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Dubai Civil Aviation Authority Commercial Drone Initiative and Obstacles

Executive Summary

The implementation of aviation drones is one of major goals pursued by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority. However, the implementation of aviation drones faces a number of challenges which must be solved first. The drone aviation industry is a multi-disciplinary and borrows concepts initially conceptualized for military operations. The challenges blocking the adoption of aviation drones in Dubai cut through reliability, privacy and safety, financing and public trust. The public perception of drones as military hardware have far reaching consequences on their implementation. Dubai is an innovative city and stands a better chance to implement aviation drones which could supplement the luxurious services provided in the city. the study associates ease of doing business, access to financial services, regulations and reliability of drones as the key barriers to the use of drones in Dubai.

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This research explores the challenges that hinder the large-scale implementation of aviation drones in Dubai. While Dubai is one of the most developed cities globally, it is a perfect spot for the implementation of aviation drones. This technological venture has not been implemented to date. First, the paper introduces the problem of study and implores the background of the research. It also discusses the purpose and significance of the study. The following subsections discuss the application of passenger drones in real life. The study also presented the research questions and corresponding objectives. Chapter two reviews the existing literature on the history, development application, and innovation of drones. Chapter two also reviews the technical challenges facing drones and how they can be overcome. Lastly, the chapter discusses the future of drones in terms of size, payload, and onboard technical features. Chapter three presents the research methodology and introduces the failure mode effects analysis (FMEA) and the BMC/VPC on the research. Chapter four presents the results of the study, while chapter five analyzes the results. Chapter six presents the conclusion of the research. In summary, the study associates several challenges with the slow development and acquisition of aviation drones in Dubai. These include technical challenges, privacy and safety concerns, capital, regulations, and reliability of drones. The discussions chapter touches on all of these issues and presents recommendations accordingly.

Chapter one: Introduction

Problem Statement

The influence of new and developing skills on the economy, civilization, and individuals is undeniable. Most typically, they impact how people practice and accomplish tasks and how human beings attain their goals, to mention a few, while also introducing new skills and opportunities for the act. Referring to the Internet as an example, it not only allowed societies to exchange information more quickly and cheaply, but it also totally transformed how communities think about and utilize information. The civil aviation sector of Dubai has been looking into developing safe and secure projects for driving the implementation of new services to the population (Jeon et al., 2017). The critical problem to address is meeting the growing demand for air transportation while considering the adverse impact of pollution and hazardous emissions.

Considering the advanced development of various technologies and the availability of drone solutions, the implementation of an initiative for passenger drones can meet the needs mentioned above. State-of-the-art drones are a new and safe mode of transportation, which is a solution to traffic congestion in major cities (Kellermann et al., 2020). However, several challenges are in place when implementing the passenger drones project, such as the willingness of commercial stakeholders to invest, the high costs of new technologies, difficulties in managing infrastructural networks, and further technological challenges, which may hinder the potential commercial benefits. This research will examine how the new technology, commercial uncrewed aerial vehicles or whines, is hindered by obstacles while delivering value to individuals. This thesis will also provide solutions to the challenges hindering the implementation of commercial drones in Dubai by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authorities. As a result, drones are becoming increasingly essential in research, new skills, and the community.


There has been a dilemma to either further develop drones or assist their integration with existing infrastructure. For that reason, several organizations and industry standards groups have been formed. They have created new and distinctive commercial-focused apps and facility platforms, and as a result, they have impacted how people think about technology and its business models (Al Sarrah et al., 2020). Subsequently, the likely rise of whine-based productions appears to change customer performance and people’s perceptions of freedom and responsibility. Dubai, the profit making head of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), implemented new legislation to administer the future services offered by drones and create a way for commercial drone facility ecosystems to permit passenger and other drone services within the city.

According to the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, this new rule will facilitate a broader convention of commercial drones in the United Arab Emirates, which will also be a significant element in establishing the “Dubai Sky Dome” inventiveness (Al Sarrah et al., 2020). Dubai’s innovative skyscraper infrastructure progressed affinity, and digital services with transformations are currently famous, and Dubai’s government showed interest in implementing drones in Dubai. The Dubai innovation labs championed by the government were established for prototype distribution drones. The state transport consultant was among the front people in the universe to administer test airlifts with independent aerial vehicle designers Volocopter and Ehang.

UAE centralized aviation guidelines have currently limited the usage of drones to particular monitored commercial applications and fly zones, permitting survey services and photography, but barring any yonder line of prospect operations. The current Dubai drone law issues a plan for the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) to develop processes, regulations, and systems to consent to a wide range of using drones (Al Sarrah et al., 2020). Outstandingly, Dubai’s current law will enable DCAA to issue its Dubai Sky Drone enterprise, which is under development to issue virtual and physical infrastructure required for a whole range of drone amenities. The Dubai authority has devoted itself to establishing a sky traffic monitoring system to cope with drone movement. It will stipulate radio frequencies, height restrictions, and air corridors.

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Dubai’s Law No.4, revealed in early 2020, simplifies implementing an assimilated framework for issuing certificates, licensing, inspection services, and No-Object Certificates (NOCs) associated with drone facilities and authorized systems for examining drones incidents and accidents. The law will develop an operational environment for commercial drones. It will also convert Dubai into a fundamental airspace substructure for Unmanned Inflight Vehicle systems capable of connecting buildings and places via miniatures and runways airports through the city (Al Kindi et al., n.d). It should come as no surprise that aviation and regulation are inextricably intertwined. Aviation is often acknowledged as the industry with the most stringent and comprehensive regulations. The nature of the laws is prompted by the cost of research and development of airports, transportation vessels and the potential dangers associated with the industry (Saraçyakupoğlu, 2019). Airborne transports are the most expensive and pose security and logistical risks to those on board and the ground. Unlike other transport models, air transport operates airplanes, jumbo jets, and helicopters. In the recent past, drones have become some of the fastest and most convenient modes of transport for long distances, such as intercontinental linkages.

Embracing and adopting the new drone technology is ideal and brings forth benefits. Managing change in a highly technical and quickly changing sector has been the most challenging task for governments and aviation authorities alike since the invention of airplanes (Saraçyakupoğlu, 2019). However, as drones become more prevalent in the civil aviation industry, new concerns question current assumptions and regulatory approaches. Governments have responded to rapidly evolving aircraft technology in the past, most notably during the two World Wars, by introducing legislation to ‘harness’ aviation operations. That raises the issue of whether governments worldwide will be similarly ‘forced’ into action in reaction to the risk that this new technology may pose, maybe in response to a catastrophic event.

The introduction of digital airplane technology, also referred to as distantly directed jet schemes (RPAS), into civil aviation has been compared to the debut of the jet engine (Onyegiri and Oke, 2017). One international observer even goes so far as to say that the UAS is the most significant advancement in commercial flying since the Wright Brothers’ Flyer (Du & Heldeweg, 2019). “Australia has the potential to become a leader in these sectors via a commitment to technical innovation, such as remotely piloted aircraft RPAS systems,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently remarked (ibid). The integration of UAS operations into unsegregated civilian airspace presents considerably more significant hurdles than the challenges that precede the introduction of any new technologically superior aircraft.

It is argued that a paradigm shift for governments and regulators may be necessary to properly attain this aim – especially given the aggressive implementation timelines that many countries have set for themselves (Du & Heldeweg, 2019). The rate of development of the UAS technology necessitates a rethinking of how to manage this area of aviation and the distinctive qualities, capabilities, and diversity of their applications. As one commentator put it, “our capacity to comprehend how, legally and morally, to use them” is growing quicker than “our ability to grasp how, legally and ethically, to use them” (Yu et al., 2021).

