Category Archives: Infrastructure

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.

5 Middle East Telecom Developments You Need to Know

5 Middle East Telecom Developments You Need to Know

The telecommunications sector is forever in a state of flux as companies fight to seek supremacy in their respective markets—and that is especially true in the Middle East, where telecom operators are fighting to be the first to establish a commercially available 5G network. Ultimately, the goal is to increase revenue and overall business performance… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Infrastructure Projects in Lebanon

What You Need to Know about Infrastructure Projects in Lebanon

Once a prominent banking hub in the Middle East, Lebanon sustained heavy damage to its infrastructure following decades of political and social unrest. In the early 2000s, a host of countries gathered on multiple occasions at international donor conferences to pledge support for Lebanon. Recently, the CEDRE conference in April 2018 drew representatives from 51… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Proposed Mega-City

What You Need to Know about Saudi Arabia’s Proposed Mega-City

As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to shift its economic reliance away from crude oil due to a drastic decline in prices, it has placed an emphasis on developing tourism and mega-city projects. Its ambitious Red Sea Project aims to transform 50 untouched islands into a world-renowned resort and hospitality destination, while another 10,230-square-mile… Continue Reading

Everything You Need to Know About the Red Sea Project

Everything You Need to Know About the Red Sea Project

In the past, Saudi Arabia’s tourist industry has primarily been as a religious destination, through the Umrah or Hajj pilgrimages. However, in line with Vision 2030, the kingdom is seeking to diversify its economy beyond fossil fuel production and invest heavily in its tourism sector. Saudi Arabia recently began construction on the expansive Qiddiya Project.… Continue Reading

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 Important Middle East Telecom Developments You Need to See

4 Important Middle East Telecom Developments You Need to See

The telecom sector in the Middle East is as competitive as ever as operators seek supremacy in product offerings and customer satisfaction, particularly in regard to 5G networks. A number of operators in the region have already launched and tested 5G networks with plans for commercial rollout in 2019. The following are four recent developments… Continue Reading

Tourism Developments That Will Attract More Visitors to the UAE

Tourism Developments That Will Attract More Visitors to the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) consistently scores high in a variety of measures relating to tourism and is actively working to improve its status as a tourist destination even further. Numbeo recently ranked Abu Dhabi and Dubai first and 11th, respectively, on its list of the world’s safest cities, while Dubai finished first ahead of… 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

All You Need to Know about the Latest GCC Railway Project Developments

All You Need to Know about the Latest GCC Railway Project Developments

Road congestion is a major issue in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai, where, according to a study by Inrix, motorists spent nearly 29 hours stuck in traffic in 2017. As a result, the demand for transport by other means, such as railway, has grown considerably.@dan Similar problems exist across the other five Gulf Cooperation… Continue Reading