Journey from Dubai Airport to Palm Jumeirah is expected to be cut from 45 minutes to 10 minutes
Dubai will soon have air taxis in the city that are expected to reduce travel time significantly, as the emirate seeks to reduce urban traffic congestion.
UK-based Skyports Infrastructure has signed an agreement with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority and all-electric aircraft company Joby Aviation to launch passenger air taxi services in the emirate by 2026.
With the agreement, Dubai will become the first location in the world with a commercial,citywide electric air taxi service, Skyports said on Sunday.
Flights between Skyports’ vertiports are expected to reduce journey times significantly, the company said.
The initial network will include four vertiports located by Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina.
A journey from the airport to Palm Jumeirah is expected to take 10 minutes by air taxi, compared with the 45 minutes it takes by car.
“The Dubai air taxi initiative is part of RTA’s efforts to embrace future transportation technologies and enable fast, safe, and convenient travel to key city spots,” said Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the RTA.
The RTA will regulate advanced air mobility services, while Joby Aviation will manufacture and operate electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxis in the emirate.
Skyports will operate the vertiports to provide take-off and landing infrastructure in key Dubai locations.
“Today marks a significant step towards the launch of commercial air taxi services in Dubai. The industry has never been closer to making it a reality,” said Duncan Walker, founder and chief executive of Skyports.
“The strategic positioning of our vertiports in key locations across Dubai will enhance connectivity and provide a faster travel option for residents and visitors.”
Dubai has been investing in road infrastructure and new modes of transport to reduce traffic congestion, which costs the emirate billions of dirhams in lost working hours every year.
Skyports on Sunday said that detailed studies had been completed at the four locations and that architectural design had started for the first phase of development.
The vertiport certification and approval process has begun with the General Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Air Navigation Services, and other critical government stakeholders, the company said.
“We’re looking forward to delivering an incredible experience for residents and visitors to Dubai as early as 2025 and we’re excited to be laying the groundwork for the expansion of our service across the wider UAE,” said JoeBen Bevirt, chief executive and founder of Joby Aviation.
Consultancy McKinsey predicts the global electric aircraft market will be worth around $17.8 billion by 2028, with demand for all-electric vehicles set to grow sixfold by 2030 with about 40 million units sold a year.