Purpose of The Study

The purpose of this research is to identify solutions to the challenges of the DCAA drone initiative implementation in Dubai, including technological, infrastructural, and business-related recommendations. Considering the barrier associated with commercial stakeholders being hesitant to invest in drone technologies, DCAA is looking to find a solution that can help move the project forward, primarily due to the expectations to receive significant income from the government of Dubai.

Significance of The Study

The importance of the study is linked to the fact that large-scale drone technologies are only starting to be used for commercial purposes and public transportation, calling for a comprehensive overview of the challenges and the potential solutions to the identified challenges. Besides, research on Dubai’s use of drones is relatively limited, with most studies focusing on the security and military use of drones and drone technologies for delivery purposes. Considering the recent DCAA announcement regarding implementing the Dubai Sky Dome program focusing on drone travel, it is essential to unveil the organization’s solutions to address the critical challenges related to the program.

Implementation of DCAA Commercial Drones in Dubai

Military research is at the heart of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) (Xu et al., 2020). Though UAVs have initially been designed to reduce the danger to workers in antagonistic areas, their skills, competencies, and applications have expanded to encompass investigation and data collection. The introduction and adoption of drone technologies have made air travel safer for the operators as they do not entail physical operation or monitoring. The transition from soldierly whines to citizen drones may be found back to the wake of Storm Katrina, 2005. Soldierly whines equipped with specific ultraviolet imaging devices were generally acknowledged as a helpful ground ability in the massive rescue operation that followed.

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In 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued the first certifications allowing M7RQ series soldierly whines to fly over non-combatant airspace (Calandrillo & Webb, 2020). The FAA has taken broad steps to register drones from multiple manufactures and for a broader range of applications. Subsequently, with centuries of growth in the exposed basis and fabricator groups, drones have made their way into the mainstream market. For example, in 2009, 3Drobotics, a major drone manufacturer, launched ArduPilot, an open-source autopilot stage founded on the Arduino (Baidya et al., 2018). Similarly, DJI and Imitator have open-source hardware and software initiatives in which the public is encouraged to participate in the development process. Though most of the work has initially been focused on hardware, the autopilot software that permits autonomous flying has also improved significantly.

For example, the open pilot project aims to develop a worldwide digital pilot application that may be utilized to flutter non-combatant drones for charitable, academic, and recreational purposes. Today, humanitarian efforts are thoroughly challenged by natural disasters and political instability, inhibiting their efforts to aid the needy. Drone growth is similar to the development of other new technologies, such as 3D printers, and stands a chance to improve the lives of millions (Bryukhovetskaya et al., 2020). However, the technologies are also susceptible to misuse by terrorist groups and other ill-intending groups. Whine manufacturers have encouraged the universal adoption of their project procedure by building and offering development tools that help engineers and regulators solve technical and managerial problems at groundbreaking speeds. Most of the projects were developed over long periods as the projects were developed by geographically dispersed people (Khan et al., 2018). It was simple to exchange, test, and alter the designs due to this. 3D printers were also crucial in this procedure since they allowed for quick prototyping and production of whine components.

The community’s availability of provisions and properties has tremendously aided in lowering the obstacle to the entrance for innovative drone enthusiasts and unprofessional designers. In addition to manufacturers, drone-related services have arisen as an innovative company in this field, calling for the development of larger drones while implementing regulatory and oversight policies. The most basic of these services is the delivery of whine, assembly, maintenance, and repair (Khan et al., 2018). Drone leasing facilities have also sprung up in some locations, allowing people and businesses to rent whines on an hourly or regular foundation. TV and movie production, agricultural estates, advertising companies, inspection and examination centers, building and construction companies, event management companies, amongst others, are using drone technologies to taking pictures and videos by hiring drones (While et al., 2021). The third sort of service, which is widespread in the agriculture business, uses drones to do monitoring and review on behalf of their customers. However, the application of such drones is limited, whereby they have been mainly used to carry lightweight cargo such as spy cameras and onboard sensors.

Drone brokers offer final sales services, and they do not possess any complaints regarding their mode of operations or services offered. That is because they are focus on making money rather than ensuring the best quality services to their clients, which could subsequently trigger disputes when legal matters arise. Somewhat, they serve as a market that connects persons who possess and operate whines with customers who, in most cases, need aerial pictures and survey data. In 2014, the worldwide market for commercial drones was over $700 million, with DJI leading the way, followed by Parrot and 3Drobotics. The drone market was anticipated to grow to $1 billion in 2015 and $1.7 billion in 2018 (Cohn et al., 2017). Besides, the DIY market, whose sales are primarily in components, is a rapidly increasing area. Within the next three years, the demand for whine-linked facilities is predictable to equal hardware sales.

Commercial Applications of Drones

Drones are seen as a booming stage of any sort in the business space, and they have been mainly employed for investigation and scrutiny. Whines are being utilized to scan fields, conduct pursuit and liberation processes, and tracking desolate animals in the wild. Other uses include monitoring animal populations, conducting land surveys, monitoring forest fires, examining oil tubes, electric power lines, and other distant structures (Maharana, 2017). Their capacity to transport weighty paraphernalia has been used to spray on massive farms, medical transport provisions, and medications to difficult-to-reach places. Aerial photography is the most frequent use for the customer and routine whines.

Customers now come with built-in imaging devices or linked arrangements (provisions/options) to install lightweight equipment. They can also only fly up to 400 feet under current FAA restrictions. They generally need to be measured in real-time by a humanoid aviator during take-off, alighting, and checking unforeseen obstructions. Despite those limitations, they have a wide variety of applications, providing resolutions to various industry areas. Although whines in the local territory can only fly within sight, remote piloting is now possible by employing aboard imaging devices to broadcast animated film and device input to smartphones, computers, or controller in-built displays. Drone manufacturers, facility benefactors, and podium assemblers are all looking at the commercial opportunities in these areas.

The expose of drones in telecommunication sector has shifted from soldierly to civilian drones, reflecting the market’s rising demand. These would alter the face of the business in terms of security, rapidity, and, as a result, prices. Drones, for example, are now challenging the usage of helicopters by performing comparable duties while costing less than a tenth of the price of a helicopter. Drones are being investigated for use in large industries to transport heavier payloads. In addition, it may be used for quieter missions like animal detection because of the close immediacy at which the UAV can fly and its lower sound level when associated with a physical plane.

Finally, efforts to create a delivery drone capable of transporting weights up to 5 pounds have been extensively reported. Over the last two decades, the development of the Internet as a commerce platform has permitted businesses to grow quickly, cut expenses and delivery footprints, and essentially abandon the brick-and-mortar setting. The transportation and delivery organization, on the other hand, is still reliant on land and midair transport. Whines provide an innovative mode of transport and distribution. Hence, they can alter the game: Amazon, Major, Midair, DHL, and Google are examples of the main to investigate this innovative style of distribution. Although these companies have the capital needed to carry out such projects, the cost of research and development of drones is on the decline, thanks to the development of better, faster, and more efficient optimizing tools.

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Amazon has stated that it will bring more than eighty percent of its items by midair. As a result, science, technology, politics, social movements, and business have influenced commercial drones’ design, development, and usage. Drones, in turn, have had an impact on these elements of the community, according to some experts and critics. The procedures underlying those shifts have been extensively studied in science, knowledge, and society, and attention is now drawn towards this new technology. The researcher conducted the study in which we examined the controversy surrounding the growth and usage of whines. The methods and conclusions of our study are presented in the following sections, shadowed by recommendations for consultants in this arena and investigators investigating this singularity.

