Dubai plans to launch electric flying taxis in 2026

Simulator of a flying taxi at the World Government Summit as Dubai announces new launch plans for 2026. Credit: AP

Dubai's skyline is set to change again as it relaunches plans for flying taxis by 2026.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates has promised the take-off of flying taxi services since 2017.

On Monday Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the relaunch programme on Twitter.

Dubai highlighted an interest in a flying taxi made by Joby Aviation in California at the World Government Summit.

“We’re excited about the opportunity and actively exploring the possibility,” said Oliver Walker-Jones, a spokesman for Joby Aviation.

Ahmed Bahrozyan, part of the Roads and Transport Authority said "it’s early days” for the plan as “we haven’t yet signed with any partners yet".

The price for a flying taxi “will be in the range of a limousine service in Dubai, maybe slightly higher,” Mr Bahrozyan said.

The rates for limo services are 30% higher than taxi fares and have a minimum fare of around $3.25 (£2.68).

What exactly would this taxi be like?

Officials have described the taxi as having a pilot with four passenger seats.

The Joby taxi would be able to travel 150 miles before needing to be charged, and could reach a maximum speed of 200mph.

This means that other areas of the country would be easily accessible - such as Abu Dhabi.

The city is planning four “vertiports” by Dubai International Airport, which is a development from previous years.

They are planned for downtown Dubai, the manmade Palm Jumeirah islands and Dubai Marina. Those points will include two launching pads and four charging points.

“We believe those are attractive areas with business hubs and tourist hubs that could generate considerable demand,” Mr Bahrozyan said.

Dubai is hoping to modify its transport in the coming years with a desire to move away from petrol and diesel vehicles, and hopes of 25% of cars to be driverless by 2030.

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