Dubai on track in deal with UK monorail firm

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Updated 27 March 2020

Dubai on track in deal with UK monorail firm

  • Cross between traditional system and cable car will carry pods of four people high above road network

LONDON: Dubai has enlisted the help of a UK company in a bid to modernize the emirate’s transport system by building a monorail.  

The company, BeemCar, creates alternatives to traditional modes of transport, with an emphasis on being environmentally friendly. 

The proposed system, which will be a cross between a traditional monorail and a cable car, will transport “pods” of four people to and from their destinations, suspended high above Dubai’s busy road network, according to a newspaper report. 

The emirate hopes that the system will help ease congestion and facilitate its plans to have driverless technology transport a quarter of its population by 2030. 

The agreement with BeemCar was backed by the UK government, which sees the Gulf region as a potential business partner as the country looks to its future outside the EU. UK Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris was present at the signing of the agreement between BeemCar and the emirate.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia have all become bywords for radical technological advancement in recent years.

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Dubai hopes the proposed monorail will help facilitate its plans to have driverless technology for a quarter of its population by 2030.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already revealed plans to work with Los Angeles-based company Virgin Hyperloop One to link the two emirates via a hyperloop train network that would theoretically see people travel the 140-km distance in 12 minutes, reaching top speeds of up to 1,000 km per hour using vacuum technology.

The UAE’s space program is based in Dubai, which is set to launch a space probe to Mars this year. 

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi is constructing Masdar City, a vast development centered on moving the emirate away from oil dependence, being both car-free and relying chiefly on solar electricity for power.

Saudi Arabia signed a deal with Virgin Hyperloop One in 2019 to build a 56-km test track and research facility north of Jeddah, with a view to building a network in the Kingdom in the future. 

At the time, Virgin said that if successful, a hyperloop could reduce the travel time from Jeddah to Riyadh from 10 hours to 76 minutes.

The Kingdom is also building a technologically visionary megacity, the Red Sea-based Neom in the northwest of the country, on the borders with Jordan and Egypt.


Iraq pledges full compliance with OPEC+ oil cuts

Updated 58 min 40 sec ago

Iraq pledges full compliance with OPEC+ oil cuts

  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, the Saudi Arabian energy minister, and his Iraqi counterpart, Ihsan Ismail, reaffirmed their commitment to the cuts
  • Under tough economic pressure, Iraq had struggled to meet the full cuts, but Ismail promised to reach 100 percent this month

DUBAI: Iraq has pledged to meet in full its obligations under the OPEC+ oil production cuts that have been credited with rebalancing global crude markets after the mayhem of April’s “Black Monday” when prices crashed around the world.

In a telephone call between Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, Saudi Arabian energy minister, and his Iraqi counterpart, Ihsan Ismail, the two men reaffirmed their commitment to the cuts, which have helped to pull the oil price back from historic lows.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, has more than doubled in the past three months.

Under tough economic pressure, Iraq had struggled to meet the full cuts, but Ismail promised to reach 100 percent this month. Iraq has now committed itself to an ambitious program of compensation to make up for past overproduction.

Iraq will further reduce production by 400,000 barrels per day this month and next, Ismail said, bringing its total cut to 1.25 million barrels daily. That level of cuts could be adjusted when final estimates of compliance are assessed by the six “secondary sources” that monitor OPEC+ output.

“The two ministers stressed that efforts by OPEC+ countries toward meeting production cuts, and the extra cuts under the compensation regime, will enhance oil market stability, help accelerate the rebalancing of global oil markets, and send a constructive signal to the market,” a joint statement added.

Prince Abdulaziz thanked Ismail for his efforts to improve Iraq’s compliance with the agreement.

Iraq had been the biggest laggard in the move toward 100 percent compliance by the 23 members of the OPEC+ alliance.

Officials in Riyadh told Arab News that Iraqi compliance had reached about 90 percent, a high level by the country’s previous standards but still short of the new targets.

Saudi Arabia has been forcefully advocating full compliance with the targets in an effort to remove oil from the global market as demand is still badly affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The oil market will be under the spotlight later this month when the joint ministerial monitoring committee of OPEC+ energy ministers convenes virtually in the most recent of the monthly meetings set up to oversee the state of the global industry.

Oil had another strong week on global markets, breaking through the $45 barrier for the first time since early March on signs that the glut in US oil stocks was easing, as well as reductions in the amount of “floating crude” stored in tankers on the world’s oceans.

The price spiked on news of the Beirut explosion, which some analysts believed could herald a deterioration in regional security and a threat to oil exports.

Brent crude was trading at $44.70 on international markets.