RAS AL KHAIMAH - Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority (RAKTA) and Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) have signed a future-forward Memorandum of Understanding with Skyports Infrastructure (Skyports), the company leading the development of vertiport infrastructure for electric air taxi services.

Marking the beginning of a partnership that will pioneer sustainable tourism through electric air mobility, this MoU will see Skyports develop a network of vertiports to connect key attractions across Ras Al Khaimah, propelling the Emirate as a destination of the future and aligning with RAKTA's Strategic Plan 2030.

Under the agreement, the parties will collaboratively design, develop, and operate Ras Al Khaimah's first electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi ecosystem, with commercial operations set to commence by 2027.

This innovative project will seamlessly integrate Skyports' vertiport infrastructure with RAKTA's existing transport network, providing fast and convenient zero-emission transport to Ras Al Khaimah's most popular areas and attractions, including Al Marjan Island, Al Hamra and Jebel Jais, the UAE's highest peak.

Tourists and residents visiting these sites will experience substantial time savings from the service. For example, travelling from Al Marjan Island to Jebel Jais takes approximately 70 minutes by car. The launch of air taxi services will cut the journey time to less than 20 minutes.

The vertiport network will transform transportation in the Emirate and support its objective of responsibly driving 3.5 million visitors annually by 2030.

By providing zero-emission transportation options, the Emirate is reinforcing its commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development. These ambitions align with Skyports' design approach, which prioritises integration with existing public transit networks to promote more sustainable transportation.

In addition, this initiative directly addresses the pressing need for innovative solutions to cut carbon emissions in ground transportation, a sector that accounts for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the travel and tourism industry, as highlighted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Furthermore, it will unlock future opportunities to integrate with air taxi networks across the UAE.

Esmaeel Hasan Al Blooshi, Director-General of RAKTA, emphasised the significance of a partnership to transform transportation in Ras Al Khaimah. By introducing electric air mobility, they seek to not only connect tourists to attractions but also pave a sustainable path forward for the Emirate, aligning with their 2030 strategic plan to enhance accessibility while minimising environmental impact.

Raki Phillips, CEO of RAKTDA, highlighted that - over the next two years - the authority plans to establish infrastructure for an electric-powered transit system, reshaping tourist experiences while staying committed to sustainable tourism goals.

Duncan Walker, CEO and founder of Skyports, expressed enthusiasm for collaborating with leading transport and tourism organisations in Ras Al Khaimah to launch electric air taxi services. This partnership reflects their dedication to providing essential infrastructure for zero-emission aviation across the UAE.