Joby Aviation to launch air taxi service in Dubai from 2026

Deal with Dubai RTA will see 200mph flights between airport and three city locations
UTC / February 13, 2024
By Adam Hill
Air taxi Dubai urban air mobility (image: Joby Aviation)
Joby’s electric air taxi on display at the World Governments Summit in Dubai (image: Joby Aviation)

An air taxi service is set to launch in 'early 2026' in Dubai, UAE, following a deal between urban air mobility specialist Joby Aviation and the emirate’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA).

Under the agreement, Joby has exclusive rights to operate air taxis in Dubai for six years, and says it is "targeting initial operations as early as 2025".

Skyports will design, build and operate four initial vertiport sites at Dubai International Airport (DXB), Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Dubai Downtown to launch the service.

Joby’s aircraft is designed to carry a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200mph: a flight from the airport to Palm Jumeirah is expected to take 10 minutes - compared with 45 minutes by car.

JoeBen Bevirt, Joby founder and CEO, says three things are required to successfully launch an air taxi service: "A definitive path to operations, well-placed infrastructure supported by dedicated partners, and an aircraft with the capacity and range to deliver meaningful journeys."

Bevirt says the firm is "laying the groundwork for the expansion of our service across the wider UAE".

Mattar Al Tayer, director general, chairman of the board of executive directors for RTA, says the air taxi service "is part of RTA’s efforts to embrace future transportation technologies and offers a novel and efficient mobility option for Dubai's residents and visitors, enabling fast, safe, and convenient travel to key city spots". 

The service "will also enhance seamless multimodal transportation, improving citywide connectivity and ensuring a smooth travel experience for passengers".

Joby and RTA have been working with the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority and, along with Skyports, they will work on how the air taxis fit in with Dubai's wider public transport network in Dubai. 

Joby recently announced it will participate in the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry cluster established by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, as part of exploring broader operations across the UAE.

In November 2023, Joby’s aircraft became the first electric air taxi to fly in New York City.

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