Photos: How Dubai's flying taxi terminals will look when they rise near DXB

Air taxis are expected to start operations by 2026, making the emirate the world's first city to have a fully developed network of vertiports

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Waheed Abbas

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Supplied photo
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Published: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 5:51 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 10:27 PM

A concept design for Dubai's vertiport terminal has been released — and it looks as futuristic as one could imagine.

Foster + Partners, an architectural, engineering and integrated design company, and Skyports Infrastructure, a designer and operator of vertiport technology, shared an artistic rendering of the infrastructure which will be built near Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Vertiport terminals are used by air taxis and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to transport people.

The project was first announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the World Government Summit 2023.

A number of companies from around the world have conducted flying car tests in Dubai in the past year ahead of the official launch of air taxis. Xpeng, a Chinese technology and electric vehicle manufacturer, conducted its maiden successful global public flight of its X2 flying car in February this year at Gitex Technology Week.

Sheikh Mohammed said in February that air taxis will start operating in three years, making Dubai the first city in the world with a fully developed network of vertiports.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai is working with Skyports Infrastructure and Joby Aviation to design and develop the infrastructure for air taxis and eVTOL before they start operations by 2026.

As per the initial plan, air taxis will connect four main areas of Dubai airport, Downtown, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina.

eVTOL will integrate with Dubai’s existing transportation network such as the Metro network and Dubai International Airport.

Foster + Partners said the upcoming vertiport terminal located near the Dubai airport will be situated on an elevated deck to facilitate aircraft take-off and landing.

Images shared by the design firm showed the building wrapping around the airfield, connecting the arrival and departure lounges and offering spectacular views of the aircraft and the city beyond.

The overhanging roof and façade inclination protect the building from direct sunlight and prevent overheating.

Foster & Partners said the building’s façade corresponds with the adjacent metro station and its edges are softened with green landscaping. The interior spaces are designed with a refined palette of warm, natural materials to create a comfortable and serene environment.

“We are delighted to have developed a vertiport concept, which will transform the way people travel in Dubai. The conceptual vertiport connects with Dubai International Airport and the Dubai Metro, to provide seamless, sustainable travel across the city for international and domestic passengers,” said David Summerfield, head of studio, Foster + Partners.

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