The Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced that air taxis will start operating in Dubai by 2026.
The UAE premier also approved the designs of four aerial taxi “vertiports”, one of which will be located near Dubai International Airport. The air taxi fare would be initially high but could be in the range of an Uber eventually, media reports stated.
Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement on Twitter, where he revealed that he had approved designs for air taxi stations at the World Government Summit in Dubai this week. A video with the tweet said, “RTA has been working with advanced air mobility companies Skyports Infrastructure and Joby Aviation to design and develop the infrastructure for an expected launch of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) operations by 2026.”
The video also said that Dubai is set to become the world’s first city with a fully developed network of vertiports. The initial launch will connect four main areas, near Dubai International Airport, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina. Safe and efficient aircraft — each with a pilot and four passengers, 241 km range and a 300 kph top speed — will offer passengers a “smooth end-to-end passenger journey” with zero operating emissions, it added.