Dubai, already renowned for its futuristic skyline and ambitious projects, is set to make history once again as it plans to launch a commercial, citywide electric air taxi service by 2026.
In a groundbreaking move, agreements were signed on Sunday with Joby Aviation and Skyports Infrastructure, positioning Dubai as the first city in the world to implement such a service on a commercial scale. With the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority spearheading the initiative, the emirate aims to alleviate its growing traffic congestion by taking to the skies.
Exclusive Rights and Local Integration:
The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority inked a significant agreement providing US-based Joby Aviation with the exclusive right to operate air taxis in the emirate for a six-year period.
Joby Aviation has demonstrated its commitment to local integration by establishing a local operating group in Dubai to support the development of its operations. Furthermore, the company plans to recruit locally for the majority of its operational team, fostering a sense of community engagement.
Skyports Infrastructure, a UK-based firm, has been granted exclusive rights to design, construct and operate a network of vertiports – specialised launch and landing areas for the air taxis. The detailed studies for the vertiports have been completed and the architectural design for the first phase of development is already underway.
Efficiency and Connectivity of Dubai's Flying Taxis:
With traffic volumes steadily increasing each year, the introduction of Dubai's flying taxis is seen as an efficient and cost-effective solution to address transportation challenges. The ambitious project aims to connect key locations in the city, reducing travel times significantly. For example, a journey from Dubai International Airport to The Palm Jumeirah, which typically takes 45 minutes by car, is projected to be reduced to a mere 10 minutes via air taxi.
Take a look at the flying taxis, showcased at the Dubai Airshow in the video below:
Strategic Vertiport Locations:
The first phase of development will see flights operating from four strategically chosen vertiport locations: Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, and Dubai Marina. Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of the Public Transport Agency, explained that these sites were selected due to their high population density and status as popular tourist attractions. This strategic placement ensures that the air taxi service caters to both residents and visitors alike.