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Dubai signs deal to launch air taxi services by 2026

The air taxi services will be available by 2026 throughout four key locations in Dubai.

Dubai signs deal to launch air taxi services by 2026
[Source photo: Dubai Media Office | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Dubai has been heavily investing in smart mobility that reduces traffic congestion, decreases travel time, and helps achieve net zero by 2050, with a key sector being aviation. 

Soon enough, the city will have air taxis dropping passengers from the Dubai International Airport to vertiports located in Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, and Dubai Marina.

The news comes as UK-based Skyports Infrastructure signed an agreement with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and all-electric aircraft company Joby Aviation to launch passenger air taxi services by 2026.

The agreement positions Dubai as the first city worldwide to have a commercial electric air taxi service, noted Skyports. 

“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.

A trip from the airport to Palm Jumeirah will take 10 minutes by air taxi, compared to the 45 minutes to one hour journey it takes by car.

Under the deal, 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. Similarly, Skyports is expected to operate the vertiports to provide take-off and landing infrastructure throughout the strategic 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.

In-depth tests have already been done across the four locations, said Skyports, adding that the architecture and design process has pivoted into phase one of development. 

The Innovation By Design Summit is in Doha on April 24. Attendance at the summit is by invitation only. Delegates can register here to receive their exclusive invite.

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