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Tue 3 Mar 2020 11:15 AM

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Video: The changing face of the Middle East's transportation sector

Dubai is stepping up the development of futuristic mobility solutions through suspended transport technology.

And in doing so, last week, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) signed an agreement with BeemCar Ltd, which is considered as one of the largest developers of sky pods in the world, to develop sky pods in Dubai.

Under the agreement, Beemcar will develop sky pods that are known for their speed, safety, and efficient use of resources in the emirate. In fact, what is more interesting about skypods is that, they occupy less land area for operations, which is multiple times less than the conventional means of transportation of the same capacity.

Moreover, sky pods are power-efficient, small-sized, light-weight units that are mounted with steel wheels, which run on suspended rails, making them a source of transformation in itself for the transportation industry.

According to the director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of RTA, HE Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, the addition of skypods support RTA’s efforts to deploy autonomous transit means in line with the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy that is aimed at diverting 25% of total mobility journeys in Dubai to autonomous transit means by 2030.

In February 2019, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai reviewed the Unibike and Unicar models of the Sky Pods futuristic transport system on the side lines of the World Government Summit.

The emirate of Sharjah is not far behind. The Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park’s (SRTI Park) is working on the hanging track transport system called the SkyWay project, which is being developed by SkyWay Technologies.

The project’s Phase which includes the development of the 400m-long elevated string track and SkyWay stations to transport passengers is 80% complete, with work having begun on Phase 2.

The second phase involves the development of a 2.8km-long elevated track to transport cargo, including containers and bulk transport.

Not far away, in Jordan, the Jordan Free and Development Zones Group (JFDZC) is developing the Ajloun cable car project in Al Suwwan Development Zone (SDZ).

The project that would be completed by June 2021, is being implemented by Wolfurt Austria-based ropeway manufacturer Doppelmayr.

Phase 1 of the project includes building the parts of the cable car project. Meanwhile, Phase 2 of the project covers the construction of a conference centre, a five-star hotel, lodging areas, and a restaurant.

(Source: Construction Week YouTube channel)