Joby Aviation 2
Joby Aviation’s eVTOL aircraft displayed at the World Governments Summit in Dubai on February 12, 2024. Joby and Dubai’s RTA signed a deal that allows the US company to operate air taxi services in the emirate for six years from 2026. Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Image Credit: Joby Aviation

Dubai: Imagine escaping gridlock and reaching your destination in minutes. Well, if you live in UAE, this futuristic vision is soon to become a reality, thanks to the arrival of air taxis.

This past year, transportation authorities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah have announced their plans for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts.

There’s a few reasons why air taxis are a revolutionary method of transportation – they are powered by electric motors making them environmentally friendly and quieter, they land vertically, eliminating the need for long runways and, most importantly, they alleviate traffic congestion.

So, if you want to know how air taxis are going to benefit you, here is what you can expect.


When: by late 2025 or 2026

In February 2024, an agreement was signed to launch air taxi services in Dubai. Under the agreement, Dubai will be the first city in the world with a fully developed network of ‘vertiports’ for permanent air taxi services by 2026. The agreement was signed by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), the British Skyports Infrastructure and Joby Aviation, the US-based company which operates air taxis in the emirate.

Where will the air taxi go and how long does it take to travel?

There will be four vertiport stations situated near key locations:

• Dubai International Airport
• Dubai Downtown
• Dubai Marina
• Palm Jumeirah

What is the travel time?

The journey from Dubai International Airport to Palm Jumeirah is anticipated to be a 10-minute flight, a significant reduction from the 45-minute commute.


Abu Dhabi

When: 2025

In April, the launch of air taxis in Abu Dhabi became official once an agreement between Archer Aviation and Abu Dhabi Investment Office was signed.

This will see Archer, which develops electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, take on in-country manufacturing, launch operations and provide the training required before the services are launched.

How long will a flight on an Abu Dhabi air taxi take?

These aircrafts would operate at a cruising altitude of 2,000 feet and the time for a flight will be between 10 to 30 minutes. The aim is to replace 60- to 90-minute car commutes with estimated 10- to 20-minute electric air taxi flights.

That’s not all, Joby aviation will also be launching air taxis in the emirate. Its maximum range of 100 miles (161 km) would enable fast and clean air travel both within Abu Dhabi and across the wider UAE, with a journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai taking around 30 minutes compared to around two hours by car during rush hour.

The Joby air taxi is designed to carry a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (321 km/h).


Ras Al Khaimah

When: 2027

On May 7, during the Arabian Travel Market, it was announced that Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority (RAKTA) and Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) are collaborating with Skyports, a developer of vertiport infrastructure, to introduce air taxi services in the emirate.

Under the agreement, RAKTA, RAKTDA, and Skyports will collaboratively design, develop, and operate Ras Al Khaimah’s first eVTOL air taxi ecosystem.


Where will the air taxi go in Ras Al Khaimah?

The air taxis will provide fast transport to Ras Al Khaimah’s most popular areas and attractions, including:

• Al Marjan Island
• Al Hamra
• Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak.

What is the travel time for air taxis in Ras Al Khaimah?

Travel time to these areas will be cut substantially. For example, travelling from Al Marjan Island to Jebel Jais takes approximately 70 minutes by car. The launch of air taxi services will cut the journey time to less than 20 minutes.

How much will air taxis cost and how can we book it?

While details on booking and pricing are still under wraps, air taxis in Abu Dhabi are expected to offer fares comparable to premium ride-hailing services.