Abu Dhabi’s Ethmar Holdings launches drone transport company for healthcare sector

SkyGo will start operations next year with a network of 40 stations

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Jan 25 , 2016 : John Molberg , Business Development Manager at Lockheed Martin Canada ( not in the photo ) giving demo of Lockheed Martin drone at the Drones Middle East conference held at Marriott hotel Al Jaddaf in Dubai.  ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For News. Story by Nadeem Hanif . ID No : 14647 *** Local Caption ***  PS2501- DRONES02.jpg

Abu Dhabi-based investment manager Ethmar Holdings has tied up with Apex Al Wataniya Logistics and robotics company Averro Technology to set up a drone-based transport venture in the emirate.

Called SkyGo, the company will begin operations next year with a network of 40 stations to support the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi. It aims to provide a “more streamlined healthcare delivery service across the city”.

The new venture aims to become a “unique transportation company” specialising in using the latest drone technologies, the entities said in a joint statement on Monday.

“SkyGo is ... [a] disruptive technology company providing logistics and supply chain solutions by drones,” Sultan Al Dhaheri, executive board member of SkyGo, said.

“In the next phase, our plan is to expand to other sectors locally and regionally, which will be announced soon, and provide the best air transport services using UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles],” he added.

Drones are making deliveries with increasing regularity in rural areas all over the world. Drone companies are getting big-ticket commercial contracts in the region for monitoring industrial infrastructure and providing services in sparsely populated areas.

The global drone logistics and transportation market size, which was valued at $8.7 billion last year, is projected to reach $38.7bn by 2028, growing at an annual rate of 20.6 per cent, according to Delaware-based research and consulting firm Verified Market Research.

The industry is being propelled by the increased use of UAVs in commercial applications for faster delivery with the growth of the e-commerce sector and eased regulations for using drones for commercial purposes, as well as its cost-effective nature, according to the report.

The industry has also experienced a growth in investments, with venture capitalists showing increasing interest, which will help fuel innovation. Total investments reached a record of $1.2bn in 2019, a 67 per cent year-on-year increase, Finbold.com data showed.

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority has developed an all-in-one app for drone users in the Emirates to assist them in using these devices in compliance with the safety regulations.

Emirates ID holders who are registered with the GCAA can shoot videos and take photographs using drones in locations permitted and at heights specified by the local authorities. The app allows the immediate identification of areas where photography is permitted.

There are certain free fly zones, where people can fly drones up to a height of 122 metres. The app helps locate all information to users through an interactive map.

Updated: September 21st 2021, 3:00 AM