Shaikh Mohammad and other senior officials watch the demonstration of a drone prototype at the Government Summit in Dubai yesterday. The drone project was launched at the summit as part of an initiative by the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, and will be tested for six months. During its first phase, the drone will deliver identity cards, driving licences and other permits throughout the UAE. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: You can soon expect to have your National ID and passport delivered straight to your window – as an aerial drone is expected to start operating in the country within one year.

The aerial drone project was launched on Monday at the second annual Government Summit, as part of an initiative by the UAE Prime Minister’s Office.

During its first phase, the drone would initially deliver identity cards, driving licences and other permits.

Emirati engineers Abdul Rahman Al Serkal and Hamad Musabah, who designed the project, explained that fingerprint and eye-recognition security systems would be used to protect the drones and their cargo.

“We are at the prototype stage and will soon start carrying out research and tests to ensure that the drone can withstand the high temperatures in the summer, as well as heavy sandstorms,” Al Serkal told Gulf News yesterday.

The battery-operated vehicle is about half-a-metre wide, and resembles a butterfly with a top compartment that can carry small parcels. Propelled by four rotors, it also has a camera that can be synced with goggles to allow the pilot to see from the drone’s view.

“The camera tracks your eye movement so that the pilot can direct it away from any obstacle. It was initially designed for deliveries but we intend to take the project further and include it in the educational and health sector,” he said.

Dr Noah Radford, a representative from the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, emphasised that the aerial drone can be interpreted as, “a networking flying iPhone.”

Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, yesterday said the drone would be tested for durability and efficiency in Dubai for six months, before it is introduced across the UAE within the year.

“The UAE will try to deliver its government services through drones. This is the first project of its kind in the world,” said Al Gergawi.

“Within a year from now we will understand the capabilities of the system and what sort of services, and how far we can deliver. Eventually a new product will be launched across all the country,” he added.