Will 2023 be the year of drone deliveries in the region?
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Will 2023 be the year of drone deliveries in the region?

Will 2023 be the year of drone deliveries in the region?

Airborne deliveries allow for improved access to essential services such as healthcare and basic supplies

Will 2023 be the year of drone deliveries in the region?

The potential for drone deliveries has been talked about for years.

But now, with advances in drone technology and growing demand for faster delivery services, it looks like 2023 could be the year that we finally see drones delivering packages to our doorsteps.

What does this mean for the UAE, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)?

The potential

With drones, delivery times can be cut down dramatically. This would revolutionise how we order and receive goods and services, improving convenience and satisfaction, and making it possible to deliver in hard-to-reach areas.

Airborne deliveries also allow for improved access to essential services such as healthcare and basic supplies.

Moreover, drone delivery services have environmental advantages compared to traditional methods. They require fewer resources and emit less carbon dioxide than vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel engines.

Since drones are lighter and have a smaller footprint than cars and trucks, they don’t cause traffic congestion or noise pollution in populated areas. Reduction in traffic on the roads leads to fewer accidents.

In addition to improved convenience, safety, and environmental benefits, there are economic benefits as well. According to research by Bain & Company, drone deliveries could provide up to $100bn in savings through lower costs associated with labour and fuel.

In other words, drone deliveries offer an efficient solution that provides both immediate and long-term cost savings.

The technology is a revolutionary force for companies, especially highly diversified businesses such as Al Masaood to help manage retail distribution or provide personal and consumer services.

Implementation challenges in drone deliveries

However, before we can reap these benefits from drone delivery services, there are still some challenges to overcome.

The most pressing issue is regulations. Although some countries such as Singapore have already begun allowing the commercial use of drones for deliveries, many countries including the UAE are still figuring out the laws concerning this.

Without clear regulations in place, it’s difficult for companies to launch their own commercial drone programmes.

Additionally, while technological advancements have made drones much more reliable than they used to be, there is still work to be done before they can become an everyday part of life.

For example, many existing systems rely on GPS systems, which are not always reliable or available due to weather conditions or tall buildings blocking signals. Furthermore, existing batteries cannot yet handle long flights without recharging, which limits range significantly.

Solutions must be found if this technology is going to become a viable method of delivering goods over long distances reliably.

Drone deliveries Getty images

Industrial drones:

Industrial drones are unlocking strategic opportunities in a diverse range of sectors, from energy and infrastructure to shipping and construction.

This cutting-edge technology can quickly map terrain, survey sites or inspect machinery – not just for conventional purposes like agriculture but across an ever-expanding spectrum of uses.

Maritime drones: 

A smart technology that facilitates deep-sea exploration, maritime drones have surged in popularity. For instance, these unmanned planes provide a safe and efficient way to conduct inspections, search and rescue missions, and environmental monitoring, all while helping cut operational costs for commercial vessel operations, boat building or yacht chartering.

Going solar:

By utilising solar energy, we could open up a world of possibilities – from creating environmentally friendly transport to enabling new research in aerial technology. Full-fledged charging solutions are becoming increasingly available on the market today for all types of vehicles including drones.

The UAE is rapidly emerging as a key player in the innovation of such delivery services. The nation has made substantial investments in the development of cutting-edge technologies that support the
seamless integration of unmanned aerial vehicles into society.

Elsewhere in the region, government regulations are still in the early stages of development, making it difficult for companies and individuals to take advantage of this technology.

Although there may still be some hesitancy from certain governments when it comes to allowing private companies access to airspace for commercial use of drones — as well as ensuring tight security measures
against misuse – it seems clear that with continued progress – towards improving safety protocols and regulations, more MENA countries will soon be able to join the list of those who offer these transportation systems in the near future.

While there is still work to be done before we can see widespread adoption of such services in the region, it’s looking increasingly likely that 2023 could finally be the year when these services take off in earnest.

With continued investment into research and development, coupled with strong government support, it looks like this might just be one dream that becomes a reality soon enough, ushering in a brave
a new era of fast, efficient delivery services for all kinds of goods.

Rasso Bartenschlager is the general manager of Al Masaood Power Division

Also read: Sheikh Hamdan launches Dubai programme to enable drone transportation

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