Joby Aviation, a company specializing in the development of electric aircraft for commercial passenger services, has agreed with Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority to initiate flying taxi services in the emirate by early 2026, aiming for initial operations in 2025.
The agreement, signed at the World Government Summit in Dubai, grants Joby exclusive rights to operate aerial taxis in Dubai for six years.
Joby's founder and CEO, Joby Bevirt, emphasized that the agreement includes all three essential components for successfully launching the flying taxi service: a clear operational roadmap, well-established infrastructure supported by specialized partners, and aircraft capable of providing meaningful flights.
Joby's aircraft was showcased for the first time in the region at the World Government Summit, designed to transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.
The journey from the international airport to Palm Jumeirah is expected to take just 10 minutes, compared to 45 minutes by car.
Joby, listed on the New York Stock Exchange with over two billion dollars in funding to date, including investments from Toyota, Delta Airlines, SK Telecom, Uber, and Baillie Gifford, has also signed an agreement with Skyports. Skyports will design, build, and operate four initial vertiport locations throughout Dubai.
The Roads and Transport Authority, Skyports, and Joby have jointly identified Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, and Downtown Dubai as launch sites for the aerial taxi service.
The Roads and Transport Authority, Joby, and Skyports will collaborate on a wide range of topics, from customer journey design to stakeholder engagement and integrating Joby's services into Dubai's broader public transport network.
Joby has also announced its participation in the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry Group (SAVI) established by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, as part of exploring broader operations across the Emirates.
In November 2023, Joby's aircraft became the first electric taxi to fly in New York City, following the commencement of production at the company's first factory in California in June 2023 and the delivery of the first-ever electric taxi to the US Department of Defense in September 2023.