cover image

Illustration by Joaquín Kunkel

UAE Updates

A look into what’s been going on in the UAE this week.

Nov 10, 2018

Dubai Police Begin Testing the use of Flying Hoverbikes
Early last month, the Dubai Police unveiled their latest crime-fighting vehicle — the hoverbike — among a large display of similarly advanced technologies in Gitex Technology Week 2018. The flying Hoverbike runs solely on electric energy, and thanks to its quadcopter design, can reach a maximum height of five meters and a maximum speed of 60 m.p.h., Dubai Police report. The Hoverbikes were built to be used by a first-response unit for emergency situations — such as traffic accidents — in hard to reach areas and can be flown for 25 minutes with a pilot or 40 minutes without.
Hoversurf — the founding father of the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle — recently gifted the Dubai Police the first serial production unit of the S3 2019 Hoverbike after its showcase. The police have now begun training two specialised crews to operate the vehicles.
On Nov. 8, the Dubai Media Office tweeted a training video of the police forces’ first attempts at flight with the Hoverbikes, giving the world a first glimpse of the bikes in action.
The bikes are believed to cost up to 550,875 AED per unit. Khalid Al Mazooqi — the general director of Dubai Police Headquarters Artificial Intelligence Department — expects them to be in the field by 2020.
Louvre Abu Dhabi Welcomed More than One Million Visitors in its First Year
On Nov. 10, the Louvre Abu Dhabi not only celebrated its one year anniversary, but also honored the art museum’s latest feat as a budding cultural institution, having welcomed over 1 million international and domestic visitors since its inauguration. After ten year in the making, the Louvre has attracted and engaged its local UAE residents, which is evidenced by statistics gathered by the museum. Residents represent 40 percent of the museum’s total number of visitors, of which Emirati nationals are the top nationality of repeat visitors and the second highest nationality to frequent the museum on the whole, Gulf News reports. In the past year, the Museum has organized around 1,000 school trips, 5,000 guided tours and hosted 400 artists from over 22 different countries.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi has also become a hub for international tourism, with international visitors accounting for 60% of the yearly total. The museum has been driving up the tourism of the Abu Dhabi Emirate, with tourists from France, Germany, China, the U.K., the U.S. and the Gulf claiming the top of the ranks as frequent visitors. Overall, India has been crowned the top nationality among the museum’s international visitors.
In a statement to Gulf News, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak — Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism — spoke of the historical significance of the collaborative art project and its lasting effects on the UAE.
“Louvre Abu Dhabi has become an icon and a favourite destination in Abu Dhabi both for our local communities and visitors to the city. Our strong collaboration with our French and regional partners supports the museum’s mission to tell universal stories and we thank them. Yet our greatest success, 10 years in the making, is the next generation of Emirati museum professionals who are trained to the highest standard in the cultural sector and are leaders in their field,” professed Mubarak.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crowned Winner of the Melbourne Cup
For over 30 years, Godolphin — the global thoroughbred breeding operation and horseracing team founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai — has invested $800 million, fielded more than 4,664 horses and competed in more than 26,000 runs all in the search of international racing fame and a single momentous prize: the Melbourne Cup. Throughout Al Maktoum’s racing career, the Godolphin organization has only boasted a total of 5,190 wins, with only three second place finishes and two third place titles in the Melbourne Cup. Coming into the 2018 racing season with a collective success rate of 20 percent, the $2.8 million prize of Australian “race to stop a nation” seemed statistically and historically out of reach.
However, on Nov. 7, Cross Counter — a three-year-old English horse jockeyed by Kerrin McEvoy and trained by Godolphin — overtook previously acclaimed horse Marmelo by a full length to win the Melbourne Cup and bring Al Maktoum a win in his thirty year Australian racing career. Cross Counter is the first English Horse to claim the Melbourne Cup. Counter’s trainer, Charlie Appleby, took some time after the race to congratulate Godolphin and the undying dedication of its founder; Al Maktoum.
"This is all down to Sheikh Mohammed, he's the one that's given us all the encouragement to take the chances in what we do internationally,” Appleby exclaimed.
Dylan Palladino is News Editor. Email him at
gazelle logo