According to Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS), the Middle East’s leading provider of DT^3 (Drone Technology, Data Technology, and Digital Transformation) technology, expressed that Dubai’s new drone law will position the emirate as the world’s commercial and start-up hub for drone services and will drive growth in the region’s drones industry, making it one of the strategic sectors that will lead to the economic recovery.
Rabih Bou Rashid, CEO of FEDS, said “The global commercial drones market is slated to grow 20% annually. That growth, however, has been limited because of a lack of crucial legislation and roadmap in the world.”
GCC’s drone industry is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2022, according to PwC’s Strategy&. Much of this, the study said, will be generated from oil and gas as well as utilities, constituting 43 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
“Dubai’s new drones law is a significant development for the entire industry as it aims to take away hurdles in maximising the use of drones,” Bou Rashid said. “It will also enable the creation of an integrated airport network and ground control infrastructure for drones, which will set a world precedent.”
Before Dubai’s Law No. 04 of 2020, he said, no place in the world has ever formed a blanket law that covers the creation of an aerial infrastructure network and integrated framework for manufacturing, licencing, inspection, sale and ownership, as well as drone-based transport activities and services regulations.
The pioneering legislation will pave the way for the implementation of ‘Dubai Sky Dome’, an initiative that will provide a master plan of a virtual airspace infrastructure for commercial drone use in the emirate.
The law came following the UAE government’s extensive use of drones in the national sterilisation programme, as well as in its information dissemination, police patrolling and crowd guidance at the onset and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubai as hub for R&D and technology start-ups
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg as the industry has not yet optimised the other uses of drones, Bou Rashid said. Through R&D, he noted that drones can be developed as a revolutionary tool that will help various sectors embark on a large-scale digital transformation in the face of a new world order.
In addition, the law will bring about a novel economic stream that will position the emirate as the go-to hub for technology start-ups seeking new opportunities, he said.
The region has been using drones extensively in the agriculture and construction sectors, even before the pandemic started, said Bou Rashid.
In a project for the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, FEDS had conducted a seeding initiative to plant 6.25 million Ghaf and Samar trees across 25 locations in the country in just a few days – a process that used to take decades with the traditional farming methods.
In the construction industry, Bou Rashid explained that employing drones would help contractors cut down expenses by 11.8 per cent in terms of progress monitoring, as the technology allows them to constantly detect potential errors before they become costly problems over time.
Emphasising how drones can cut time wastage by 18.4 per cent, he said, “This remotely piloted aircraft helps developers save hours plotting the site through their fast data collection capabilities. The ability of drones to conduct return flights and provide precise data through aerial view maps allows firms to detect potential errors effortlessly.”
Drones also keep construction personnel away from the dangers of surveying hazardous sites, especially since they can hover even around risky spots to gather clips of the construction development.
Bou Rashid said “From space initiatives down to the wide-scale drone usage amidst the global pandemic, UAE’s resolute commitment to advance science and technology albeit the challenges posed by the crisis is very much remarkable, positioning the country at the forefront of progress.”
“The new drone law affirms the UAE leadership’s forward-thinking approach to reach greater heights and become a leading force in the innovation that will attract new opportunities in the new normal,” he added.