Saudi Arabia to build world’s first long-range hyperloop test track

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin group, speaks in Dubai on April 29, 2018, during the unveiling of the DP World CargoSpeed a partnership to build a hyperloop system for cargo in the UAE. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 July 2019

Saudi Arabia to build world’s first long-range hyperloop test track

  • The hyperloop technology is expected to reduce journey times across Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf
  • It will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: A study will be conducted to build the world’s longest test and certification hyperloop track in Saudi Arabia, American transportation technology company, Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), announced on Tuesday.

A 35-kilometer test and certification track will be built 100 kilometers north of the Red Sea port of Jeddah, in King Abdullah Economic City.

The project, which will include a research center and a hyperloop manufacturing facility, will be in partnership with the Kingdom’s Economic City Authority (ECA). It will facilitate the development of localized hyperloop supply chains and the acceleration of innovation clusters across the Kingdom.

The hyperloop technology is expected to reduce journey times across Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf.

Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would be reduced from 10 hours to 76 minutes, a statement from VHO said. While travel from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi in the UAE would be shortened to 48 minutes from 8.5 hours.

The announcement stated that the partnership will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia which be commercialized and scaled.

“As we continue to help deliver the strategic pillars of Vision 2030,” Secretary-General of the ECA, Mohanud A. Helal, said during his visit to the VHO headquarters in Los Angeles.

“Having hyperloop at King Abdullah Economic City is going to act as a catalyst for a Saudi Silicon Valley effect and galvanize our software development, high technology research, and manufacturing industries,” Helal added.

Last year, the CEO of Virgin group, Sir Richard Branson, was in Dubai to unveil the DP World CargoSpeed, which aims to build a hyperloop system for cargo in the UAE. 


World Bank urges China to open technology industries

Updated 17 September 2019

World Bank urges China to open technology industries

  • It urges Beijing to open markets and reduce subsidies and government involvement in technology industries
  • The report makes no mention of the trade war between China and the US

BEIJING: The World Bank and a Chinese Cabinet agency have urged Beijing to roll back plans for government-led technology development that are fueling a tariff war with Washington.
The appeal Tuesday comes in a report on technology industries as “new drivers” for China’s economy that was commissioned three years ago, before the trade war erupted.
It urges Beijing to open markets and reduce subsidies and government involvement in technology industries that it says might hamper development instead of promoting it.
The report makes no mention of the trade war, but Washington, Europe, Japan and other trading partners cite the same policies as violations of Beijing’s free-trade commitments.