Dubai is set to launch aerial taxi services by 2026, aiming to significantly reduce travel time and urban traffic congestion.
On Sunday, February 11, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, all-electric aircraft company Joby Aviation and vertiport infrastructure provider Skyports Infrastructure signed an agreement to launch the service.
Following the agreement, Dubai will become the first city globally to introduce a commercial electric aerial taxi service and vertiport network.
The authority will manage air mobility services, with Joby granted exclusive six-year operation rights for air taxis in Dubai, the Dubai Media Office (DMO) reported.
Skyports has been granted exclusive rights to design, construct, and operate a network of vertiports, which serve as launch and landing areas for air taxis.
The initial network will consist of four vertiports situated near Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, and Dubai Marina.
The flight from the airport to Palm Jumeirah is predicted to take 10 minutes by air taxi, compared to 45 minutes by car.
The Joby Aviation S4 aircraft, with a top speed of 321kph, can accommodate a pilot and four passengers, with six propellers and four battery packs, allowing a maximum travel distance of 161km.
“The aerial taxi service offers a novel and efficient mobility option for Dubai’s residents and visitors, enabling fast, safe, and convenient travel to key city spots,” said Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA.
“The service is also set to enhance the integration with various public and individual mobility means such as taxis, e-scooters and bicycles, thereby facilitating seamless multimodal transportation, improving citywide connectivity, and ensuring a smooth travel experience for passengers.”