First look: Dubai's air taxis flying near Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, other key landmarks

Photos: Coming up near the Dubai International Airport, the first vertiport is connected to Emirates Metro Station


Sahim Salim

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Published: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 6:15 PM

Air taxis are set to dart across Dubai skies in as little as three years. By 2026, residents and tourists would queue up at one of four vertiports in the Emirate and whiz between Downtown Dubai (near the Burj Khalifa area), Dubai Marina, Dubai International Airport and Palm Jumeirah.

Released by the Government of Dubai Media Office late on Sunday, photos of the aerial taxi, the sights passengers will see, and the first vertiport are sure to get your heart racing and minds soaring!

Inside the first vertiport

The first swanky vertiport will come up near the Dubai International Airport. The roof serves as the terminal for the aerial taxis:

The port will be connected to the Emirates Metro Station via an air-conditioned bridge.

Comprising two levels for car parking, the vertiport boasts a contemporary design. It has four stands for aerial taxis and two landing areas. It will have a passenger waiting area and electric charging stations. These ports “seamlessly” integrate with other modes of transportation, according to the authorities.

The aircraft

Unveiled at the World Government Summit, the aircraft is an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.

Powered by electricity, they don’t emit any pollutants. With a range of 241km, they can hit top speeds of 300kmph. The aerial taxi can accommodate up to four passengers plus a pilot.

The sights

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) released images showing the aircraft whizzing past landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame and Burj Al Arab. Imagine being a passenger as your aircraft hovers around these sights:

Decoding the project

The RTA is working closely with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, General Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Air Navigation Services to create a one-of-a-kind comprehensive framework for the operation of air taxis. This includes the development of legislation and setting clear specifications and standards for vehicle operators. The RTA will outline the flight paths for the vehicles, identify take-off and landing sites, and specify the necessary equipment for safe and efficient operations.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said the project consists of two main stages: Selecting the suitable technologies that meet global standards and forming a partnership with a specialist provider.

“The operation is comprised of crucial elements. They include a detailed negotiation with a multitude of companies active in this field, signing of commercial agreements, establishment of local entities to execute relevant business endeavours, development of the necessary infrastructure and the highly anticipated roll-out of the service.

“The second stage involves identifying a potential partner for investing in the infrastructure needed to introduce autonomous aerial taxis to Dubai's skies. At present, commercial negotiations are in progress with the most promising and specialised investors globally in the realm of air mobility to construct the requisite infrastructure,” said Al Tayer.

The roll-out would depend on the preparedness of the companies and the legislative requirements for operating aerial taxis. “This also involves a thorough examination of all operational details and ensuring that all safety and security measures are in place,” explained Al Tayer.


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