Research Objectives

  1. To provide solutions to helping commercial stakeholders invest in drone technologies within the DCAA project in Dubai.
  2. To provide solutions to infrastructural network challenges associated with large-scale drone technology use within the DCAA project in Dubai.
  3. To provide solutions to technical challenges associated with large-scale drone technology use within the DCAA project in Dubai.
  4. To provide solutions to business challenges in the light of possible commercial benefits of large-scale drone technology use within the DCAA project in Dubai.

Research Questions

The main research question is: “What are the proposed solutions to facilitate the investment of commercial stakeholders in the DCAA passenger drone project?”

The supporting research questions are the following:

  1. What are the solutions to helping commercial stakeholders invest in drone technologies within the DCAA project in Dubai?
  2. What are solutions to infrastructural network challenges associated with large-scale drone technology use within the DCAA project in Dubai?
  3. What solutions to technology challenges are associated with large-scale drone technology use within the DCAA project in Dubai?
  4. What are the solutions to business challenges in the light of possible commercial benefits of large-scale drone technology use within the DCAA project in Dubai?

In discussing and researching new technologies, it is crucial to comprehend the acceptable definitions of the primary subject. Nevertheless, the application, acceptance, and use of such depictions offer significant benefits to aviation compared to the possible intellectual rigor or debates. The description for crewless aircraft activities highlighted in this thesis, and which the “International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has accepted, is adequately wide to comprehend the assortment of the main subject that currently exists. It also accommodates its evolution as it continuously intrudes other sections of the contemporary community. The public’s awareness of unmonitored aircraft that is famously known as commercial drones comes widely from the usage of drones in military activities overseas.

Unmanned Aviation Vehicles (UAV) are operated as aircraft without the possibility of direct human interventions on the plane or within the plane. The uncomplicatedness of UAV description contradicts the difficulty of organization of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for supervisory resolutions, and a challenge explored in different details in the literature review. In the year 2005, the Intercontinental Civil Aviation Union decided to utilize the word “UAV.” It termed the word as a “pilotless aircraft” that is flown without a commanding pilot. The pilotless aircraft is fully controlled or remotely monitored from a different location or fully and autonomously programmed. Autonomous vehicles have been on the rise and improve the autopilot feature in most jumbo jets operating in the skies.

No aircraft within Dubai is permitted to be flown without a trained pilot and authorization from the state. Each state ought to ensure that airplanes that lack pilots in areas exposed to civil planes must be monitored to prevent hazards to interior aircraft. In 2007, the Intercontinental Civil Aviation Union applied “UAV’ and decided to use “UAS” as the favored term and restricted the time as an aircraft with linked elements functioned without a pilot on the panel. The decision to adopt this term was proposed at the second casual Intercontinental Civil Aviation Union meeting to support the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) and the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) uncontrolled aircraft (De Schrijver, 20919. The meeting similarly resolved to establish study groups.

The first section of this study outlines the introduction, which includes the problem statement: The civil aviation segment of Dubai has been considering infrastructural developments for driving the application of new facilities domains and areas. The critical disorderliness to address is gathering the growing plea for air conveyance while bearing in mind the adverse influence of contamination and dangerous emissions. The introduction also outlines the background of this research, the purpose of this research, research questions, research objectives, and the overview of commercial drones’ implementation in Dubai. The second section of this study outlines the literature review and the obstacles hindering the implementation of commercial drones in Dubai. The literature review has also outlined the solutions that the government of Dubai may implement to eliminate the challenges hindering the implementation of the DCAA commercial drones in Dubai.

Chapter Two: Literature Review


The chapter reviews the existing literature on the development, application, and regulations of drone technologies. The chapter explores the advent of the aviation sector and the development of related technologies. The chapter also covers the initial development of aviation vessels, competition among the manufacturers, wide-scale industrial applications, and regulatory advances. The chapter goes further to explore the introduction of aviation services in Dubai and the growth of Dubai into a global aviation center. The chapter finally reviews the application of drones in the aviation industry, the existing challenges, regulations, and potential breakthroughs. It is achieved alongside the challenges facing the aviation sector in Dubai and its environs.

History Of Drones

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles developed to carry out a wide range of tasks (Nguyen and Nguyen, 2021). The development of drones is modeled on Bernoulli’s principle of pressure and motion and is developed to take off, fly and land like conventional helicopters. However, drones are far much smaller and cheaper than helicopters and have a low carrying capacity. While helicopters can carry several tons of freight, most drones are designed to carry lightweight cargo, such as digital cameras and spatial sensors. Drones vary in size and are capable of flying varying distances. Drones cover much shorter distances than the helicopter, are lighter and more economical. Most aviation vessels run on jet fuel, while drones run on electricity stored on lithium-cell batteries. The application of drones has changed over the years and now covers military operations, entertainment, research, spying, and disaster assessment and management.

The history of drones and that of the aviation industry go hand in hand. The history of drones dates back to the 19th century when Austria used unnamed balloons to attack Venice (Afxentiou, 2018). The balloons contained explosives and were a significant leap in technology and military intelligence. The balloons contained about 15 pounds of explosives each and were dropped once positioned above the city. Lucky enough, most of the balloons were blown away by a sudden change in the wind, and most of the city remained intact. The use of balloons does not meet the criteria for classifying drones today but played a significant role in developing unmanned aerial vehicles later in world wars. Although the surprise mission was a failure, it was a significant development and advancement of the aviation engineering concepts that later saw the birth of the airplane. The thought of the use of unmanned balloons to attack Venice saw the development of technologies that would later be used for military purposes, as is the case today.

Most drones are flown by a set of quadcopters where four-bladed rotate and provide enough thrust to list and steer the vessel. In 1907, French engineers developed a dummy airplane which would later be improved into the modern helicopter. Although the vehicle was manned and was based on primitive technologies, it was a groundbreaking experiment for modern aviation and engineering (Aydin, 2019). The French engineers developed a gyroscope that only rose less than a meter high and convinced the world that the technology could be improved viably. Just like the Austrian balloons, it was a failure at the time, only to prove to be a significant leap in technology decades later.

The first world war was a catalyst in the development and advancement of air transport. After the successful development and test of the first airplane by the Wright brothers, scientists and engineers ventured into deep research, development, and improvement of the airplane and the aviation industry at large (Prisznyák, 2018). The development of real drones began in 1916 and was used to transmit radio signals to troops on battlefields. This technology was predominantly developed and used by the British. However, the Germans adopted the technology and employed it to develop military hardware during the second world war. The British project was unsuccessful, but the founding engineer was tagged as the father of “radio guidance systems.” The work was then implemented in the British army and helped the troops communicate in seemingly impossible situations and circumstances.

A few years later, the United States built a gyroscopic controlled Kerrting Bug, which was mechanically automated to plunge into the earth and detonate explosive payload. The National Museum of US air force notes that the wings would be released when the engine was turned off by cutting electric current. The series of events would occur after the vehicle had flown for some defined time (Chandler, 2017). The bugs were developed for the first world way by the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company. However, delivery delays made sure they were not used in the first world war.

The development of UAV technologies continued interrupted after the end of the first world war. The US military was the first to experiment radio controlled vessels. The experiments resulted in the development of the Curtiss N2C-2 drone (Jeler, 2020). On the other hand, the British ‘Queen Bee’ led to adopting the name drone used to refer to UAV. Walter Righter and Reginald Denny developed the Radioplane OQ-2, the first drone to be produced for massive military activities. The vessels were remotely controlled, dwarfing the high-end fighter jets and helicopters, which needed a minimum of a two-person crew to fly. De Schrijver (2019) notes that the Radioplane was heavily used by the US who acquired about 15000 drones during the second world war.

