Saudi Arabia showcased its latest technological innovations at the GITEX exhibition in Dubai, underscoring Riyadh’s modernization campaign to introduce social and economic change into the conservative kingdom.
More than 4,000 government-owned companies from over 70 countries were represented at the 37th GITEX exhibition.
From flying taxis to Batman-style surveillance motorcycles, Dubai’s GITEX expo this week showcased innovations that were symbols of the city-state’s ambitions to be a metropolis of the future.
Known for its futuristic skyline and artificial islands, Gulf emirate Dubai has carved out a place alongside cities like Singapore as a hub for innovative ideas.
At this year’s 37th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), which runs until, city authorities were keen to show off they remain on the cutting edge.
The undisputed star of the expo, which has more than 4,000 companies from 71 countries participating, was Dubai’s flying taxi project developed by German drone firm Volocopter.
Videos of the craft’s first ‘concept’ flight last month – albeit without passengers– generated widespread buzz on social media.
Authorities at the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) anticipate five years of testing to put in place safety procedures, infrastructure and legislation governing the system.
Officials are keenly aware that even residents of ultra-modern Dubai may not be ready to step into a futuristic unmanned craft guided via a mobile phone application.
They are already working to explain planned safety measures for the craft, which will cost 200,000 to 250,000 euros each.