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08 June 2023

Hyperloop in UAE: Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 15 minutes?

A rendering of hyperloop. (Supplied)

By Parag Deulgaonkar

“Hyperloop is very interesting and it is definitely a new thing to look at as a mode of transportation,” Dr Abdulla S. Al Katheeri, Director-General, UAE’s Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime, told Emirates 24|7.

“We saw their presentation and it is good to see great ideas… it needs more study and we need to look at all the aspects such as cost, etc.”

The official shared his view after Rob Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer, Hyperloop Technologies Inc, told the recently-concluded Middle East Rail conference: “We would expect that the history of innovation in this region could make, perhaps, Dubai and UAE one of the first places where hyperloop comes into production.”

Brogan Bambrogan, co-founder, Hyperloop Technologies addressing the World Government Summit. (Supplied)

He added: “Our goal in the next three years is to select the top three projects in the world where we can build hyperloop and demonstrate its capabilities. We will be working with innovative companies, innovative regulators and innovative governments to try to make that a reality.”

Set up by entrepreneur Elon Musk, the company is working on innovating the use of pressurised tubes to transport human and freight cargo at speeds of up to 1,100 kilometres per hour. It has, in fact, acquired 50 acres of land in North Las Vegas to build a test track with work commencing on it.

With regards to the cost of building the system, Lloyd believes the technology is almost 62 per cent cheaper than high speed rail transport systems and requires less acquisition of land as well.

Rob Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer, Hyperloop Technologies, giving presentation at Middle East Rail conference (Pic: Parag Deulgaonkar)

"It would be more equivalent to the metro we see in Dubai than traditional high-speed rail construction," he said.

In February 2016, Brogan Bambrogan, co-founder and chief technology officer of Hyperloop Technologies, had told the World Government Summit that the new transportation system was set to be tested in Las Vegas this year and it could be introduced in the UAE within the next 10 to 15 years.

“The new mode of transportation would take mere 15 minutes to reach from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and vice-versa,” he had said.