Sheikh Mohammed approves models of aerial taxi vertiports
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Sheikh Mohammed approves design for ‘flying taxi’ vertiports

Sheikh Mohammed approves design for ‘flying taxi’ vertiports

The initial network of vertiports will connect four main areas of Dubai: Downtown Dubai (Burj Khalifa area), Dubai Marina, Dubai International Airport and Palm Jumeirah

aerial taxi vertiports prototype approved by Sheikh Mohammed. Sheikh Mohammed at the RTA stand at WGS

Dubai is one step closer to welcoming “flying taxis” by 2026.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the prototype design of aerial taxi vertiports developed by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The models are on display at RTA’s stand at the World Government Summit 2023.

During his visit to the stand, Sheikh Mohammed was briefed about potential partners identified by the RTA to operate and invest in the infrastructure required to complete the aerial taxi project successfully. The briefing was led by Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.

Four locations for aerial taxi vertiports identified

“The initial phase encompasses choosing both manufacturers and operators based on their technology and timeline, as well as determining the sites for vertiport installations. The initial network of vertiports will connect four main areas of Dubai: Downtown Dubai (Burj Khalifa area), Dubai Marina, Dubai International Airport and Palm Jumeirah,” said Al Tayer.

“Vertiports embody a revolutionary form of infrastructure that encompasses a range of facilities such as designated take-off and landing zones, a passenger waiting area, security protocols, and electric charging stations. These stations seamlessly integrate with other modes of transportation. The next step involves identifying exceptional investors who are experts in building the necessary infrastructure for the air mobility industry,” he added.

Prototype designs

Sheikh Mohammed approved the prototype design of the first aerial taxi vertiport to be located near the Dubai International Airport, which will be seamlessly integrated with various modes of mass transportation. The vertiport comprises a structure that features two levels for car parking. The topmost roof serves as the terminal for aerial taxis, which will be connected to the Emirates Metro Station via an air-conditioned bridge.


The vertiport comprises four stands for aerial taxis and two landing areas.

Al Tayer explained: “The operation comprises four crucial elements. They include detailed negotiation with a multitude of companies active in this field, signing of commercial agreements, establishment of local entities to execute relevant business endeavours, development of the necessary infrastructure and the highly anticipated roll-out of the service.

“The second stage involves identifying a potential partner for investing in the infrastructure needed to introduce autonomous aerial taxis to Dubai’s skies. At present, commercial negotiations are in progress with the most promising and specialised investors globally in the realm of air mobility to construct the requisite infrastructure.

“The launch of the service hinges upon the preparedness of the companies and the legislative requirements for operating aerial taxis. This also involves a thorough examination of all operational details and ensuring that all safety and security measures are in place.”

Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy

The RTA’s aerial taxi initiative aligns with the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy, aimed at transforming 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys by 2030. The RTA is working closely with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, General Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Air Navigation Services to create a one-of-a-kind comprehensive framework for the operation of such vehicles in Dubai.

Aerial taxis, which can take off and land vertically, are sustainable, eco-friendly vehicles powered by electricity.

With a range of 241.4 kilometres and a top speed of 300 kilometres per hour, the aerial taxi can accommodate up to four passengers plus a driver.

RTA first showcased its autonomous aerial taxi at the World Government Summit in 2017. Also in the same year, the trial run was initiated for the first test flight of an air taxi capable of carrying two passengers.

Watch: Dubai conducts first test flight of self-flying taxi


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