Gitex to host first public flight of Chinese two-seater flying car

More than 50 per cent of exhibitors are new to the Dubai tech show and floor space is up a quarter on last year

The XPeng X2 two-seater eVTOL flying car produces zero carbon dioxide emissions in flight. Photo: Gitex
Powered by automated translation

This year's Gulf Information Technology Exhibition in Dubai — more commonly known as Gitex Global — will feature the first public flight of a Chinese tech firm's eVTOL two-seater flying car.

The five-day tech event, from October 10 to October 14, will host 5,000 companies across two million square feet of exhibition space — a 25 per cent year-on-year increase — divided into 26 halls.

One of the world's largest tech shows, 52 per cent of the exhibitors are new to Gitex, including global tech companies Binance, AMD, Tencent and ByteDance.

The event, now in its 42nd year, will feature the latest developments and innovations in 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud technology, cybersecurity, FinTech, blockchain, data analytics and smart cities.

The eVTOL flying car display will be one of the star attractions.

XPeng — a tech company and EV manufacturer that designs, develops, manufactures and markets intelligent mobility solutions — has produced the two-seater eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) X2 flying car with the support of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, its official partner.

The X2 is equipped with an intelligent flight control system and autonomous flight capabilities and is the latest generation of flying cars developed independently by XPeng’s affiliate XPeng Aeroht.

Brian Gu, vice chairman and president of XPeng, said the X2 produces zero carbon dioxide emissions during flight and is designed with low-altitude city capabilities in mind, reaching a maximum flight speed of 130 kilometres an hour.

“We’re delighted to be holding the first global public flight of the XPeng X2 at Gitex Global 2022, showcasing our pioneering in-house R&D and proprietary manufacturing capabilities to push the e-mobility industry forward,” Mr Gu said.

He will speak at Gitex Global’s main stage conference programme about mapping the future of mobility.

“We believe this advancement takes us one step closer to the future of short-distance city journeys taking advantage of this technology, including sightseeing and medical transportation,” he said.

Electric air taxis are emerging as a new segment within the aviation industry, with industry giants Airbus and Boeing among those pouring investments into the eVTOL sector.

A flying “hypercar”, capable of reaching a top speed of 220kph at more than 900 metres, was tested in Dubai in November by London-based start-up Bellwether Industries.

In June, electric aircraft company Eve Holding, owned by Brazilian plane maker Embraer, and UAE-based charter flight operator Falcon Aviation Services signed a letter of intent for up to 35 flying taxis.

With deliveries of the aircraft expected to start in 2026, the partnership will introduce the first eVTOL tourist flights from Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

Also taking place alongside Gitex is North Star Dubai, one of the region's largest startup events. This will host the biggest unicorn meetup of the year in Dubai — with 35 unicorns from 15 countries looking to explore new opportunities.

The tech event also includes artificial intelligence summit Ai Everything, Future Blockchain Summit, digital finance summit FinTech Surge and martech event Marketing Mania.

It also features new launches Global DevSlam, the Middle East’s largest coder and developer meetup, and X-VERSE, an immersive metaverse journey featuring 28 experiential brands, both of which sold-out to a global audience within two months.

“This year, my office has partnered with Gitex to ensure that we’re not just showcasing technology, but actually inventing and developing technology,” said Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Digital Economy, AI and Remote Working System.

Dubai becomes test zone for 'Star Wars'-like flying car that can reach 220kph

Flying ‘hypercar’ that can reach a top speed of 220kph at 3,000ft tested in Dubai

Flying ‘hypercar’ that can reach a top speed of 220kph at 3,000ft tested in Dubai
Updated: September 30, 2022, 12:09 PM