Dubai to Fujairah in 10 minutes? It could happen with a Hyperloop

A transport consulting company won a competition to design terminals and infrastructure for a tube that propels passengers at 1,200kph from Dubai to the east coast of the country.

Mobius, a team of 20 staff from French transport contractor Systra, was named the winner. Courtesy Dubai Future Foundation
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DUBAI // Making the impossible possible was the theme of the International Hyperloop Competition, as teams from looked to reduce travel time between Dubai and Fujairah to only 10 minutes.

Contestants were challenged to design three Hyperloop – high-speed tube – terminals, at Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai International Airport and Fujairah International Airport. They also had to outline track infrastructure and the route between the terminals.

Of the 67 shortlisted teams that took part in the 48-hour contest, six finalists explained their projects in front of judges on Tuesday at Dubai Future Accelerators in Emirates Towers.

Mobius, a team of 20 staff from French transport consultant Systra, was named the winner.

Paola Arellano, project architect, said their concept could become reality in a city as advanced as Dubai.

“Everybody is trying to do everything faster now,” Ms Arellano said.

Michael Hoghooghi, general project director, said transport was about safety and security.

“In my opinion, the team won because of the totality of the solution and the approach they took,” Mr Hoghooghi said.

“It wasn’t just about the form of the architecture. It included all the elements. We are at the cusp of transforming our business and industry and pairing up with the emergent technologies showing up.”

He hoped that Dubai would implement the concept because it appealed to many elements that defined Dubai. “We are trying to transform not only our company, but our industry,” Mr Hoghooghi said.

“We are primarily in the rail transport business so far but many solutions are emerging.”

Mohamed Salah, lead architect in the team, said a Hyperloop One system would cost about US$6billion (Dh22bn), according to experts

“The engine, the pod and a lot of engineering aspects and design concerns need to be addressed,” he said.

The competition was hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation and organised by Asite.

“Hyperloop capsules can reach speeds of 1,200kph and it has even been estimated that one day, they will reduce travel time from New York to Beijing to just two hours,” said Saif Al Aleeli, chief executive of the foundation. “The UAE is looking to build a Hyperloop in the near future.”

*This article was amended on October 6 to correct an error.