Sheikh Hamdan launches Dubai programme to enable drone transportation
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Sheikh Hamdan launches Dubai programme to enable drone transportation

Sheikh Hamdan launches Dubai programme to enable drone transportation

The primary objective of the programme is to explore the use of drones in several sectors, including health, security, shipping and food


A new programme to enable drone transportation in Dubai has been launched.

The primary objective of the Dubai programme to enable drone transportation is to explore the use of drones in several sectors, including health, security, shipping and food. The programme also seeks to improve people’s lives by reducing carbon emissions generated by traditional shipping and transportation methods and facilitating the movement of goods and materials.

The programme launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Executive Council, also aims to attract talent as well as local and foreign investments to the drone applications sector, as well as creating new jobs and bolstering economic activity in relevant fields, official news agency WAM reported.

The Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) will oversee the implementation of the outputs of the programme through Dubai Future Labs, in partnership with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), Fakeeh University Hospital, Majid Al Futtaim, and Emirates SkyCargo, Talabat and Kitopi. A pilot area will be allocated in Dubai Silicon Oasis for innovators and related local and foreign entities to develop and test new drone solutions and transform them into appropriate services. Participants of the programme will benefit from a legislative framework that facilitates drone technology prototyping, testing, development, and implementation.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “The Dubai Programme to Enable Drone Transportation will create an advanced infrastructure that enables innovators and relevant entities to test prototypes of unmanned aerial vehicles in designated areas and develop legislation that optimises their implementation. The programme aims to provide new economic opportunities and consolidate Dubai’s leadership in advanced technology research and development across diverse future-oriented sectors.”

“Our projects place quality of life at the top of their priorities. We will continue to develop and implement innovative ideas on the ground. We have the right environment, infrastructure, and legislation for the use of drones. We also have the laboratories, expertise and talent to translate prototypes into viable solutions,” he added.

In July 2020, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai issued a law regulating the use of drones in Dubai.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the board of executive directors of the Roads and Transport Authority – commissioner general for infrastructure, urban planning and well-being, said that the signing of an MoU with the Dubai Future Foundation constituted a big push in support of trials of autonomous vehicles.

“The MoU will also leverage Dubai programme for autonomous air vehicle services in designated test zones across Dubai. It will also support the Dubai self-driving transport strategy aimed to convert 25 per cent of total mobility journeys to driverless journeys by 2030.

“RTA is keen to turn the vision and directives of His Highness into reality through carrying out trials on various patterns of autonomous vehicles and mobility means. Experiments included the trial run of a 10-seater electricity-powered autonomous vehicle, the first autonomous air taxi and automated and connected smart mobility pods of different sizes and volumes of demand. RTA has also signed an agreement with General Motor’s Cruise to deploy the company’s autonomous vehicles to provide taxi service and shared mobility by 2023.”

Drone technology is one of the priority sectors within the UAE’s national strategies. The country has rolled out various initiatives and programmes to support its development, starting with the UAE Drones for Good Award that has attracted more than 1,800 participants from across the globe to date and saw multiple ideas transform into successful projects.

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