Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 15 minutes by ‘Desert Bullet’? Bring it on!

cartoon train

This is nothing to do with teaching or English, unless you want to connect this post to the use of superlatives… Dubai and the UAE are famous for attempts to break the biggest and best in records for global competitiveness. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa currently stands as the tallest building in the world. The Burj Al Arab is the world’s only 7 star hotel. The Emirate’s Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi is the world’s most expensive hotel. The next few years will also see the development of the world’s biggest mall. What else could we dream about seeing in the UAE that would break new highs while also making the place an even more inspiring and amazing place to live? Well here’s the start of my wish list 🙂

One thing I’d love to see is ‘The Desert Bullet’ – the world’s fastest train, to zoom at almost tele-portational speeds between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in its first stage of development, and then to branch out to reach Oman’s Muscat and Saudi’s Riyadh and Jeddah. Then why not throw Qatar’s Doha and Jordan’s Amman into the network? Is the Middle East ready for its first gold-plated and diamond encrusted railway network?

Currently, the Shanghai Maglev is the fastest train in the world with a maximum operating speed of 267.8 mph (Maglev is an abbreviation of magnetic levitation – suspension or floating of an object by magnetic field). The Shanghai Maglev has no wheels and it floats on a magnetic field that exists between the train and the track, allowing the train to fly over it. The train takes only 7 minutes and 20 seconds to complete its single route of almost 19 miles.  China railways Harmony CRH 380A is the second fastest operating train service in the world. In commercial service, this electric, multiple unit train achieves a maximum speed of 236.12 mph. But it set a record speed of 258.58 mph during initial tests.

Could the UAE beat this? Would it want to? At the moment, it takes about 1 hour and 23 minutes to travel by car between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, a distance of 139.4km, or 86.62 miles. If the Shanghai Maglev was taking you, you’d get there in about 20 minutes. I’d be up for that for sure! I’d also feel safer and at less risk from car accidents. But of course, the UAE would want to beat the Shanghai Maglev’s records – wouldn’t it!? I guess we could aim to shave a few minutes of the journey then – fancy making it in 15? Awesome! How about Abu Dhabi to Riyadh (894km – normally an 8 hour car drive) by ‘Desert Bullet’ in just over an hour? Phenomenal! Bring it on 🙂


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