Comment: Can FM work with RTA’s flying taxi?
Imdaad CEO Jamal Abdullah Lootah suggests transport time of critical FM services can be reduced drastically with the flying RTA taxi
The day is not far off when residents in Dubai will be able to skip mass transit and instead fly to work, thanks to the pioneering Autonomous Air Taxi project announced by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The launch of the air taxi service is a landmark move that will revolutionise urban transport in Dubai and dramatically improve mobility for the emirate’s residents and visitors. It shines a light on Dubai’s never-ending quest for innovation and demonstrates why it truly is a city of possibilities.
The decision to introduce air taxis as a way to move people around Dubai will immensely benefit professionals living and working in the city, as it gives them the flexibility of a conventional taxi service and the speed of taking an aerial route.
As someone closely involved in the city’s vibrant facilities management (FM) industry, I’m thrilled to note that the launch of air taxis will prove to be a particular blessing for people employed in this sector, as it eliminates one of the main operational hurdles our industry faces today.
Very often, operations teams at FM companies are hobbled by a lack of means to get around the city quickly enough, and find themselves spending long hours on the roads caught up in traffic. This often hampers their ability to tend to major issues that require immediate attention as the delay caused by traffic renders them unable to reach their destination on time, at times leading to serious business consequences. Air taxis offer a solution to this problem, allowing FM professionals to get to their client location in no time to fix the issue at hand.
As Dubai moves ever closer towards its vision of becoming the world’s smartest city, and as technology continues to transform the way people in the emirate live and work, it has become imperative upon companies operating in the FM sector to modernise all aspects of their operations and make necessary adjustments to their business model to keep up with the pace at which Dubai is evolving.
We, at Imdaad, are taking the lead in accelerating the industry’s shift toward a technology-led future with the establishment of a dedicated research and development center, thus becoming the first FM solutions provider in Dubai to have an in-house R&D unit.
With technology evolving at breakneck speed, no industry can long survive without bringing itself up to speed with the latest trends and innovations shaping our world. A willingness to adapt and respond to change and embrace the opportunities presented by the new digital world is, therefore, essential for the FM industry to stay competitive.
Another area where I believe the proposed air taxi service will have a strong impact is environmental conservation. The air taxi is battery-powered and emits very low noise and pollution, and the introduction of such environmentally-friendly modes of transport will give a major boost to Dubai’s plans to create a greener, more sustainable future.
For Imdaad, a commitment to environmental protection and conservation has long been the centerpiece of our social responsibility initiatives, which are aligned with the goals outlined in UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021.
Imdaad’s leadership in waste management — which represents a crucial component in facilities management — is well-acknowledged. That being said, given the pace at which Dubai is making progress in meeting its commitment to the environment, I believe it is time for all of us in the facilities management industry to elevate our environmental performance even further so that we are able to meet evolving needs and make a meaningful contribution toward Dubai’s vision to be at the forefront of sustainability.
About the author: Jamal Abdullah Lootah is the group CEO of Imdaad.