Vertiports and UAM developer Skyports has signed a deal with authorities in Ras Al Khaimah for the development of infrastructure for an air taxi network in the northern Emirate of the UAE. 

The memorandum of understanding between the UK based Skyports and Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority (RAKTA) and Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) set the framework for the latest development in the UAE’s burgeoning UAM and eVTOL sector. 

They agreed to “collaboratively design, develop, and operate Ras Al Khaimah’s first electric eVTOL air taxi ecosystem,” according to a joint statement. 

The proposed map of future air taxi services. Credit: Skyports

The future “air taxi” services in the Emirate will focus entirely on tourism traffic. Its intention has been clearly stated as “providing fast and convenient zero-emission transport to Ras Al Khaimah’s most popular areas and attractions”. 

Ras Al Khaimah is, like its more famous neighbours in the United Arab Emirates, both the name of the wider region and its main city. But without the instant name recognition of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, it’s turned instead to its mountainous natural landscape to attract international visitors. 

Jebel Jais (“the UAE’s highest peak”) has recently seen an uptick in traffic from a somewhat surprising source: top level cyclists who arrive each February to race the “UAE Tour”. Skyports said its vertiport structure would allow journey times to the mountain top to be cut by more than half. 

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“By introducing electric air mobility, we’re not just connecting tourists to our attractions, we’re forging a sustainable path forward for our Emirate,” said Esmaeel Hasan Al Blooshi, director general of RAKTA.

“This innovative project aligns perfectly with our commitment to enhancing accessibility while minimising our environmental impact, following our 2030 strategic plan. Together, we’re shaping a brighter, greener future for Ras Al Khaimah.”

Duncan Walker, CEO and founder of Skyports, added: “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 partners hope to begin services in 2027.