DP World, Virgin Hyperloop One to build hyperloop system

Monitoring Desk

DUBAI: DP World, the Dubai-based ports operator, unveiled on Sunday a new partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One to build an ultra high speed cargo delivery system.

The joint venture, named DP World Cargospeed, will design a hyperloop system to deliver freight from point to point.

The announcement was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in addition to Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur who is chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, and Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, the chairman and CEO of DP World.

“It’s our pleasure to announce that DP World will work together with Virgin Hyperloop One to transport cargo around the world at jet speeds, for the cost of trucking,” said Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of DP World.

Hyperloop is a futuristic mode of tube-based transport, resembling a train but travelling at the speed of a jet aircraft.

“Dubai is at the cutting edge of everything, I like being involved in cutting edge things and Dubai is always at the forefront of that,” Branson said.

The two companies already have extensive links: DP World is currently Virgin Hyperloop One’s largest investor, occupying a board seat at the company.

“Today, things are changing. Our role is not in the port. Our role is now from the factory, to the consumer door,” Bin Sulayem said about the partnership.

Details were scant at the glamorous announcement, with no actual route confirmed.

“We see interest around the region, and the world,” said Rob Lloyd, chief executive of Virgin Hyperloop, adding: “In the coming weeks, you’ll hear more about our plans. There’s a lot of interest here to connect the emirates of the UAE.”

“The vision is to connect the entire Gulf Co-operation Council by hyperloop, both passenger and freight,” Lloyd said.

The company has to date raised almost $300 million in funding.

Lloyd told Gulf News in a February interview that the UAE was among the most likely country to be selected for the first fully-fledged passenger hyperloop transportation system, depsite the company agreeing to build the first test route in India earlier this year.