If you need to describe Dubai in a few words, they will be none other than luxury, flamboyance and extravaganza. Dubai is a futuristic metropolitan and also a city of skyscrapers, pristine beaches and sea ports and sun-kissed deserts. Moreover, it is one of the top shopping and tourist destinations, where life never ceases. It brings along endless attractions, activities and opportunities to keep everyone spellbound. It also offers countless investment options including promising Dubai real estate and lucrative business opportunities.
A high influx of job-seekers and entrepreneurs has been recorded over years and in 2021, a record number of millionaires also relocated to Dubai. The robust demand conduces the launch of luxury projects in Dubai on a regular basis, just to meet high demand from local and international wealthy investors and expatriates.
Dubai – A futuristic city
Dubai is the best place to live, work, invest and visit in 2023 and the reasons can be many including the gold-standard living it offers to the residents. Dubai is known for its lucrative real estate market and is home to numerous architectural marvels and the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa. However, this time Dubai’s skyline is not going to be changed with any new skyscraper but with the view of flying taxis.
Flying taxis’ plan relaunched
Business Bay, JVC and Dubai Marina are set to drive the Dubai property market but relaunching the flying taxis project will add more charm to the luxury living in this city. The stakeholders have been working on the flying taxis venture since 2017 but it was put on hold. However, this week, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the relaunch of this programme through his Twitter handle.
He also mentioned that Dubai is renewing its commitment to the flying taxi programme, which will be completed by 2026. It is worth mentioning that:
- The flying taxi programme will start its operations within three years time.
- Sheikh Mohammed has also approved the designs of new air taxi stations across the city.
- A promotional video was also tweeted out by the ruler.
- The aircraft is expected to carry four passengers and one pilot.
- These air taxis can go up to 300 kilometres per hour at top speed.
- The taxis can be used between vertiports only.
- The air taxis’ vertical take-offs and landings will be with zero operating emissions.
Several companies were previously considered and exhibited in Dubai but officials did not provide a reason for why Joby Aviation was included instead of the Chinese-made EHang 184 and XPeng X2 or the German-made electric Volocopter.
Who’s behind the venture?
According to a promotional video, the current design of the flying taxi comprises a six-rotor body designed by Joby Aviation, a company headquartered in Santa Cruz, California. The US aviation company also highlighted the innovative technology to be used for this project through a tweet.
According to Joby Aviation’s tweet, “Dubai is a high-growth, high-innovation economy. We were honoured to present Joby to @HHShkMohd today and discuss what aerial ridesharing can do for Dubai.”
Where will be the air taxi stations?
Another step that has hyped up this project is that officials have notified the places to set up air taxi stations in the city. Initially, there will be four air taxi stations called “vertiports” located near:
- Palm Jumeirah
- Dubai Marina
- Downtown Dubai
- Dubai International Airport
Besides that, four air taxi charging stations and two launch pads will also be located at these spots.
What are vertiports?
Vertiports are air taxi stations, which are being designed and developed by Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA).
These vertiports will encompass a range of facilities including fixed take-off and landing zones, a passenger waiting area, security protocols, and electric charging stations. The authority has been designing these stations to be seamlessly integrated with other modes of transportation. For instance, the vertiport near Dubai International Airport will be connected to the Metro Station as well. It will make Dubai the first city in the world with a fully developed network of vertiports.
RTA in action
Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) stated that it has been working with the leading advanced air mobility companies including Skyports Infrastructure and Joby Aviation.
“We believe those are attractive areas with business hubs and tourist hubs that could generate considerable demand,” Ahmed Bahrozyan, an official in the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said.
The pricing for the flying taxis will be in the range of a limousine service in Dubai, or maybe slightly higher”, Bahrozyan stated further. The RTA describes limo services rates are at least 30 per cent higher than regular taxi fares in Dubai.
The RTA’s decision to first use piloted flying taxis rather than autonomous ones is another departure from earlier plans. As per Bahrozyan, the pilot would have seats for passengers, just as in Joby’s electric flying taxi. The use of autonomous flying taxis would also be tested, according to Bahrozyan.
What do people say?
Opening the skies to flying taxis would be a great initiative and has already garnered positive responses from Dubai residents. Seeing flying taxis in Dubai will be a huge advantage for people, who experience the grind of daily traffic on all major arteries in Dubai, which is also only worsening as its population booms to over 3.5 million people.