Dubai staged a test flight on Monday for what it said would soon be the world's first drone taxi service.
The flying taxi developed by German drone firm Volocopter resembles a small, two-seater helicopter cabin topped by a wide hoop studded with 18 propellers.
It was unmanned and without passengers for its maiden test run in a ceremony arranged for Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
In the test flight, the device hovered upwards about 200m and whirred for about five minutes over a windswept patch of sand astride the emirate's Gulf coast.
Meant to fly without remote control guidance and with a maximum flight duration of 30 minutes, it comes with plenty of fail-safes: back-up batteries, rotors and, for a worst-case scenario, a couple of parachutes.