UAE: Skip the traffic; you could soon fly to RAK for staycations

This innovative mode of transport could offer travellers an alternative to navigating road congestion


Nandini Sircar

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Photo: Nandini Sircar/Khaleej Times
Photo: Nandini Sircar/Khaleej Times

Published: Thu 16 Nov 2023, 10:40 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 Nov 2023, 10:11 AM

Travelling by eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) to Ras Al Khaimah hotels for a staycation could soon be an option for the ultra-rich.

This also aligns with the emirate’s vision to make Al Marjan Island, a cherished destination for tourists and investors alike, while many favour the destination for leisure and luxury.

This innovative mode of transport could in turn offer an alternative to navigating road congestion, allowing guests to significantly reduce travel time by choosing a compact, electric, quieter, and more intelligent vehicle.

Ralf Schustereder, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Airport at the Dubai Airshow on Thursday, said, “I think we have a chance at the moment when we look into the development of Wynn Resorts and all this development on Marjan Islands. This will attract a specific type of clientele or VVIPs entering the market. This again is a chance for us to enter the market from RAK. We have a very big demand coming through the Dubai Airport with the network they offer, and from there, people come down Ras Al Khaimah.”

He continued, “If you're looking at the profiling of these potential customers in the future, I'm sure that they are not looking for any traffic jams or car or limousine services into RAK to the resort area. They want to have a different experience because entering the UAE means ‘the first experience I get’. So, it's (the option) the Dubai Airport then converting to Air Mobility and then entering the resort. That's one element. We see the general aviation scope will dramatically increase even more than the normal commercial traffic on our site. This means we need to build up facilities for general aviation in the long term or the midterm.”

VPorts, a lead in the design, construction, and operation of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) infrastructure, earlier announced a joint agreement that will see a vertiport established in the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Airport.

“Six months ago, I signed a MoU with VPorts. VPorts now announced to go for a big investment in Dubai South to build up their first Vertiport and I'm expecting that the talks will continue with us as well,” added Schustereder.

10,000 square-metre site

The RAK vertiport, which will be established on a 10,000-square-metre site, will be designed for all types of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

This is aimed not only at enabling RAK’s economic and tourism growth but also at accelerating the adoption and deployment of advanced air mobility throughout the UAE.

“The most important part is to find the right piece of land where you allocate your mobility, because we still have commercial traffic coming in and out, which means the airspace has to be structured in a proper way with regulatory bodies.

“The second is to ensure that when it comes to recharging the battery of the air motilities or Air Taxis, that the power supply is strong enough to cope with these elements. But we are settled with these. So, from our engineering team, we have green lights to explore,” he continued.


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