Category Archives: Commerce

Everything You Need to Know about UAE’s Hyperloop

Everything You Need to Know about UAE’s Hyperloop

Transportation options in the Middle East have been increasing in recent years, and there are plans for further expansion in multiple countries. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in particular, is investing heavily in its transportation infrastructure.

By 2021, the Gulf Cooperation Council Railway project is expected to link the country to Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar. Bahrain and Kuwait will be linked to the network by 2023.

Domestically, the UAE is also funding innovative transportation infrastructure such as Abu Dhabi-Dubai Hyperloop commercial track. Here is everything you need to know about the track.

 

Technology Imagined by Elon Musk

Elon Musk
Image courtesy Thomas Hawk | Flickr

Promised as the next step in transportation efficiency and technology, a hyperloop is a high-speed underground tunnel track. It works by propelling passenger pods via magnets through a tube at speeds in excess of 1,200 kilometers per hour. The technology was originally imagined by prominent billionaire Elon Musk in 2013 and has been in the development stages ever since.

This past year, Musk’s Boring Company hired key personnel in executive positions to advance plans for hyperloop construction in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Moreover, Musk has claimed he has verbal government approval to build a system connecting Washington, D.C. with Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.

The first full-scale passenger capsule was on display in Southern Spain in October. Tests were expected to be completed in France in the months to follow.

 

Construction to Start in UAE in 2019

In regard to the Middle East, Dubai and Abu Dhabi could have the distinction of being the site of the world’s first hyperloop commercial track. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) is one of the leading firms in regard to developing the innovative technology. It has signed an agreement with Aldar Properties PJSC to begin developing the hyperloop system along the border of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2019 with the goal of opening an initial 10-kilometer segment of track for public use in 2020. HTT has yet to detail the exact route of the eventual proposed track or the location of its terminals. However, it’s expected to be built near the Al Maktoum International Airport and loop through Dubai’s downtown core as well as Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

Once completed, it’s anticipated that passengers will be able to travel the 140-kilometer distance from  Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes. As it stands now, driving to Dubai from Abu Dhabi takes nearly one-and-a-half hours. There are plans to include Oman and Saudi Arabia in the Hyperloop commercial track system in the future.

“In just five years we have solved and improved upon all of the technology needed for Hyperloop, from a new levitation system to vacuum pumps, batteries, and smart composites,” said HTT CEO and co-founder Dirk Ahlborn. “This capsule will be a part of one of the most efficient transportation systems ever made.”

Despite the high speed of travel, designers and engineers claim the effects on the human body will be minimal. This method of travel should feel similar to the experience of traveling on a commercial aircraft. In that regard, the capsules will include virtual windows so that passengers can view an artificial outside world. They will also feature comfortable leather seats, deluxe interiors, and the latest entertainment options.

UAE as a Prime Destination for Hyperloop

HTT has signed similar hyperloop development agreements in the France, Brazil, the United States, and China, among other countries. However, the UAE is the ideal destination for the world’s first commercial system for a number of reasons. These include its technological capabilities, population, and traffic.

Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, for instance, are working toward becoming tech-driven smart cities. At the same time, they are attempting to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 75 percent by 2023. Moreover, the Dubai International Airport is the third-busiest international airport in the world.

Additionally, companies in Dubai are already preparing for the high-speed transportation system. DP World, the world’s third-largest port authority, introduced Hyperloop One DP World Cargospeed earlier this year as a means of supporting the efficient and sustainable delivery of palletized cargo. “All the right factors fell into place,” noted Marcia Christoff of Hyperloop One.

 

Operational for Expo 2020

At the time of the initial announcement that HTT was developing the Hyperloop track in the UAE, its chairman Bibop Gresta stated that, with regulatory support, the company hoped to have the first section operational by the start of Expo 2020. Dubai—and, by extension, Abu Dhabi—is already a prime location for the track given the aforementioned factors.

However, Expo 2020, which runs from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, is expected to attract millions of visitors to the Emirate. This means that additional high-speed transportation options are crucial to ease potential traffic congestion.

Covering a 4.38-square-kilometer area, Expo 2020 will include 2,100 residential units for participants from more than 200 countries, corporations, educational institutions, and multilateral organizations. All of these entities are at the forefront of human ingenuity, technology, and forward-thinking ideas.

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Entertainment City

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Entertainment City

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative was established by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs under the guidance of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As part of this initiative, Saudi Arabia is working toward diversifying its economy and creating a vibrant society with a wealth of cultural and entertainment options. Earlier in 2018, the… Continue Reading

4 Infrastructure Developments in Saudi Arabia You Should Know About

4 Infrastructure Developments in Saudi Arabia You Should Know About

Despite being the second-largest oil producer in the world behind the United States, Saudi Arabia is working to reduce its economic reliance on the oil and gas sector. So while oil revenue increased by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from the same period a year prior, non-oil revenue climbed a whopping 63… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about the Reconstruction of Yemen

What You Need to Know about the Reconstruction of Yemen

Yemen’s infrastructure has never been in an enviable state, but its essential services and buildings have been particularly ravaged since civil war broke out in 2014. Access to water diminished after explosions in early 2016 severely damaged a water desalination plant near Al-Mokha and a failed drilling technique made water even more scarce and expensive.… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Bahrain’s Booming Tourism Sector

What You Need to Know about Bahrain’s Booming Tourism Sector

Bahrain has high aspirations in regard to its tourism sector and is spending billions of dollars in tourism infrastructure to meet its goals. By 2020, the Middle East country anticipates the sector contributing more than $1 billion to its GDP. By that time, it will also have spent more than $13 billion on related projects.… Continue Reading

Everything You Need to Know about Kuwait’s Infrastructure Spending

Everything You Need to Know about Kuwait’s Infrastructure Spending

Home to more than 6 percent of the world’s crude oil reserves, Kuwait has built a relatively strong economy based upon oil production and distribution, with petroleum accounting for more than 90 percent of the nation’s export revenues. However, realizing the need to diversify its economy, Kuwait’s leaders are now heavily investing in civic- and… Continue Reading

Investigating and Evaluating Emerging Market Opportunities

Investigating and Evaluating Emerging Market Opportunities

On June 20, 2018, MSCI, a leading global equity indices provider, upgraded Saudi Arabia to emerging market status. The investment bank UBS says this decision could attract up to $45 billion in capital to Saudi Arabia. Of this inflow, passive investors would contribute $10 billion and active ones would account for $35 billion. Another $5 billion… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Doing Business in Oman: Strengths and Opportunities

What You Need to Know about Doing Business in Oman: Strengths and Opportunities

The city of Duqm may offer a sneak peek into the future of economic opportunities in Oman. At one time a somewhat sleepy fishing town, Duqm aims to become the preeminent economic zone of not only Oman, but the entire Arabian Peninsula. Per Santander Financial, the Duqm Special Economic Zone alone attracted over $11 billion… Continue Reading

Spotlight: Important Airport Projects in the Middle East

Spotlight: Important Airport Projects in the Middle East

More than 206 million passengers flew to and from the Middle East in 2016, which represented a 9 percent increase from the year prior. This number is expected to rise significantly over the course of the next two decades, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The organization estimates that the total market size… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about the GCC Rail Network

What You Need to Know about the GCC Rail Network

The Gulf Cooperation Council comprises six Middle Eastern countries and was established in 1981 to achieve political and cultural unity among the participating nations, which share a belief in Islam. While the countries—Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—have political, economic, religious, and cultural ties, they will soon be further… Continue Reading