Edward M. Sorensen takes credit for developing and implementing drones (Hodgkinson & Jonhston, 2018). Sources indicate that they idealized and implemented a system that could monitor the movement of airplanes from the ground. He, however, patented the idea making it impossible for others to commercialize the idea without his consent. The project enables engineers to monitor and control airplanes and other airborne objects out of sight, which could not be done before. The Germans developed the V-1 Doodlebugs during the second world war, technically cruise missiles powered by pulsejets. The Doodlebugs launched terror bombing in British towns and cities. The vessels were very complicated reflected the technological developments of that time. They were self-guided and could navigate to their target with great precision. To control speed and altitude, the Doodlebugs used gyroscopic controllers and were directed using a magnetic compass. It also relied on pressurized air to control the elevator, rudder, and gyros (Franke, 2015). Due to the complexity and effectiveness of the technology, the Americans reverse-engineered it and produced their versions named Curtis KD2C and TD2D-1 Katydid.

During the Vietnam war, which was an essential gauge of power between the capitalist and communists, drones were equipped with vision cameras for reconnaissance purposes. The Vietnam war triggered massive use, improvement, and incorporation of new devices and payload on drones. After the war, experts noted the potential pros of using drones in other aspects of life than the military. The use of drones for surveillance was prompted by the lack of spy planes and satellites which were considered an essential asset for the largest militaries in the western hemisphere. UAVs are essential in gathering and analyzing military information on the war zone. The use of drones, which are much quieter and smaller than military vehicles, gave the operators an upper hand over their adversaries. However, retrieving the information gathered by the drones was challenging as they had to land safely with the aid of parachutes (Stahl, 2018). As time progressed, the application of drones advanced and included decoy operations, bombing, reconnaissance, launching missiles, and other psychological strategies at the battle. Other nations have seen the essence of drones in the recent past, leading to global adoption of the technology in several ways. Modern drones are more sophisticated and intelligent than those produced two decades ago. Today, engineers focus on developing durable drones that can function under any conditions and circumstances.

During the 1960s, transistor technology advanced, and engineers could now develop miniature circuitry, which enabled them to monitor drones from ground stations. It led to aviation enthusiasts’ development and implementation of the RC plane to operate the vehicle indoors and outdoors. The maturity of the transistor industry saw the birth of the cottage industry, which hastened the development of commercial aviation technologies.

Assault military drones are the most common of all types of drones and were first revealed to the world during the cold war. The production of UAVs was not economically feasible, although the US government succeeded in mass production and deployment. It was believed that drone projects could not be implemented in other counties until 1982, when Israel used drones to defeat the Syrian forces without much investment. The US sought to expand its drone project to implement a fleet in service. Israel developed the RQ2 Pioneer alongside the US (Franke, 2015). It was a mid-sized unmanned aircraft that was used for military operations such as launching strikes and reconnaissance. Until this time, drones relied on fossil fuels to fly, and experts sought to find alternative sources which could make the drones fly faster and for more extended periods.

The years between 1990 and 2010 saw the development of smaller yet powerful drones. The US Army introduced the predator in 2000 and was massively used by the American troops in the middle east during the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden (Frantzman, 2021). Smaller surveillance drones were implemented later and included Puma, Wasp, and Rabel, all developed by the AeroVironment company. The federal aviation authority issued a permit for drone aviation in 2006, changing the landscape for the development and regulation of drones. However, only a few companies applied for the permits after the issuance of the first permit.

While most people argue that drone technology reached its peak in the last decade, the industry has witnessed disruptive technologies and innovations. During this time, the FAA has seen a proliferation in the need for drone aviation permits. For instance, in 2015 alone, the FAA issued about 1000 permits. The number reached 3000 in 2016 and has been rising steadily (Campi et al., 2019). The rise in the need for drone permits has been stirred up by the innovative applications of technology worldwide.

The high-end devices and controllers used in drones used to be expensive until the smartphone industry flooded the market, triggering a significant drop in the prices. Smartphones and drones share sensors and accelerators, which has seen a significant decline in the cost of developing drones (Agarwal, 2021). Videography and photography rely on camera-loaded drones to capture the nest and most entertaining moments in their artifacts. The same trick results from the combination of different technologies, which have seen an improvement in the power and precision of drones in the past. Today multi-rotor drones are popular and are some of the most straightforward and most friendly to control: Controlling the speed of individual rotors changes the speed and direction of the drone.

Do It Yourself (DIY) drones are the latest and most popular drones in the market today and present a wide range of applications. They are flexible and come in various sizes, battery power, and operational range, making them open for various applications, subject to user needs. Drones were earlier considered for military functions due to the risks and dangers of people in operated aircraft (Cinnamon et al., 2017). Drones have a broad range of uses; other than delivering, drones are now used to monitor and inspect the aerials of oil and power lines and gas pipes. Supplementary services of drones include collecting geographical and spatial data, mapping, and surveying. People have also adopted drones in construction and civil applications, agriculture, healthcare, security, public safety, science, research, imaging, and mining. Military armies use drones for military activities, humanitarian aid, and data gathering more than delivering packages. Drones have been cast off successfully in plotting and diagramming; some researchers employ photogrammetry methods when mapping coral ridges using drones.

Drones with high-definition video and photo cameras are used for damage detection and visual inspection of large structures due to their cost efficiency and effectiveness. Drones will influence the fluctuating of businesses from entertaining to farming, building to distribution marketplaces as their utilization spreads. That has been allowed by rapidly adopting drone technology in those areas (Chen et al., 2019). The motive was based on advancing the quality of the services delivered. The design and deployment of exceptionally superior quality picturing whines have already legitimized their Hollywood movie creation utilization. Civilian uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) have the potential to become a powerful infrastructure platform.

UAVs are inexpensive and readily accessible, but they may also be used in various sectors to execute complicated, costly, and risky jobs. Short-life battery and inadequate guidelines (and implementation) are now the two primary roadblocks to widespread use. The employment of unprotected inflight trucks (UAVs) in conflict zones has been hotly disputed since their inception, with most of the discussion centered on our morals, efficacy, transparency, and legality (Chen et al., 2019). Notwithstanding numerous objections from hominid privileges administrations, several countries have maintained their usage in the courts throughout the world. That is because they had to gain valuable benefits from using drones in their respective fields.

Governments claim that drones avoid civilian casualties by giving precise investigation info and preemptive attack competencies, while critics point to their incapability to distinguish amid proposed and unintentional objectives (Woodget et al., 2017). There has also been an increase in conversation over whining whines over local territory for local and national security investigation purposes. As with combat drones, the conversation is similar to relating ethical and privacy concerns that affect the discourse. That is mirrored in legal, ethics, and technology policy journals, where several papers have discussed different problems surrounding the usage of drones in domestic airspace. The rise of commercial drones is the subject of this study, a related but slightly different phenomenon primarily focused on the entrepreneurial part of drones.

Application Of Drones

Individuals, corporations, and organizations develop, build, and employ these drones. Even though viable businesses are indebted much of the growth to the soldierly complements, most projects differ in budget and technical requirements. Good drones are generally designed on a tiny base with low-cost, readily available components and lift just 4 pounds on average (Woodget et al., 2019). They are essentially the result of the efforts of UAV and quadcopter fans. Their inventions have seldom been scrutinized in the past, owing to their modest numbers and lack of public attention. Drones can carry various devices, spreaders, and capturing apparatus. Implementation of drones can be more effective in agriculture than satellites because drones are never interrupted by clouds and are more precise, although they depend on satellite technologies for navigation.

