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.


Saudi Arabia increases oil exports to 10.6 million bpd

Updated 30 March 2020

Saudi Arabia increases oil exports to 10.6 million bpd

  • The Kingdom intends to increase its crude oil exports starting in May, by about 600,000 barrels per day

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry said the Kingdom intends to increase its crude oil exports starting in May, by about 600,000 barrels per day.
This will bring the Kingdom’s total petroleum exports to 10.6 million barrels per day, a ministry spokesman said. 
This increase came as a result of displacing crude with natural gas from the Al-Fadhili gas plant, as a fuel for generating electricity and also the decrease in local demand for petroleum products as a result a reduction in transportation due to precautionary measures taken to limit the coronavirus outbreak.