07 May 2024: Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority (RAKTA) and Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) have joined forces with vertiport infrastructure developer, Skyports to launch air taxi services in the Emirate by 2027.

The government bodies and Skyports have agreed to collaborate by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a network of vertical ports, linking important destinations throughout Ras Al Khaimah.

The agreement involves a partnership between RAKTA, RAKTDA, and Skyports to jointly create, build, and manage Ras Al Khaimah's inaugural electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi network. According to the companies, commercial services are scheduled to start by 2027.

This initiative aims to combine Skyports’ vertiport infrastructure with RAKTA’s current transportation system, offering swift travel to Ras Al Khaimah’s key destinations and attractions such as Al Marjan Island, Al Hamra, and Jebel Jais, the tallest mountain in the UAE.

The introduction of air taxi services will significantly reduce travel times to these locations. For instance, the trip from Al Marjan Island to Jebel Jais, which currently takes around 70 minutes by car, will be shortened to less than 20 minutes.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said in a press release, “The support we’ve received from the UAE government and Ras Al Khaimah authorities has been phenomenal, enabling us to innovate at an unprecedented scale and pace. In the next two years, we aim to build the infrastructure and facilities for an electric-powered transit system that will redefine the way tourists experience Ras Al Khaimah. This collaboration also perfectly aligns with our commitment to sustainable tourism. By introducing electric air mobility, we not only enhance accessibility to Ras Al Khaimah’s attractions but also significantly reduce our carbon footprint. This initiative drives us closer to our goal of establishing Ras Al Khaimah as a regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025.”

Commenting on this collaboration, Duncan Walker, CEO and founder of Skyports said, “We are eager to join forces with the leading transport and tourism organisations in Ras Al Khaimah to launch electric air taxi services in the Emirate. This collaboration further underscores our commitment to providing the essential enabling infrastructure for zero-emission aviation across the UAE. We look forward to contributing our expertise to realise Ras Al Khaimah’s ambitious transport and tourism goals.”

The establishment of the vertiport network in Ras Al Khaimah will revolutionise the transportation system in the region and contribute to achieving its goal of attracting 3.5 million visitors annually by 2030 in a sustainable manner. Through offering emission-free transport solutions, the Emirate demonstrates its dedication to environmental conservation and sustainable growth. These aspirations resonate with Skyports' strategy, emphasising the integration of vertiports with current public transit systems to encourage greener transportation methods.