Drones have proved to be more vital in healthcare deliveries. Staffs and doctors use drones to deliver and pick test kits and medicines for patients with long-lasting illnesses. In the future, hospitals may use drones as a method for global organ transportation. Drones have high chances of playing essential roles in aid and relief operations amidst disastrous circumstances. First aiders can use drones to aid human beings during disasters to review the damage, deliver services, and identify survivors (Nyaaba & Ayamga, 2021). Some firms may also use drones to supply or deliver medicines to remote places. Different researchers have proposed techniques for tackling varying issues associated with drone delivery. However, drone deliveries have distinct advantages and disadvantages in urban cities, including delivering products, improving time management, conserving energy, saving time, promoting safety and accuracy.

Noticeably, delivery drones are used in distributing objects or products. Delivery drones are programmed objects that deliver substances to designated areas. The most visible drones used for delivery purposes are the copter drones used in retail shops. Transport businesses with loose constituents to be transported operate big delivery drones. Delivery drones permit human complements to emphasize other crucial delivery processes because drones deliver fast due to their perfect locating programs. Deliver drones possess fewer error margins when finding the targeted areas (Nyaaga & Ayamga, 2021). Delivery drones assist workers in conserving their efforts while delivering commodities. The powered system increases workforce activities to attain more activities.

Non-military civil operations now present an essential niche for drone technologies, such as security and surveillance applications like border patrol and police. Other areas where governments have used drones include fire safety, forest management, air sampling, search and rescue, and infrastructural maintenance. The core motive is to improve the financial economy, with civil drones reaching the same or higher standards as human-crewed aircraft and achieving more economically and efficiently (Jeyabalan et al., 2020). In addition, civil aviation drones present additional options aimed at performing operations in a dangerous or uncertain context, such as emergency responses with a lower risk to the personnel involved.

The latest technologies have shown a high technical ability to transport passengers within or between cities regarding drone use for passenger transportation. It shows a historical turning point in aviation and a beginning of a new era where low-level airspace can become a ‘third dimension’ of transportation. Most research on drone passenger transportation has focused on the economic benefits of the technology, followed by societal, ecological, and environmental benefits (Jeyabalan et al., 2020). However, to counter the benefits and potential problems associated with passenger drone use, scholars have identified several issues listed by relevance (citation): legal aspects, ethical aspects, physical safety, social issues, environmental interrelations, and economic problems.

During the implementation of passenger drone technologies, the anticipated barriers include technical aspects, legal issues, the lack of public acceptance for drones, and economic and infrastructural barriers. To facilitate the practical implementation of passenger drone technology, researchers have cited the need for solutions of legal nature, such as the coordination of legislative processes that would incorporate both hard and soft law (Jeyabalan et al., 2020). Technological solutions should focus on creating approaches to navigation, communication, and automatization of drone technology (Sprenger, n,d.). The research literature also extensively represents the solutions linked to public acceptance, focusing on general information and transparency processes.

Solutions focusing on planning and infrastructure are concerned with recommendations for constructing and adapting drones’ physical and digital infrastructure. UAS are more accessible, cheap, flexible, and capable of anonymity than prior advances in aviation technology. Governments and regulatory agencies worldwide are grappling with the ‘four A’ characteristics of UAS: payload, control link, control center, and unmanned aircraft (Tzitzis et al., 2020). It is argued that if these aircraft are to be incorporated into unsegregated civil airspace, they must be subjected to the same or at least similar technical and safety requirements under present laws governing aircraft certification standards and in line with international treaties. As previously stated, any aircraft in use today may be piloted by a remotely situated pilot.

If the air transportation system’s existing level of safety is to be maintained, all unmonitored activities that use the same airspace must have at least a comparable degree of safety. Because of the quick speed of UAS technical development and the qualities of accessibility, affordability, adaptability, and anonymity, there is a risk of widespread misuse by users. That would later cause more harm than good as even people with unpleasant intentions will possess such devices. The rapid advancement of uncontrolled aircraft systems, as well as the associated risk of invasion of privacy and threat to national, corporate, and personal security, has sparked substantial public discussion. Besides, it has allowed various entities, such as farming, film production, and military services, to elevate and improve the risks.

On the other hand, courts have been reluctant to respond to new technology in the past. It has primarily been left to governments and aviation regulatory bodies to set limitations and restraints on UAS operations or prohibit their use entirely in some cases. UAVs, often known as drones, have a broad meaning, unsurprising given the large variety of configurations available (Ullah et al., 2018). In practice, a UAV is described as a specific inflight truck that does not depend on a physical hominid worker for aircraft, whether separately or distantly piloted. UAVs vary greatly from huge soldierly whines with almost two hundred feet wings to inch-wide microcomputer drones commercially accessible.

UAVs’ flight ranges vary, from simple commercial drones limited to an insufficient bottom surrounding the worker to sophisticated soldierly whines capable of flying for over 17,000 miles without landing. Similarly, their maximum flight height varies significantly, ranging from insufficient bottoms to a maximum of sixty-five thousand feet. Furthermore, the device minimizes exhaustion risks by replacing human operations (Ullah et al., 2019). Delivery drones add extra human resources to any organization that uses drones for delivery purposes. It carries items and delivers them to different places via remote-controlled systems, giving staff additional time to attend other vital delivery functions within the workplace. Drones are less prone to accidents because they physically deliver products to clients without human intervention or direct control.

Distributors are regularly exposed to risky surroundings. When utilizing drones, people are no longer exposed to threats such as accidents. Commercial drones are accurate, safe, and more effective compared to humans when delivering items to recipients. Nevertheless, aviation drones have disadvantages, including battery defects, expensiveness, high technical familiarity required, technical and mechanical defects, easily stolen, and quickly interfering with an individual’s privacy. Drones are expensive because they are newly implemented in the Dubai market (Plioutsias et al., 2018). Drones can effortlessly ditch their battery within few minutes. Hence, they can make clients raise complaints that may interfere with industries, particularly the aviation industry.

Operating drones requires high technological skills. Operators must read the manual found in the drones to learn the processes needed to run the drone. This takes much effort and time before a drone is used. Defective drones that are not detected during purchasing interfere with aviation services by wasting time and resources in mending the drones or purchasing new drones, which may, in turn, make customers too late in their respective locations. Commercial drones use cameras to deliver materials or transport passengers from one area to another. The cameras continually record actual places, properties, and people traveling without their consent, interfering with their privacy because others prefer private travel. Additionally, corrupt drones may end up exploiting the recorded data of their customers.

Scholars have proposed delivery systems to eliminate local travel capacities of drones that serve clients, demonstrating the maximum efficiency of drones in the aviation sector (Du & Heldeweg, 2019). Expensive drones are built using carbon fiber. Researchers are still developing more propellers, and more research is being done to generate efficient drone propellers. Propellers give drones motion and direction; therefore, it is crucial to ensure propellers have an excellent condition to take a flight. Faulty propellers may cause impaired breakouts hence leading to accidents. Carrying extra propellers is vital before taking a flight if the damage is noticed before taking a flight. Throughout a flight, pusher propellers are responsible for the backward and forward movement of the drone. Pusher propellers control the drone’s path by canceling a drone’s motor torques during a flight hence stimulating backward or forward plunge.

Like standard propellers, pusher propellers can be developed out of carbon fiber or plastic components. More expensive propellers are constructed from carbon fiber. Different sizes of propellers exist to control planes’ ability to rise to different altitudes. Some drones offer pusher crutch protectors that assist in protecting propellers during random crashes. Pilots should examine propellers before taking a flight to ensure a plane’s efficiency. Manufacturers use brushless motors because their operations and performance are more efficient than brushed motors (Plioutsias et al., 2018). Efficient drone motors save maintenance and purchase costs. Therefore, battery life will also be held, contributing to a more extended flight period when a drone is being flown.

