As we get closer to the grand Golden Jubilee, the UAE is not only looking back on all of its accomplishments but is planning ahead for the next 50.
The UAE is already home to a number of public transportation systems including water taxis, a metro, a tram system and a monorail, but soon it will be home to much more.
On Instagram, the UAE’s Year of the 50th celebrations official page has shared a video outlining just what citizens, residents and visitors can expect in the next 50 years.
One of its most ambitious travel projects is the 1200km long Etihad Rail network.
The Etihad Rail project began in 2009 and the first phase, which covers a stretch of track between Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, became operational in 2016.
Once completed it will stitch the seven emirates together with a passenger and freight transport track, taking the service from the Eastern seaboard of Fujairah, right up to the very edge of Saudi Arabia.
Work on the second phase (which is split into Packages A, B, C and D) began at the beginning of 2021 and is where things get exciting for the other emirates. Some of the stops along the journey will include Abu Dhabi, KIZAD, Khalifa Port, Jebel Ali Port, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah, linking with the existing line at Ruwais, effectively uniting the major industrial ports and trading centres of the country.
Upcoming ropeway system
On June 7, 2021 Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Zhong Tang Sky Railway Group – a leading company in the suspended railway firm with the aims of bringing a futuristic suspended transport network to Dubai.
The signing of the Memorandum is part of RTA’s ongoing efforts to increase public transportation trips to 26 per cent by 2030 with the ultimate objective being to rank Dubai as the best place for living and business, a destination for visitors, and the smartest and happiest city in the world.
The journey from Dubai and Abu Dhabi can take up two hours by road. With the arrival of the Hyperloop though, passengers can reach Abu Dhabi from Dubai in just 12 minutes.
The train can reach speeds of up to 1000 km/h which is three times faster than high-speed rail and more than 10 times faster than traditional rail.
An animated video shared by Virgin Hyperloop in January this year shows exactly what it will be like to ride the super-fast transport.
Additionally…Dubai will soon be home to driverless taxis
In April 2021, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai announced the signing of an agreement between Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and Cruise, a leading US-based autonomous vehicle company that will operate self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services in the emirate.
The agreement will make Dubai the first non-US city in the world where Cruise will commercially operate these vehicles.
These self-driving vehicles are expected to significantly improve road safety levels as over 90 per cent of accidents are due to human errors. The vehicles are all-electric, environmentally friendly and capable of serving a wide range of clients from different community segments, including seniors and people of determination.
The agreement supports Dubai’s 2030 vision for self-driving technology.
Sharjah’s high-speed electric sky pods will not only transport passengers between emirates but also cargo at speeds ranging from 150kph to 500kph.
SkyWays or Unicars as it is named is a hanging transport system made up of individual unicars connected by a long cable suspended above the ground.
In October 2019, HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah visited the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) when the new hanging cable car-style transport system was being trialed.
During the test phase, the unicars only travelled a short distance but once complete, they will run 2.8 kilometres from the beginning of the park (Sharjah Airport Road) to the end (Muwaileh Road). Once successful, the government is expected to announce the construction of its routes within the city with further plans for the pods to connect with other emirates.0