According to a high-ranking official from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), flying in air taxis in Dubai’s skies may be available for as little as the cost of an Uber ride in the near future. The official also stated that residents and tourists may be able to utilize these aerial taxis as early as 2026.
Ahmed Bahrozyan, Chief Executive Officer of The Public Transport Agency at RTA, said “We believe that it will be not very far from the price of a normal Uber possibly, and that’s when really it becomes a normal service that anybody can use.”
The new air taxi stations in Dubai were given the green light on Sunday, with the design being approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. The Sheikh also announced that the air taxis would begin operations in just three years.
However, according to Bahrozyan, it could be a while before the prices go down. “It may be initially that the price will be more attractive for tourists and businesspeople who really want to get from point A to point B, and as fast as possible, and are willing to pay maybe a slightly higher fee for that,” he said. “Eventually, we believe as the production of the vehicles increases, the cost of technology comes down, and we start having more demand. We are confident that as we go along, it will become a day-to-day mode of transport for many people living in the city.”
Inter-city commute a possibility?
The electric air taxis that are set to operate in Dubai not only have zero operating emissions, but also boast a maximum range of 241 km and a top speed of 300 km/hr, raising the possibility of inter-city travel.
Khaled Bahrozyan, a representative of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), stated that the long range of these vehicles could enable inter-city trips, including routes from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and from Dubai to Fujairah. If these routes were established, it could significantly reduce travel time, with the journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi potentially taking just 30 minutes.
Safety, sustainability and affordability
When planning the air taxi service, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai is prioritizing safety, sustainability, and affordability. Khaled Bahrozyan, a representative of the RTA, emphasized the importance of safety, citing the organization’s strong safety record across all modes of transportation.
The air taxis will be electric and produce very little noise, making them more sustainable than helicopters. In addition, the service must be affordable for the general public, rather than catering only to tourists. Bahrozyan stated that the RTA would work with the operators to ensure that the price of the service would eventually decrease to a level that is accessible for everyone, enabling the air taxi service to fit into the ecosystem of the city.
The initial network of vertiports that will serve the air taxi service in Dubai will link four key areas of the city: near Dubai International airport, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina. Skyports, the company responsible for building the vertiports, has already identified potential locations for these facilities.
The spot adjacent to the Emirates metro station has been selected as it offers excellent mobility integration with the metro and Dubai International airport. Although other areas of Dubai are still being considered, Skyports is confident that they will be able to confirm additional sites in conjunction with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and begin building the necessary infrastructure to support the air taxi network by 2026.