1,200km/h Dubai-Abu Dhabi HYPERLOOP within 5 years

Angel Tesorero
Filed on November 11, 2016

(Hyperloop One)

Dubai will be the first city in the world to have a fully-operational Hyperloop system and this could happen in the next five years.

Dubai has taken the first step to reach the future of mobility after the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) signed an agreement with Hyperloop One on Tuesday "to create new means of mobility that will make travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi happen in just 12 minutes."

Dubai will be the first city in the world to have a fully-operational Hyperloop system and this could happen in the next five years.

Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA, said the partnership will put Dubai at the forefront of future mobility.

"With Hyperloop One, we will create a new means of transportation, keeping our region at the forefront of transportation technology and innovation," Al Tayer said.

"This (hyperloop system) is an opportunity to help transform the UAE from a technology consumer to a technology creator, incubating expertise for a new global industry, in line with the UAE's Vision 2021," he added. Under the agreement, Hyperloop One will work with McKinsey & Co and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) - a multi-national team of architects and engineers - on a detailed feasibility study sponsored by the RTA. The agreement moves the company into its second stage of progress in the UAE, having been invited to participate in the Dubai Future Foundation, culminating in a recent presentation of Hyperloop One's vision to His Highness

Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One said: "Having signed an agreement with DP World in August to pursue a cargo-based Hyperloop One system at Jebel Ali port, our focus has now expanded to include connecting the emirates. Pursuing the implementation of a Hyperloop in the UAE makes sense. The leaders of the UAE understand that transportation is the new broadband, with the power to transform life throughout the GCC.

"We are now at a stage where, from a technological point of view, we could have a Hyperloop One system built in the UAE in the next five years." At the signing agreement, Josh Giegel, Hyperloop One's president of engineering, said: "By making autonomous vehicles an integral part of the development of the Hyperloop One system, we are introducing the idea of seamless, uninterrupted end-to-end mobility. Imagine stepping out of your villa in Dubai, into a self-driving vehicle that resembles your living room, and arriving just 48 minutes later at your office in Riyadh. That is what Hyperloop One can deliver."

He added: "Collective commuting with individual freedom at near supersonic speed: we are heading for a future where our mental map of the city is completely reconfigured, as our habitual understanding of distance and proximity - time and space - is warped by this new form of travel."


Hyperloop is a low-pressure tube through which levitating pods can travel at up to 1,200 km/h. The autonomous vehicle is slightly elevated above the track and glides faster than the speed of an airplane over long distances, eliminating direct emissions, noise, delay, weather concerns and pilot error. It will soon become the fifth mode of transportation for people and goods with minimal impact to the environment, with lower maintenance costs and energy usage than high-speed rails.

Initial cost

In less than two years, Hyperloop One has raised more than $160 million (Dh587,704,000), assembled a team of more than 200 experts, and built a campus in downtown Los Angeles, a test and safety site in the Nevada desert, and a 10,000sqm machine and tooling shop in north Las Vegas.

Less air, more speed

To minimise friction, a powerful compressor fan at the front would suck air in the tube to the rear

Air bearings

The compressed air is then used to levitate the capsule via air bearing. Electric braking, combined with fully automated, driver-less control create an ultra-safe trasportation solution.

The enclosed tube maintains an ultra-low pressure environment.


The tube eclosure makes Hyperloop reliable and weatherproof, meaning it is immune to costly and dangerous weather-related events. This creates an ultra-safe transportation solution.

Production to begin in 2020, prototype to move cargo first

Hyperloop is real and Dubai will have the world's first fully operational near-supersonic speed mass transit in the coming years, according to Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One.

Model of the Hyperloop One on exhibit at the Burj Khalifa.- Photos by Dhes Handumon

"We are working very hard and collaborating with Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to examine the routes, analyse the engineering, safety and certification," Lloyd told Khaleej Times. Describing Hyperloop as the "backbone network for the future transport system than can go up to 1,200 km/hour (faster than an aircraft), Lloyd added: "We believe we will be able to start production of the prototype in the area by 2020. Lloyd explained the prototype will first move goods "then we move passengers afterwards."

"Dubai could have the first Hyperloop system in the world, but that can still be determined," he added. "There's still a lot of work.." He declined to give an estimate as to how much it will take to build a network, saying "it is completely dependent on the distance and geography, if we go under the tunnel or above ground." A Hyperloop prototype is being tested at a 200km route in Nevada.

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