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Dubai Future Foundation and Asite to Host International Competition on the Future Transportation Sector

A Hyperloop in the Middle East—Design project aims to reduce time between Dubai and Fujairah by less than 10 minutes


It Starts with 48-hour Virtual BIM Event

As part of its international partnership initiatives, Dubai Future Foundation has announced that it will host the eighth annual Build Earth Live competition organized by Asite. Sponsors include Hyperloop One, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority, and global design and BIM software developer Vectorworks, Inc. This 48-hour virtual Building Information Modelling (BIM) event begins on September 26, 2016 at noon GST and closes on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at noon GST. Teams made up of professionals in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industries will be to challenged to collaborate using BIM technology to virtually design Hyperloop terminuses linking Dubai and Fujairah.

Winning Designs Actually May Be Built

Additionally, this is the first Build Earth live edition where the winning designs have the chance to actually be built, as the United Arab Emirate (UAE) government is planning to build Hyperloop infrastructure in the near future. If built, the travel time between Dubai and Fujairah would be reduced to less than 10 minutes.

Hyperloop is a system that uses a low-pressure piping to link two terminus stations, enabling passenger capsules to travel within the pipe at high speeds of up to 1200 km per hour. The technology is capable of reducing the travel time between New York and Beijing to just two hours. Experts say that the cost of building a single Hyperloop tube will be just 10 percent of the cost of building conventional high speed trains.

01 - Hyperloop One is championed by Peter Diamonds, X-Prize Founder and Executive Chairman. He encourages those who want to see a Hyperloop in their city to get involved and form a team for the competition.

01 – Hyperloop One is championed by Peter Diamonds, X-Prize Founder and Executive Chairman. He encourages those who want to see a Hyperloop in their city to get involved and form a team for the competition.

“The Build Earth Live competition has reached a new level this year with the possibility that the winning project will be built, and we’re incredibly honored to be the headline sponsor,” said Jeremy Powell, product marketing director at Vectorworks. “We can’t wait to see what teams come up with when designing for Hyperloop technology.”

Prior to the competition, the organizers will release a high-level design brief to all potential participants, followed by full details of the event and the introduction of the final projects. A committee of global experts will judge the projects and select six finalist teams to come to Dubai to present their final designs in person.

Building Excitement—Over 100 Participants

To date, more than 100 participants have enrolled under teams from various engineering and scientific international enterprises.

“Hyperloop One is excited to be on board as the premier industry sponsor of the Build Earth Live contest,” said Peter Diamandis, CEO, XPrize Foundation/Founding Board Member, Hyperloop One. “Dubai has been a leader in working to shape the future of transportation, and this event presents an incredible opportunity to work with the best and brightest minds to come up with solutions that will benefit not only the region, but the entire world.”

Commenting on the event, His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees and managing director of Dubai Future Foundation said, “Dubai is hosting this global event as part of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE and Dubai a global platform for innovative minds to come together to create futuristic solutions on issues of relevance to humanity. This contest is a great opportunity to explore innovation ideas in the smart transportation sector.”

HE Al Gergawi pointed out that development of future transportation solutions will effectively change the way people handle their daily tasks, and the way they work and commute, especially considering that the world is witnessing a technical revolution involving 3D printing, self-driving vehicles and robotics. “This will eventually lead to massive global economic growth, and we aim to keep pace with the rapid developments by focusing on smart application of services and innovation in all fields,” added HE Al Gergawi.

His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the Board of Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and member of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation, explained that RTA’s vision and strategic plans are aligned to the overall objectives of the government and seek to contribute to the provision of innovative services that enhance the status of Dubai as a pioneer in providing futuristic solutions for all sectors. Smart systems will revolutionize Dubai’s transportation sector, he added.

HE Al Tayer noted that Dubai’s Autonomous Transportation Strategy aims to convert 25 percent of the total commuting trips to autonomous mode (driverless) as one of the world’s most important initiatives, turning Dubai into a global laboratory for next generation technologies in the field of transportation. He also pointed that as part of Dubai’s strategy to shift to autonomous transportation, RTA has recently begun trial runs of the first driverless smart vehicle that accommodates up to 10 passengers. The RTA is also currently working on plans to implement Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy.

Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation said, “Hyperloop is now a major topic of study and research to find effective ways of implementing technology in line with the global trends of innovation, as well as the vision of Dubai Future Foundation as part of Dubai’s Future Cities program which has smart transportation as a key pillar of the program.

Al Aleeli noted that hosting of experts as part of the competition will contribute to innovation in the transportation sector and strengthen partnerships and investments in the field.

Group Chief Operating Officer Nathan Doughty of Asite said, “We are delighted that the UAE is hosting the Build Earth Live contest. Through this partnership, we are looking forward to bringing innovative designs to further develop the infrastructure and find realistic future solutions, especially in the transportation sector. This is a particularly exciting Build Earth Live event because the winners may well see their design implemented as part of the world’s first commercial Hyperloop.”

Dubai Future Foundation is a leading independent research organization that will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Dubai in light of the Dubai Future Agenda adopted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Dubai Future Agenda will enhance the future of all strategic sectors of the country through the launch of initiatives and strategies such as the autonomous transportation strategy launched recently as a joint venture between the Dubai Future Foundation and the RTA.

The Agenda seeks to support and enhance the impact of the future sectors on the national economy through the launch of several initiatives and strategies for the future such as the recent Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, which is a joint venture between the Dubai Future Foundation and the RTA, which aims to transform 25 percent of the total transportation in Dubai to autonomous mode by 2030.

Event Details

Planned for September 26 – September 28, 2016, this is the 8th “Build Earth Live” event in the series founded by Nathan Doughty, COO of Asite to promote BIM awareness in the AEC community. So we are calling out to all collaborative BIM gurus! Whether you are a BIM novice, BIM expert or simply an observer, sign up to take part in our global Build Earth Live events here:

About Hyperloop

Hyperloop One is reinventing transportation by developing the world’s first Hyperloop, an elegant, integrated structure to move passengers and cargo between two points immediately, safely, efficiently and sustainably. Our team has the world’s leading experts in engineering, technology and transport project delivery, working in tandem with global partners and investors to make Hyperloop a reality, now. For more information, please visit


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