Engineers have developed new delivery systems that encounter limited travel capacity of drones whereby a drone can serve clients while making departure trips. It indicates drones’ increased applicability, efficiency, and reliability in real-world and industrial applications. More research has been done on the various parts of commercial drones, including motors, batteries, and propellers. Standalone drones differ from drone truck deliveries in terms of efficiency. Dorling et al. established a vehicle routing problematic (VRP) formulation to facilitate drone deliveries. Drones are exposed to different challenges, including cyber and physical attacks (Gong et al., 2019). Drones use other models depending on the operations the drone is meant to perform.

Nevertheless, drones also have particular drawbacks because they are terrestrial vehicles. They pose potential threats to human beings, the environment, nature, wildlife, and properties. A few of the disadvantages drones have include privacy issues; Drones have interrupted the safety and privacy of individuals ever since they were familiarized with people. Drones may cause psychological distress to societies due to related data security and safety issues. Drones emit high carbon dioxide levels compared to trucks, hence negatively impacting the environment (Khan et al., 2018). The drawbacks mentioned above are among the obstacles that hinder the successful implementation of drones in Dubai.

The use of drones is a newly implemented technology in Dubai. Analyzing the challenges hindering the proper execution of drones in Dubai and providing adequate solutions to the barriers is vital because it provides crucial insights to practitioners and researchers (Khan et al., 2018). Researchers have not yet analyzed the obstacles facing the implementation of drones in Dubai, nor have they offered solutions to the challenges (ibid). Some effective research on obstacle analysis has been done on varying disciplines from aviation, including; healthcare, starting wind energy plants, generation of bio-refineries, implementation of blockchain, and renewable energy generation.

Drones possess the potential of revolutionizing various city services and industries, specifically with technological advancements. There are multiple uses of drones in public sectors at the state and local levels. Drones may be used to enforce the law and fire, inspect rural ambulances, disaster management, and environmental monitoring. Any commercial arena that includes visual inspection or outdoor photography is highly likely to experiment with drones in the future, as will wholesalers who look forward to increasing package delivery speed (Pensieri et al., 2020). When operators fly drones near planes or over people, they pose safety challenges for individuals if an accident occurs; they may lose their lives. City residents are regularly concerned with their privacy when drones are hovering in the sky, taking videos or photographs.

Instead of banning the implementation of drones, city officials have to consider how drone technology may enhance urban services or serve residents. Drones, specifically private flying vehicles, may be part of daily life in the coming days. Air taxis and drones have high probabilities of generating new modes of transport routes and mobility. Drones will also be utilized in construction, delivery, and surveillance because drones are approaching automation. Implementing drones in cities requires building surroundings to change drastically. Drones and many other current aerial vehicles require drone ports, charging points, and landing pads.

Drones could pave the way for new building designs and sustainable designs. Civilian drones vary in payload, complexity, and size; they can accommodate many items, including thermal images, delivery mechanisms, resolution cameras, advanced speakers, and scanners. In public sectors, drones respond to disasters and fire services to confront fires likely to endanger firefighters. Different airlines have discovered that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) play a significant role in mitigating costs and reducing the amount of time used to maintain, repair, and overhaul aircraft. Visual examination of aircraft that have been impacted by lightning is made easy by drone technology. UAVs inspect aircraft faster than manual inspection, which takes more time and may cause delays and other inconveniences. We can add: Drones can detect damages/scratches invisible to the naked eyes.

When repairing minor damages, drones make scheduled maintenance of aircraft fuselages, and other aircraft sections are made more accessible by drones when repairing minor damages. Drones assist in repairs and maintenance works and are also used to detect errors and schedule the required repairs. Delivering airplane spare parts using drones helps reduce the costs incurring compared to delivery by individuals, resulting in more productive repair work (Pensieri et al., 2020). Drones revolutionize cities by how people travel, how buildings are designed and constructed, how buildings look, and how items are distributed from suppliers to consumers. Nevertheless, the implementation of drones in cities pressurize aerial highways because human beings and item deliveries end up preferring Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) over conventional delivery systems (ibid).

The adoption of drones in cities changes architecture dramatically because ground floor entrances are substituted by recharging, parking, and landing zones. Deliveries are made through generally constructed gateways on the construction sides or rooftop channels and built to house drones. Implementation of drones can also help deliver and gather medicines, supplies, and samples to unreachable or remote areas in disaster-prone zones. On top of that, drones utilize infrared sensors when detecting human beings by their warmth signatures which is crucial in rescue and search scenarios.

Security and Privacy Threats

People panic about non-consensual recordings by drones because drones have installed cameras to help them land (Yahuza et al., 2021). Drones have been applied successfully for operations such as surveillance at the border in ancient times but still hinder the freedom of assembly or people. Hence drones discourage individuals from engaging in movements or social events due to the fear of being recognized and identified. Drones utilized in logistics solicitations are likely to be observed as mass information collection procedures when making distributions to clients. Drones should have transparency when collecting data by making people aware of the data collection procedure and sharing the data with the public.

Drones can endanger national safety if left in the incorrect hands. They have the capability of physical and cyber-attacks against the community. Fiddle drones can correspondingly mask themselves as distribution drones and propel deceived wireless indications that can rip off personal data, including; credit card particulars from mobile phones, contributing to identity robbery (ibid). Communication between drones develops a perspective for terrorist groups, hostile nations, and computer hackers to aim drone distribution systems and effect collisions among drones and further people or objects.


Government regulations related to drone deliveries are paramount in delivering packages to customers who require drones to fly across communities. Even though a client offers consent for the drone to transport products, the support of other people within the community should be sought (Olsen, 2019). Consequently, laws regarding customers’ approvals should be introduced via government interventions. Regulations concerning video recording or data collection by delivery drones are obligatory. Commercial drones can cause threats to people by intruding in their privacy despite determining what has been recorded by the drone is not an easy task.

Furthermore, concerns about the identity of a drone exist because it is complex to differentiate commercial drones from private drones. Thus, implementing commercial drones in Dubai may be challenging until government regulations tackle the obstacles (Jeler, 2020). To eradicate infrastructural network challenges associated with large-scale drone technology use within the DCAA project in Dubai, the Dubai government ought to enhance the better infrastructural network to expedite the implementation of commercial drones.

Public Perception and Psychology on Drone Technology

Anxiety and uncertainties are palpable and profound among individuals about the drone system, which does not require pilots. Their decisions are computerized and automated, increasing the chances of cyber-attacks. People also perceive that drones are only used for military and surveillance purposes, and thus individuals are never attracted to drones because they fear being attacked or recorded. Even if package transport drones may not register or attack without an accord, awareness of varying drones and their functions should be available to people. Drones are not restricted to roads like vehicles where individuals have the option of avoiding regular cars.

Delivery drones generally fly in public and residential areas, on top of the public, giving rise to safety and security. Thus, fear exists among individuals of being knocked out by drones, believing that drones are meant for hostile nations or terrorist groups. Such discernments may develop new conflicts or intensify existing disputes. To help commercial stakeholders invest in drone technologies within the DCAA project in Dubai, the Dubai government ought to train its citizens on the importance of implementing commercial drones in Dubai. Drones should also be restricted in residential or densely populated areas. Engineering and logistic experts argue that the Dubai government should consider utilizing drones in scarcely populated areas such as forests.

A large section of the world population has never come close to flying objects: airplanes, jumbo jets, and helicopters. Drones are an incredibly convenient technology that can be deployed in any part of the world. Over the years, drones have been deployed in social events such as weddings, entertainment concerts, and other events to capture videos and photos. According to Jeler (2020), public excitement during such times is always unprecedented. Only small drones are used in such scenarios. The smaller the drones, the more unlikely they are to cause accidents.

Aviation drones, just like their military counterparts, are relatively large and have the potential to cause harm to people and property. Public reaction to such drones should be checked to minimize chances of accidents, loss of lives, and property damage. There exists a significant design difference between military and aviation drones called for by the safety requirements. According to Aydin (2019), aviation drones are designed with comfort and safety in mind and travel at relatively low speeds compared to the military-grade. Besides, passenger drones fly over populated areas and navigate through areas congested with buildings and trees, calling for more intelligent onboard control systems, machine learning technologies, and high efficiency at low speeds. Populations that have witnessed drone strikes have developed a deep fear for drones. For instance, most people in the war-torn middle-east countries such as Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have witnessed the devastating power of drones (De Schrijver, 2019). Introducing such technologies in the communities may cause more psychological harm than good and might take much time before the technology is morally acceptable.

Business Challenges

Drones interfere with job opportunities; as the drone industry flourish, many people face a decrease in paychecks and end up losing their jobs. This challenge majorly affects the middle-class people hence widening the gap between the poor and the rich. Living costs continue increasing globally, thus causing considerable burdens to global economies. Drones create negative physiological impacts on plants and animals due to carbon dioxide emissions. Drones source more emissions than trucks when clients sit far from the yard (Campi et al., 2019). Drones have high chances of hitting wildlife, animals, and birds. The widespread application of drones produces shadows and more noise which contribute to the sound and visual pollution. To get rid of the business challenges, Dubai citizens should be educated on the importance of adopting quickly to latest technologies. Additionally, the Dubai government should ensure that drones do not interfere with the job opportunities of individuals. Remarkably, adopting innovative and automated technologies pushes thousands of workers out of their jobs which could be devastating if not implemented prudently.

Technical issues

Flying in poor weather conditions such as strong winds, storms, fogs, and rainy weather exposes drones to technical obstacles. Bad weather may cause drones to crash, resulting in property damage and physical injuries, increasing drone delivery challenges (ibid). Delivery risks exist whereby drones may malfunction and fail to deliver vital products to customers on time. Drones require monitoring during their flights to ensure that malfunctions are fixed. Limited battery life of drones is a challenge to customers located at the exterior part of a drone’s flight assortment. Drones should be in a position to avoid birds, aircraft, other drones, structures, and buildings while making distributions to consumers. Additionally, drones have fewer payload customers, which complicates the delivery of heavy items. Furthermore, the Dubai government should advance its technologies by using the latest technologies to eliminate technology challenges associated with large-scale drone technology use within the DCAA project in Dubai.

Chapter three: Methodology


This chapter presents the research methodology used in the study. In this study, we explore the challenges facing the application of drones in Dubai and mitigate the challenges in the future. Here,failure mode and effects analysis is used to assess the adverse effects of using drones. Detailed recommendations are presented after the analysis of the results. The study is modeled on the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA). FMEA seeks to establish existing problems and proposes solutions or ways to mitigate the effects of the problems identified. Primary data was collected using a questionnaire, while secondary data was retained from the DCAA website and other relevant sources. The research is methodology is both qualitative and quantitative. It seeks to establish the factors that face the establishment of aviation drones in Dubai and what experts believe can overcome the problems.

Research Design

According to Campi et al. (2019), a research design is a strategy adopted in answering the study questions while achieving the research objectives. In this study, the research case study design establishes the challenges hindering the massive adoption of aviation drones in Dubai and the possible solutions for a smooth way forward. Passenger drones have been tested in several cities worldwide, including Shanghai and Shenzhen in China, Tokyo in Japan, London in Great Britain, and New York in the United States of America. The (research) design gives room for applying quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques which helped gain a more detailed insight on the topic of study. Moreover, the design allowed the researcher to employ primary and secondary data collection tools and techniques, ensuring big data for analysis.

Research Framework

The FMEA Framework

FMEA is a multidisciplinary process of reviewing assemblies, components, systems, and all other associated entities in search of possible failures, causes of the failure, and practical solutions. The process is proactive and is initiated before the actualization of projects or processes. As a result, it gives experts a perfect picture of what to expect and gives them a clear idea of how to react should the worst happen. FMEA processes, faults, and results are documented on the FMEA sheet. The data captured on the sheets can be subjected to quantitative analysis.

Definition of The Project Goal

The results obtained are intended to guide DCAA on overcoming the existing challenges facing the adoption of aviation drones in Dubai. The recommendations target government regulatory agencies, aviation service providers, drone manufactures, distributors and marketers, and the general public—the recommendations cut across technical, environmental, ergonomic, usability, and safety concerns. Due to the sensitivity surrounding aviation laws and regulations, the government cannot just allow private entities to fly drones within Dubai City, which has a high number of skyscrapers and other high rising construction projects without proper regulation. The city is also subject to strong winds, which could endanger passengers onboard drones.

The FMEA model
Figure 1: The FMEA model

Value Proposition Canvas

Designed for: Designed by: Date: Version:
Value Proposition Canvas DCAA Team
Gain Creators Gains
Products and Services DCAA provides services for drone taxi providers and ensures seamless operation of drone taxi services without the barrier of regulation.
DCAA takes full advantage of the benefits of drone technologies and provides fast delivery for the customers.
DCAA ensures the establishment of an IT system that meets all modern requirements for the use of drone technologies and frequent system updates with an up-to-date tracking system.
The customers get fast services in the delivery of products and goods.
The drone taxi providers get high-quality services that ensure smooth operation.
The customers get an opportunity to co-create value with the company.
Customers seek fast delivery of products and goods.
Customers also seek companies that let the customers be a part of the creation process and establish friendly relationships, with a possibility to create values in collaboration with the customer.
Drone taxi providers require high-quality services and smooth operation without a regulation barrier.
The customers are interested in the fast delivery of products and goods.
Drone taxi providers are interested in access for drone taxi services and tracking system that meets all the requirements from modern drone technologies.
Customer Jobs
Pain Relievers Pains
Value Proposition Customer Segment Providers of drone taxi services and Freight Companies & Airlines

Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas
Figure 2: Business Model Canvas

Data Collection and Analysis

Data collection plays an essential part in research, analysis, and fact-finding. Data collection helps researchers test their hypotheses based on the reliability of the data collected. There are two types of data collected in research: primary data and secondary data. Primary data refers to the data collected directly by the researcher using tools such as observations, questionnaires, and interviews. The data is collected from the target sources, making it an essential part of the research process. Primary data is obtained from individuals, systems, and processes and is directly accessible to the researcher while in the fields. On the other hand, secondary data is simple existing primary data that has been analyzed before and stored in various sources. In this case, questionnaires were used to collect primary data. Secondary data was collected from the DCAA website and other publications.

Before the data was processed, it was exposed to pre-analysis procedures, which included sorting and cleaning. In this step, all questionnaires that contained incorrect data or which were incomplete were eliminated. The cleaning process ensured that all the data processed was complete and reliable. As a result, the researcher was confident that the study results would be fair, reliable, and statistically significant. Incomplete or inaccurate data poses great challenges to data analysis and may, at times, invalidate the results obtained. Such situations were be avoided by adequately preparing the collected data as much as possible.

Data analysis is the most critical process in research as it helps researchers establish meaningful facts from the collected data. Usually, the data collected from the field is treated as raw facts which do not have much meaning to the researcher. Analyzing the data helps unearth hidden patterns and trends which can be used in professional decision and resolution-making. The facts contained in data analysis help experts make critical decisions concerning the study hypothesis. The data collected were analyzed using the IBM SPSS Software and Microsoft Excel. The data were subjected to regression analysis and measures of central tendency to obtain substantive results.

