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Abu Dhabi prepares for air taxi travel in the emirate

A journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, which typically takes around two hours by car during rush hour, would be reduced to approximately 30 minutes. (Image source: Joby)

Joby Aviation signed a multilateral MoU with Abu Dhabi's Department of Municipalities and Transport, which allows Joby to run air taxis in the emirate

The company also entered into agreements with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Department of Culture and Tourism.

Joby's aircraft is engineered to accommodate a pilot and four passengers, reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (321 km/h), the company said in a statement.

This also produces zero operating emissions and a notably low acoustic footprint, the company added. With a maximum range of 100 miles (161 km), it promises swift and environmentally friendly air travel within Abu Dhabi and across the wider UAE.

Reducing travel time

For instance, a journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, which typically takes around two hours by car during rush hour, would be reduced to approximately 30 minutes.

Joby already has the exclusive right to operate air taxi services in Dubai, which the company expects to start as early as next year. The agreement also unlocks the potential for inter-emirate air taxi services, for example between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Joby has collaborated closely with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE to outline a strategy aimed at positioning the region as global frontrunners in the implementation of air taxis. The regulatory framework established by the GCAA aligns with FAA standards but includes additional company testing and analysis, coupled with extra regulator oversight and continual review processes to guarantee safety during initial operations. Moreover, approval from the GCAA is necessary for inter-emirate travel.

Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of DMT,said, "Abu Dhabi aims to spearhead the advancement and implementation of the next era of advanced mobility solutions. Through the Emirate’s SAVI cluster and this visionary partnership with Joby, we are not only laying the foundation for cutting-edge air taxi services but also shaping the future of transportation; igniting a journey where the sky is no longer the limit, but the beginning of endless possibilities. We look forward to seeing their innovative aircrafts take-off from the UAE capital, offering the world a glimpse, through Abu Dhabi, of what the future of mobility looks like.”

JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO, Joby Aviation, said, “Today’s agreement demonstrates the incredible momentum there is behind the adoption of clean flight across the UAE. We’re looking forward to delivering a fantastic experience for our future customers in Abu Dhabi and we’re excited to be unlocking the potential for zero-emissions flight between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We’re grateful for the support and collaboration of our governmental partners and the entire ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and we remain deeply impressed by their commitment to building out a world-class aviation ecosystem in the Emirate.”