Video: Construction Week In Focus | UAE's hyperloop projects update 
What does the future hold for hyperloop projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?
Hyperloop schemes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are racing ahead of global concepts for the ultra high-speed transport technology, but what progress have these UAE project plans made in 2018?
In October 2018, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (Hyperloop TT) said that construction on the world’s first commercial hyperloop system – located in UAE capital Abu Dhabi – will begin in Q3 2019. Dar Al-Handasah will lead the project design of Hyperloop TT's project, with the founding member of Dar Group also joining as the latest investor in Hyperloop TT.
The news comes months after Hyperloop TT signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi-listed Aldar Properties that will allow for the creation of a commercial hyperloop track, as well as Hyperloop TT’s XO Square Innovation and Hyperloop Experience Centres.
But Hyperloop TT is not the only company in this technology space – Virgin Hyperloop One, which counts Dubai's DP World among its investors, has also witnessed notable progress this year in the UAE and across the wider Middle East.
Days before Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson stepped down from his role at the company, Virgin Hyperloop One told Construction Week that its hyperloop project in Saudi Arabia had not been 'cancelled', contrary to reports by international media such as the Financial Times.
Virgin Hyperloop One's update came days after it told Construction Week that it was eyeing the development of a GCC-wide network, and considering the launch of its first non-US office in Dubai. The company has yet to reveal construction plans for the UAE or Saudi Arabia, but it may begin building its demo track, spanning 10-15km, in India during Q1 2019.
A planned 140km route between India's Pune and Mumbai cities, upon completion, could become Virgin Hyperloop One's first large-scale project in the world.
In this episode of Construction Week In Focus, Neha Bhatia and Oscar Rousseau, editor and deputy editor of Construction Week, provide a progress update report about hyperloop projects in the UAE and the Middle East.
Construction Week In Focus is a weekly bulletin of the Middle East's top news from the real estate development, contracting, MEP, facilities management, and equipment sectors.
Subscribe to the Construction Week channel for the latest from the region's construction sector.
Construction Week In Focus episodes are published each Tuesday at 9am.