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Will Dubai build the first Hyperloop? Video teases an announcement tomorrow

A fully operational, ultra-fast transportation system using Hyperloop technology may be a ways off, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of nations around the world from getting rather excited about the possibility of one day using it to propel its citizens at breakneck speed between cities, and even countries.

Australia has shown an interest in the system, as has Russia, the city-state of Singapore, and several countries in Europe. Of course, the two competing companies behind the system, Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), would also like to see their high-speed pods racing across states in the U.S., but regulatory hurdles may mean that if the technology is ever rolled out as a commercial service, it could take a little longer to arrive in the country.

So could Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) become the first place to make Hyperloop a reality? We may find out on Tuesday. Hyperloop One has just posted a super-slick video that puts the so-called City of Gold front and center while at the same time teasing a big announcement for November 8.

The promotional video touts Hyperloop journeys between Dubai and Abu Dhabi taking just 12 minutes – the journey by car currently takes around two hours. It also suggests trips between Dubai and Doha of a mere 23 minutes (7 hours by car, and 1 hour by plane), while a jaunt between Dubai and Riyadh would last no longer than 48 minutes (currently 10 hours by car, and 1 hr 45 mins by plane).

A myriad of testing rigs feature in the video, alongside lots of computer-generated imagery of the system in action, and teams of  engineers looking like they know what they’re doing. There’s even a sequence showing the Hyperloop leaving a passenger plane in the dust!

We already know that Hyperloop One has a strong interest in Dubai. In August, the LA-based company inked a deal with DP World, the third-largest port and terminals operator in the world. The agreement is aimed at using Hyperloop to boost the efficiency, profitability, and sustainability of DP World’s Jebel Ali port – located in the UAE’s most famous city – by building a network to transport freight from the port to inland locations.

When Elon Musk first made public his dream of a transportation system that would carry passengers and goods through tubes at speeds of more than 700 mph, people thought it was just that – a dream.

But both Hyperloop One and HTT have taken up the challenge, and while some still doubt that the system can ever really work, significant progress has been made in the last couple of years, and we may yet see it up and running.

As for Dubai, this is a place not backwards in coming forwards when it comes to taking on flashy, attention-grabbing projects. After all, it’s already home to the world’s tallest building, the world’s largest shopping mall, and the world’s longest indoor ski run. It’s also building a set of extraordinary “floating villas,” has plans to build a rainforest inside a hotel, and lets its cops hit the streets in supercars.

With that in mind, the Hyperloop seems like a perfect fit.

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Trevor Mogg
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