Saudi Crown Prince meets Virgin Hyperloop One's Richard Branson

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz was briefed on Virgin Galactic Company's activities, including its hyperloop transport technology, during his visit

Virgin Hyperloop One's Richard Branson with Saudi Arabia's HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz [image: SPA].
Virgin Hyperloop One's Richard Branson with Saudi Arabia's HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz [image: SPA].

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince visited the Virgin Galactic Company in California, US. 

During his visit, HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, also the Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense of the kingdom, met with Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson. 

Virgin Hyperloop One named Richard Branson as its chairman in December 2017.

The Crown Prince was briefed on Virgin Galactic's activities, which include space travel, as well as its hyperloop transportation system. 

During the visit, Branson and the Crown Prince reviewed areas of investment partnerships and developing existing opportunities – especially in space travel services. 

READ: Inside Virgin Hyperloop One’s prototype pod in Dubai

Hyperloop is a rapid-transit system that was conceptualised by SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, in 2013, and is designed to propel air-cushioned pods through a semi-vacuumed tube. 

When implemented, the technology could cut journeys between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to 12 minutes; Dubai to Muscat to 27 minutes; and Dubai to Riyadh to 48 minutes.

Led by the UAE, hyperloop development is making rapid strides in the Gulf. 

A hyperloop pod was unveiled in February 2018 by Virgin Hyperloop One, and the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), as part of UAE Innovation Month.

Boasting two cabin types – first- and gold-class – the pod consists of 16 seats designed by the automotive maker, BMW.

Routes to operate Hyperloop technology have been identified in the UAE, RTA said in February. 

RTA and Virgin Hyperloop One had "made considerable progress" with the project, the agency announced.

Revealing additional updates about Hyperloop in the UAE, HE Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the RTA's board, said both firms had reviewed the technical, engineering, and economic feasibility studies for the project.

He added: "Progress made also included identifying the routes for operating Hyperloop, along with its initial design model.

"Hyperloop boasts deluxe interiors, cutting-edge broadcasting and display of information and entertainment materials, and leather seats." 

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