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(From Left to Right) Richard Dean, Host of Businees Breakfast on Dubai Eye 103.8, Christoph Mueller, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer of Emirates Airline, Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President of Dubai Airports and Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director of Virgin Hyperloop One. (Supplied Photo)

Hyperloop could transit passengers between Al Maktoum International and Dubai International in six minutes, says expert. The future of hyperloop and travel infrastructure in the GCC was discussed at ATM 2018, during a seminar session entitled ‘Future Travel Experiences’ … reports Asian Lite News.

(Supplied Photo)

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, according to expert panelists speaking on Arabian Travel Market’s Global Stage.

Providing a lightening-speed 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.

The future of Hyperloop and travel infrastructure in the UAE and wider GCC was discussed today (Sunday 22nd April) at Arabian Travel Market, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre, during a seminar session entitled ‘Future Travel Experiences’.

Moderating the session, Richard Dean, a UAE-based business broadcaster and presenter 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 Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) as key stations on the hyperloop system is essential. At present, Emirates only operates from Dubai International Airport but the implementation of a hyperloop system between both airports could allow the airline to effectively and efficiently work from both hubs, Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President (Infrastructure and Technology Dubai Airports), said.

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.

(From Left to Right) Richard Dean, Host of Businees Breakfast on Dubai Eye 103.8, Christoph Mueller, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer of Emirates Airline, Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President of Dubai Airports and Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director of Virgin Hyperloop One. (Supplied Photo)

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

Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director Middle East and India Field Operations, Virgin Hyperloop One, said: “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.”

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, 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.

GCC capital investments in tourism infrastructure are expected to reach US$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 forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%, 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.

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. 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.

About Arabian Travel Market (ATM)

ATM is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Arabian Travel Market now in its 25th year will take place in Dubai from Sunday, 22nd to Wednesday, 25th April 2018

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than seven million participants.

About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

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