’ve been following, you’d have noticed that fast, sustainable transport solutions are quickly gaining momentum in Abu Dhabi and in the UAE.

Archer Aviation, who recently revealed that the UAE could have flying taxis servicing its residents and visitors from as early as next year, have joined hands with Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation to develop a network of vertiports in the capital and in Dubai, for an exciting launch planned for next year.

The project is well on its way to fruition, with the UAE’s pioneering vertiport successfully conducting vertical take-off and landing at the Yas Marina Circuit as part of DriftX.