eVTOL developer Joby Aviation has signed a definitive agreement with the government of Dubai to begin air taxi operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), sweetened by the exclusive rights to aerial operations in the country’s capital for six years.
Competition is starting to heat up in the eVTOL world as several major players in the segment move ever closer to commercial eVTOL operations around the globe. As a result, we are starting to learn which companies will legitimately bring full-scale air taxi operations to reality and who will do so first.
Joby Aviation ($JOBY) is one of those favored as its progress to date has been impressive. We saw Joby achieve its first flight with a pilot onboard in October 2023, quickly leading to a demonstration in New York City ahead of full-fledged air taxi operations expected to begin in 2025.
Following millions in initial funding and, most recently, a California Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) grant, Joby has the location for US eVTOL production lined up. With US operations beginning to… takeoff, Joby Aviation has set its sights on expanded eVTOL air taxi operations around the globe, starting with Dubai.
Joby nabs exclusive air taxi rights in Dubai starting 2026
Joby Aviation shared details of its landmark deal with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) this morning, which includes initial eVTOL operations in 2025, followed by the launch of commercial air taxi operations in the Emirate by 2026.
The definitive agreement, signed at the World Governments Summit in Dubai, grants Joby exclusive right to operate air taxis in Dubai for six years. This is interesting news because other eVTOL operators, like Archer Aviation, have signed similar agreements in the UAE but will now have to focus operations on different parts of the Middle Eastern country, as Joby has claimed Dubai. The company’s founder and CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, spoke to Joby’s latest milestone:
It is an honor to partner with the government of Dubai to demonstrate the value of sustainable air travel to the world.
Today’s landmark agreement delivers on all three ingredients required to successfully launch an air taxi service – a definitive path to operations, well-placed infrastructure supported by dedicated partners, and an aircraft with the capacity and range to deliver meaningful journeys.
We’re looking forward to delivering an incredible experience for residents and visitors to Dubai as early as 2025 and we’re excited to be laying the groundwork for the expansion of our service across the wider UAE.
In addition to the agreement with the government of Dubai, Joby also signed a deal with Skyports, who will design, build, and operate four vertiport sites in the UAE’s most populous city. Joby says its air taxi operations will launch across the Dubai International Airport (DXB), Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, and Downtown, as seen in the route map above.
Joby’s eVTOL aircraft can transport four passengers plus a pilot and reach speeds up to 200 mph – cutting routes that would take 45 minutes by car down to a manageable 10-minute journey. Dubai residents will be able to purchase an air taxi ticket directly from their phone, load up at a vertiport, and take to the skies.
The entire Dubai air taxi ride process has been simulated by Joby Aviation in the launch video below: