Dubai Says It Is Officially Launching Flying Taxis by 2026

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum just announced the news.

Dubai is about to start looking like Futurama.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced via Twitter on Sunday night that the UAE city has officially approved an aerial taxi design, and it is planning to bring them to town by 2026 once all legislative requirements and safety measures are met.

The news doesn't necessarily come as a surprise. Dubai has been planning and preparing to launch flying taxis for a few years, and in 2017, the city even tested a driverless vehicle dubbed the Autonomous Air Taxi. Now, the plans are about to become reality, and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is in charge of developing the new prototype models of the aerial taxi vertiports, Skift reports.

The aerial taxis, which will be electric vehicles, will reportedly take off and land from designated areas, which will also be equipped with passenger waiting zones and electric charging stations. Security protocols will also become part of the process, and each taxi will accommodate one pilot plus four passengers, just like a regular taxicab.

Initially, Dubai's aerial taxis will operate from a limited network of vertiports. They'll be connecting Dubai's four main areas, including Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Dubai International Airport, and Palm Jumeirah. Once the Dubai International Airport vertiport will be completed, Dubai will become the first city in the world to flaunt a fully developed vertiport network.

If you're worried about the price, you can rest assured. According to the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, an aerial taxi ride in Dubai will cost as little as an Uber ride, the Khaleej Times reports. Prices will likely be higher at the beginning, though, and it might take a while before they go down, Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of The Public Transport Agency at RTA, told the paper.

Aerial taxis will be pretty fast, too. They will be able to reach a maximum speed of 186 miles per hour, and they will have a maximum range of 150 miles before they'll have to get back to the ground and charge up the battery. 

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.