Dubai has ambitious plans to become the first city in the world to introduce an all-electric aerial taxi service. The futuristic ‘VoloCity’ flying taxis, developed by German startup Volocopter, are expected to begin operations within the next three years. The battery-powered taxis will provide automated air travel between popular locations across the city, helping alleviate growing traffic congestion on Dubai’s roads. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority has partnered with Volocopter to launch the new aerial network and conduct ongoing flight trials of these pioneering electric aircraft.

Pioneering New Transportation Option

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has partnered with German startup Volocopter to launch the new electric air taxi network. Trials are currently underway using a two-seater Volocopter aircraft. Once licensed for commercial operation, the larger VoloCity model will be able to carry up to two passengers on short trips across Dubai.

RTA hopes the electric air taxis will help alleviate growing traffic congestion on Dubai’s roads, while providing a time-saving and environmentally friendly transportation alternative. Compared to driving, the VoloCity taxis are expected to dramatically cut travel times between popular tourism locations and business districts. By taking to the skies above traffic, passengers could fly between Dubai Marina and Dubai International Airport in just 15 minutes.

All-Electric Operations

A key feature of the VoloCity aircraft is that they are fully electric, marking a major advancement in electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) technology. Powered by lithium batteries, the taxis have a maximum range of 35km on a single charge. This makes them suitable for intra-city trips without the need for refuelling stops.

The electric motors are also much quieter than combustion engines, helping address noise pollution concerns about low-altitude aircraft operating above dense urban areas. With zero emissions, the air taxis will support Dubai’s sustainability goals and efforts to reduce its carbon footprint from transportation.

Autonomous and Safe Operations

Volocopter aims to implement a high degree of automation and flight autonomy in its aircraft to ensure safe operations. Advanced sensors and computing will help the taxis navigate crowded airspace and detect obstacles. From take-off to landing, the VoloCity is designed to fly pre-programmed routes and holds itself steady without any need for an onboard pilot.

Instead of a pilot, passengers will interact with the taxi using an onboard touchscreen and via remote control centres on the ground. Strict regulatory approvals and flight tests will still be needed before autonomous passenger flights can begin. However, the RTA is targeting to launch the initial electric taxi network within the next three years.


If successful, Dubai’s electric aerial taxi network will mark a major milestone as the city poised to become the first in the world to implement an operational urban air mobility system at scale. The pioneering character of the project hinges on establishing a framework for the mass adoption of electric vertical take-off. It aims to set the standard for upcoming air taxi networks to optimize accessibility and traffic congestion alleviation in cities worldwide in the future.