His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, approved models of aerial taxi vertiports developed by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The models were displayed at the Authority’s stand at the World Government Summit 2023. His Highness was briefed about potential partners identified by the RTA to operate and invest in the infrastructure required to bring the aerial taxi project to fruition.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Government Summit (WGS) Organisation; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Managing Director of the WGS Organisation.
His Highness was also briefed by Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, on the latest updates to the aerial taxi operations project.
The project aims to roll out a new mobility service driven by pioneering technology to ease the mobility of individuals across urban areas in a safe, smooth and sustainable manner integrated with the public transport network in Dubai. The service is set to be operational by 2026.
Al Tayer said: “The initial phase encompasses choosing both manufacturers and operators based on their technology and timeline, as well as determining the sites for vertiport installations.
“The initial network of vertiports will connect four main areas of Dubai: Downtown Dubai (Burj Khalifa area), Dubai Marina, Dubai International Airport and Palm Jumeirah.
“Vertiports embody a revolutionary form of infrastructure that encompasses a range of facilities such as designated take-off and landing zones, a passenger waiting area, security protocols, and electric charging stations.
“These stations seamlessly integrate with other modes of transportation. The next step involves identifying exceptional investors who are experts in building the necessary infrastructure for the air mobility industry.
Sheikh Mohammed approved the prototype design of the first aerial taxi vertiport to be located near the Dubai International Airport, which will be seamlessly integrated with various modes of mass transportation.
The vertiport comprises a structure that features two levels for car parking. The topmost roof serves as the terminal for aerial taxis, which will be connected to the Emirates Metro Station via an air-conditioned bridge.
The vertiport boasts a contemporary design that complements the general appearance and charm of Dubai. A distinct and enjoyable mode of transportation will be offered to users, featuring air-conditioned facilities that have been crafted to meet top international safety standards for maximum convenience.
The vertiport comprises four stands for aerial taxis and two landing areas, optimising its operational efficiency and maximising the utilisation of the station.
Al Tayer further explained: “The operation comprises four crucial elements. They include detailed negotiation with a multitude of companies active in this field, signing of commercial agreements, establishment of local entities to execute relevant business endeavours, development of the necessary infrastructure and the highly anticipated roll-out of the service.
“The second stage involves identifying a potential partner for investing in the infrastructure needed to introduce autonomous aerial taxis to Dubai’s skies. At present, commercial negotiations are in progress with the most promising and specialised investors globally in the realm of air mobility to construct the requisite infrastructure.”
Aerial taxis possess the unique capability of vertical takeoff and landing and are sustainable, eco-friendly vehicles powered by electricity, emitting zero harmful pollutants to the environment.
The taxis are also recognised for their safety, comfort, and speed, featuring the latest technological advancements in the field from around the world. With a range of 241.4 kilometres and a top speed of 300 kilometres per hour, the aerial taxi can accommodate up to four passengers plus a driver. “The RTA’s aerial taxi initiative aligns with the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy, aimed at transforming 25 percent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys by 2030,” concluded Al Tayer.