Tuesday 22 January 2019

Experts discuss ‘Future Travel Experiences' at the ongoing ATM expo.

Hyperloop 'can link DXB, Al Maktoum passengers in 6 minutes'

DUBAI, April 23, 2018

Innovative Hyperloop connections could reduce travel times between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) by around 34 minutes at some stage in the future, said leading industry experts at the ongoing Arabian Travel Market (ATM) expo in Dubai.

Providing a lightning-speed the Hyperloop transit system would allow airport passengers to travel between both airports in as little as six to seven minutes – a shorter transit time than travelling between terminals at Dubai International Airport, stated the expert panelists while speaking on the ATM's Global Stage.

The topic at the Global Stage on the travel expo's opening day (April 22) was future of Hyperloop and travel infrastructure in the UAE and wider GCC.

The seminar session entitled ‘Future Travel Experiences,’ was moderated by Richard Dean, a UAE-based business broadcaster and presenter. He was joined by a host of high-profile panelists including Christoph Mueller, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Emirates Airline; Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director Middle East and India Operations, Virgin Hyperloop One and Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President (Infrastructure and Technology), Dubai Airports.

"Looking to the future, having both te Dubai airports as key stations on the hyperloop system is essential. At present, Emirates Airline only operates from DXB but the implementation of a hyperloop system between both airports could allow the Dubai carrier to effectively and efficiently work from both hubs," remarked Ibbitson.

Virgin Hyperloop One, a futuristic transportation concept through which pods, propelled by magnets and solar, will move passengers and cargo at speeds of 1,200kph, is the most prominent tourism infrastructure development in the UAE at present.

Backed by Dubai-based DP World, Hyperloop One has the potential to transport approximately 3,400 people an hour, 128,000 people a day and 24 million people a year.

In November 2016, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) had announced plans to evaluate a hyperloop connection between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which could reduce travel times between the two emirates by 78 minutes.

Dhaliwal pointed out that providing a hyperloop connection that allows both UAE residents and tourists to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes is just the beginning.

"In the future, other emirates and indeed other GCC countries could also be linked, with journeys between Dubai and Fujairah as low as 10 minutes and Dubai to Riyadh in 40 minutes," said the top official.

"Hyperloop One isn’t the only concept to boost tourism infrastructure in the region, the development of key international airports in Saudi Arabia and airport expansion in the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait as well as cruise terminal expansions besides the improved domestic inter-city road and rail work and the growth of low-cost airlines will keep the GCC at the forefront of tourism infrastructure and innovation," he added.

GCC capital investments in tourism infrastructure are expected to reach $56 billion by 2022, with the UAE ranked the most competitive in the region, driven by the development of multiple revolutionary transport projects, according to Arabian Travel Market’s research partner, Colliers International.

Air passenger arrivals to the GCC are poised to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3 per cent, from 41 million in 2017 to 55 million in 2022.

The development of new airports across the GCC region, combined with the introduction of various low-cost carriers such as flydubai and recently launched Saudi low-cost airline Flyadeal, are expected to contribute heavily to this growth, said the experts.

In Dubai, cruise tourism is expected to grow over the next two years as the emirate targets the arrival of 20 million tourists a year, ahead of Expo 2020, they stated.

During the 2016/2017 season, Dubai welcomed 650,000 cruise tourists with this figure forecast to increase to one million by 2020.

Expansion works at DP World’s Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal at Mina Rashid are expected to contribute to this growth. Set to be the largest terminal in the world, the facility is capable of handling 18,000 travellers every single day, they added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Passengers | DXB | Al Maktoum airport | Hyperloop |

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