Drone Delivery Is Coming to Dubai by 2018

The fleet will start with just five UAVs but is expected to grow toward 100 vehicles. 

Razan Alzayani/Bloomberg/Getty

Drone delivery is coming to the Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, as early as March of 2018, according to the Khaleej Times. Eniverse Technologies, an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) delivery company led by CEO Mohammed Johmani, plans to cut delivery costs by 30-40 percent by switching from traditional truck delivery to drone delivery. According to a recent study The Drive reported on, this change will not only be economically beneficial for Dubai, but be far more environmentally friendly than the current standard of truck deliveries. 

According to the Khaleej Times, the required governmental approval process of corporate drone deliveries has been begun already and is expected to last 6 to 12 months, making March a pretty good estimate for when this could actually take off. Once the paperwork has been taken care of, deliveries will start to smaller neighborhoods. At first, there will be five UAVs at work, in the following districts: Emirates Hills, The Meadows, The Springs, The Greens, Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim. Once things run smoothly, Eniverse will expand their 5kg-maximum deliveries of goods to more areas. Not only that, but the expected increase of the drone fleet is currently at 100 vehicles.

"We shall start with five drones and increase it to 100 by 2022. We are talking with two major entities in the UAE to start using our services. This is (a) futuristic project and it hard to test the demand, as we will be the first movers in the UAE market and one of the few globally," Johmani told the Khaleej Times

Of course, a sophisticated drone air-traffic management system needs to be put in place as a reliable framework for a fleet of autonomous vehicles as is proposed, and the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority is quite aware of that. According to the Khaleej Times, they've been working on establishing this framework since November of 2016—and they aren't the only organization preparing for this.

The Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) of Dubai, as well as Dubai Future Accelerator,  are planning on beginning drone delivery trials within the next month, the Khaleej Times reports. This past June, the RTA tested an "air taxi," with its actual trials beginning by the end of the year. Apparently, Uber is keen on implementing flying cars in Dubai by 2020. This may seem far too futuristic or overly ambitious, but with enough resources pushing the drone industry forward, as well as governments cooperating with these companies efficiently—we may be living in a vastly different world by 2020.