Delivery drone network edges closer as UAE firm sets world record

Asia's Tech News Daily

Drones may have taken centre stage during a sensational light show on Thursday to celebrate the UAE’s Golden Jubilee but their potential to transform delivery networks is also turning heads.

UAE-based delivery service Barq EV set a Guinness World Record when the firm’s logistics drone completed the longest non-stop return flight for a drone at 18.065 kilometres.

The achievement is a sign of things to come, as Dubai sets ambitious targets to expand a drone-based delivery network to relieve pressure on congested roads.

The programme seeks to improve people’s lives by reducing emissions generated by shipping and transportation

Abdallah Abu Sheikh

The Dubai Programme to Enable Drone Transportation initiative was launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, in November.

It aims to enable drone use across several sectors, including health, security, shipping and food.

Barq Ev set another Guinness World Record for the longest flight of a drone for a delivery service at 13.584km, placing the company at the forefront of potential new developments in Dubai.

“We are at the very nascent stage of the company and we have already broken two Guinness World Records, it is an extremely proud moment for all of us,” said Ahmad Al Mazrouei, a founder of the company.

“This achievement is a testimony to our readiness to launch the drone delivery service in the country.”

Enterprising plans set to take flight

Delivery drone network edges closer as UAE firm sets world record
© Provided by The National UAE-based delivery service Barq EV has entered the record books after the firm’s logistics drone completed an 18km non-stop return flight. Photo: Barq EV

Barq EV will be launched early next year, backed by three entrepreneurs in the advanced technology sector.

Abdallah Abu Sheikh is a serial entrepreneur who has developed and launched technology projects in the region, including Rizek – a service marketplace in the UAE and Egypt – while Al Mazrouei is a technology investor in the UAE, who worked in the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and as director of Al Mazoon Investments.

The third backer is Mazen Al Jubeir, an early investor in technology projects including Careem and Mrsool.

A global trend in developing innovative services in the transportation and logistics sector has ranked the industry fourth among the most-funded industries in the Mena region.

It recorded a growth of 122 per cent this year, with several leading companies based in UAE and Egypt set to expand the technology further across the region.

Several drone delivery pilot schemes have already been tested globally, including Amazon’s Prime Air.

The future delivery system is designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using autonomous aerial vehicles to improve rapid parcel delivery, increase safety and efficiency of existing transport systems.

Dubai’s drone programme aims to reduce carbon emissions generated by traditional shipping and transport routes, while generating new jobs in an expanding drone delivery network.

Laws and regulations governing air space in which delivery drones can operate will ensure safety across a commercial network for packages and potential passengers in the “Dubai Sky Dome” project.

“The programme seeks to improve people’s lives by reducing emissions generated by shipping and transportation and facilitating the movement of goods and materials,” said Mr Abu Sheikh.

“This way, it will contribute to positioning Dubai as one of the smartest cities in the world.”

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