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Hyperloop One to hire dozens of UAE staff

Hyperloop One to hire dozens of UAE staff

The plans follow cooperation deals with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority and DP World last year

High speed transportation startup Hyperloop One is planning to hire dozens of staff in the UAE under plans to double its headcount this year.

Speaking on stage at Middle East Rail, the firm’s CEO Rob Lloyd said the company would increase from 250 staff today to 500 by the end of the year.

Of these, “probably dozens and dozens will be based in the UAE” he said.

“We’re in the process right now of finalising an entity here, but we’re seeing interest in the Gulf region,” he said.

Read: Hyperloop One to move its HQ to Dubai

Lloyd added the company was significantly expanding its resources in engineering and working with partners and customers.

“We see a significant part of that work happening in the emirates,” he said.

Hyperloop One is one of several firms competing to introduce the world’s first operational hyperloop system, a technology proposed by entrepreneur Elon Musk that involves sending passenger and cargo pods through tubes at speeds of up to 670mph.

Last year, it signed an agreement with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority to conduct a feasibility study into a potential hyperloop system linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

<Read: Dubai’s RTA begins hyperloop feasibility study

It is also working with Dubai ports operator DP World, which has invested in Hyperloop One to explore the technology’s potential for transporting cargo.

The company has yet to conduct a full test of its planned system but expects to conduct its first trial run in Nevada, using a 500m track, in the coming months.

When asked about potential regulatory hurdles for hyperloop transport, Lloyd said the company had been encouraged by its work with the RTA.

“I believe the rules to regulate hyperloop technology could be delivered in the emirates and exported elsewhere,” he said.

Lloyd said the company hoped to establish a regulatory framework in 2018 and begin construction in 2019 with production in the region expected in 2020 or 2021.

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