Sheikh Hamdan launches Dubai Program to Enable Drone Transportation

Initiative to explore opportunities in health, security, shipping, food sectors

By Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 Nov 2021, 1:16 PM

The Dubai Program to Enable Drone Transportation has been launched in the emirate.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) launched the initiative during the recently concluded Dubai Airshow 2021.

The programme is aimed at strengthening Dubai’s global competitiveness in adopting advanced technologies in vital sectors. A unique pilot area will be allocated in Dubai Silicon Oasis for innovators and related entities from the UAE and abroad to develop and test new drone solutions.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “The Dubai Program 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 optimizes their implementation. The program aims to provide new economic opportunities and consolidate Dubai’s leadership in advanced technology research and development across diverse future-oriented sectors.”


The primary objective of the Dubai Program to Enable Drone Transportation is exploring the use of drones in several sectors, including health, security, shipping and food. It 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 UAE has already started testing such capabilities by attracting thousands of innovators in this field from 165 countries to participate in the UAE Drones for Good Award that was launched in 2014.

Sheikh Hamdan added, “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.”

The program also aims to attract talent as well as local and foreign investments to the drone applications sector apart from aiming to create new jobs and stimulating economic activity in relevant fields.

President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, His Highness Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, opined, “This Act is considered one of the projects of the Dubai Sky Dome Initiative; this initiative aims to create a virtual airspace infrastructure for drone systems, through which public spaces and buildings will be connected through airstrips and mini-airports throughout Dubai and to develop major infrastructure schemes for airports, airstrips, multi-use stations and ground service sites."

"The schemes will include promoting the concept of public transport in the Emirate, creating multi-modular transportation systems in order to promote the concept of integration of air vehicles and different ground transportation systems.”

The Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) will oversee the implementation of the outputs of the Dubai Program to Enable Drone Transportation through Dubai Future Labs and the first applied research and development laboratory in the region specializing in future technology.

“This initiative will also include the development of systems to manage the movement of drones and the development of an integrated smart platform for all services related to the organization of drone operations, such as the granting of immediate permits to drones and their operators, in order to ensure air security and safety and ensure that the efficiency of Emirates’ airspace is not affected."

"This program is considered one of the leading and innovative initiatives that are the result of joint efforts between government and private parties in order to achieve the vision of the future”, he added.

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