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UAE-Based Drone Company Plans Wider MENA Expansion

UVL Robotics is broadening the scope of its commercial drone activities across the Middle East.

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uae-based drone company plans wider mena expansion
UVL Robotics

UVL Robotics, a UAE-based robotics startup, is the first company to provide a fully operational commercial drone delivery service in the MENA region. After winning several high-profile contracts, the company is now preparing to trial drone flights in Abu Dhabi — an Emirate with over 200 islands.

“It all depends on the graders,” explains CEO Eugene Grankin. “If they rate us well, we could soon get the permission to fly in Abu Dhabi.” Grankin has good reason to be confident. In 2021, after a tropical cyclone hit Oman, UVL drones were successfully deployed to deliver supplies. “We could deliver medicine to remote areas where it took a long time to reach by car,” the CEO explained.

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Today, UVL Robotics is focused on inventory management as well as delivery. In Europe, UVL drones can scan 300-750 pallets in under five seconds. The company now uses drones to perform stocktaking at more than 50 warehouse locations, with global companies like PepsiCo utilizing the service.

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In the Middle East, sustainability and CO₂ reduction are the primary drivers of drone adoption. Saudi Arabia plans to cut carbon emissions by 278 million tonnes per year, while the UAE has plans to reduce its own output by 31%. Research conducted by UVL found that drones produce 36% fewer emissions than moving the equivalent load volume by truck, despite each UAV having a payload of just 10kg.

As well as reducing CO₂, drones can also improve operational efficiency. In Oman, coastlines and rugged terrain mean that food deliveries typically take 30-60 minutes by human courier. With drones, that time is cut to a predictable 15 minutes. In addition, drones can handle over 30 orders daily, compared to just 20 when delivered by regular vehicle.

Also Read: USB-C Will Be Mandatory From 2025 For All Saudi Smart Devices

Meanwhile, at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, UVL Robotics is preparing to launch campus-wide smart loading stations, which the company hopes will act as a blueprint for future smart city projects across the region.

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Hamad International Wins 2024 Skytrax World Airport Awards

The Qatar airport also won “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time, and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the 10th year.

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hamad international wins 2024 skytrax world airport awards

Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar, has once again won the “World’s Best Airport” title at the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The award ceremony, held at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany, also saw Hamad clinch the accolade of “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time in a row and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for an impressive 10th consecutive year.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, who played a key role in the airport’s development over the past decade, said: “This is a remarkable achievement for Hamad International Airport, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary of operational excellence, connecting passengers seamlessly from all around the world. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and partners, who have contributed to providing passengers with the finest travel experience”.

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Al-Meer emphasized the importance of understanding changing travel trends and the needs of modern air passengers: “At the heart of our growth strategy lies the passengers’ journey, their evolving needs, and our commitment to meeting and exceeding their expectations. We have introduced a diverse range of experiences at the airport, including Souq Al Matar, which brings Qatari hospitality and culture closer to travelers, “Orchard”, the ideal place for relaxation and rejuvenation between flights, and an array of high-end lounges”.

Also Read: Top E-Commerce Websites In The Middle East In 2024

Hamad International Airport saw a massive 31% surge in passenger traffic during 2023, with the transport hub now serving over 45 million passengers annually. The airport is now home to prestigious airlines, including Vistara, Iberia, Xiamen Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, and Japan Airlines, serving 250+ destinations for passenger and cargo flights.

The uptick in traffic is no doubt due to the completion of the first phase of an extensive expansion project. Hamad’s management intends to radically update the airport’s facilities over the coming years in a bid to create the “airport of the future”. The expansion features a unique and calming environment of lush greenery and several contemporary dining and shopping concepts among the already well-equipped leisure facilities.

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