Population and Sample

In research, respondents are identified and selected from a large set known as population. According to Campi et al. (2019), population refers to a large set of individuals, objects, or systems from which the required sample size is obtained. In our case, the population refers to all stakeholders involved in developing and actualizing aviation drones in Dubai. These cut through regulators, manufacturers, marketing experts, operators, and the general public. For higher accuracy, while concluding, not all population members will be involved in the study. Only a section, popularly known as the sample, will be included in the study. As mentioned earlier, it is believed that each group has an issue of concern with drone aviation. Two main factors affect how sample size is obtained: the ability to conclude and the accuracy of the sampling estimates.

Sampling Techniques

Several factors influence the process of sample selection. Studies suggest that every member of the population stands an equal chance to be selected as part of the sample (citation). The study used probability sampling techniques, and a total of 211 respondents participated. Due to the vastness of Dubai, the study used simple random sampling but focused on the groups of interest mentioned above. The sampling process entailed filtering respondents according to their profession to narrow them down to those more conversant and related to the incorporation of aviation drones in Dubai.

Ethical Considerations

While the research sought to establish several factors hindering the adoption of aviation drones, ethical considerations have been highly observed. It is meant to ensure the primary goal of the research is achieved, that is, gaining knowledge on the current challenges and formulating viable solutions. During data collection processes, no respondents were forced to respond to data collection requests. The researcher approached random respondents in the study and only handed over the questionnaires upon receiving their consent. However, some respondents declined to fill the questionnaires because they did not want to disclose their age, gender, or profession. Such issues have much impact on the social and moral obligations of the researcher, as they form the basis of the validity of the study. Forcing respondents to provide data for research is morally unacceptable, and would at times, result in legal action gains the researcher. Also, tricking respondents into providing confidential or sensitive information is illegal and could potentially draw similar legal actions that would invalidate the research’s authenticity.

In a nutshell, the data collection procedures were drafted so that they did not apply any dubious means such as trickery or mocking to collect data. The acquisition of secondary data from the DCAA and other government websites, publications, and journals was conducted professionally and ethically. Also, the research was conducted to promote collaboration between the researcher and respondents, easing the data collection process. As a result, observing ethical considerations were of great importance to the success of the study.

Research Limitations

The adoption of large-scale drones outside military operations is not well-founded in society. As a result, most people might not be aware of the applicability of the technology in the transportation of people and goods in the city streets. It might not be in people’s minds how aviation drones would be availed to all social classes when the current aviation industry only provided services to middle and high-class earners. It posed a significant challenge on the familiarization of the respondents with the applicability of drones in aviation services. Such a limitation posed a great puzzle on the results’ reliability as the respondent would provide somewhat unreliable data. The researchers embarked on a detailed population sampling to curb this problem to seek only reliable know-how or interest in aviation drones. The final target population comprised commercial stakeholders, potential investors, engineers and operators, scholars and researchers, and government officials concerned with regulating aviation vessels in and around Dubai. The class of respondents helped provide more detailed information as they had a clear and reliable understanding of the challenges hindering the adoption of aviation drones in the city. The study mainly focused on commercial stakeholders as they are the most significant players in the implementation of commercial drones in Dubai.

The second limitation concerns the type of data collected as different respondents possess different views on the challenges at hand. First, researchers and scholars are more focused on development and innovation, expanding the applicability and functionality of drones. Operators are more concerned with the technical performance and user-friendliness of the control equipment. Regulators are concerned about the legal frameworks that control the use of drones in society without arousing social outcry on privacy, safety, or security. On the other hand, inventors are challenged with finding value for their money should they pump their wealth into the industry. Commercial investors are quite challenging people to approach. Most of them consider their business moves proprietary and might be unwilling to cooperate. Gathering information from all these groups without discriminating any was a challenging task. More so, merging the primary and secondary data to contain a detailed summary was challenging. As a result, the researchers developed a detailed questionnaire founded on the research questions and objectives. The questionnaire focused on key points only and sought general knowledge from all respondents.

Chapter four: Research Findings


The section presents the findings of the research obtained using the methodology discussed in chapter three above. The data is presented in both textual, tabular, and infographics. As mentioned earlier, the data was collected using questionnaires and fed to the IBM SPPS statistical software for scientific analysis. The first section presents an analysis of primary data, while the second section presents secondary data analysis. The analyses were carried out in line with the research questions and objectives highlighted in chapter one. A total of 211 questionnaires were issued, but only 193 were complete and included in the study.


Demographic data describe the study population and provide details on age, gender, residence, and occupation. This kind of data helps researchers gain fundamental insights into the population traits, which helps them draw substantive conclusions. Without a proper understanding of the study population, researchers might ultimately find making the correct conclusions or even completing the research. In our case, the research focused on three main characteristics: gender, age, and occupation.

Distribution Of Respondent by Gender

The chart below illustrates the distribution of despondent by gender.

Distribution of respondents by gender
Figure 3: Distribution of respondents by gender

42.7% (82) of the respondents were male, while 38.5% (74) were female. Thirty-six respondents did not disclose their gender, which accounts for 18.8% of the valid sample size.

Distribution Of Respondents by Age-Group

The chart below presents the distribution of respondents by age group.

Distribution of respondents by age group
Figure 4: Distribution of respondents by age group

The respondents were aged between 20 and 74 years and were grouped into 11 age groups for a more straightforward analysis. 15.10% of the respondents were aged between 25 and 29 years. This was the modal age group followed by 30-34, 35-39, and 40-44, all of which accounted for 11.46%, respectively. Those aged between 20-24 were accounted for 10.94%. The minor-aged group was 65-69 years, accounting for 3.13% of the total valid sample size. The average age was 47 years which belongs to the 45-49 age group.

Distribution Of Problematic Departments To Commercial Stakeholders

The table below presents the distribution of respondents according to their occupations. The table presents the count, actual count, percentage, and actual percentage of the respective count of responses.

Table 1: Summary of distribution of respondents according to their occupation

Occupational Department Count Valid Count Percentage Actual percentage
Government and regulation 25 25 12.95% 11.85%
Promotion and marketing 29 29 15.03% 13.74%
Development and manufacturing 44 44 22.80% 20.85%
Drone operations and maintenance 55 55 28.50% 26.07%
Education and research 28 28 14.51% 13.27%
Other 12 12 6.22% 5.69%
Total 193 193 100% 100%

The majority of those approached in this research are professionals in drone operations and maintenance (28.50%). Drone manufacturers and developers are the second most dominant group, accounting for 22.80%. Education and research, government and regulations, and promotion and marketing accounted for 14.51%, 12.95%, and 15.03%, respectively. Only 6.22% of the respondents were professionals in other fields but were optimistic to see the actualization of aviation drones in Dubai.

Challenges Facing Commercial Investment in Aviation Drone in Dubai

The results for this section are summarized in the table below.

Table 2: Challenges Facing Commercial Investment in Aviation Drone in Dubai

Challenge Count Valid count Percentage Actual percentage
Safety concerns 104 104 54.17% 49.29%
Security and privacy 140 140 72.92% 66.35%
Infrastructure 181 181 94.27% 85.78%
Reliability 96 96 50.00% 45.50%
Investment Capital 114 114 59.38% 54.03%
Lack of essential information 99 99 51.56% 46.92%
Marketing strategy 121 121 63.02% 57.35%
Regulations 188 188 97.92% 89.10%

Infrastructure and regulation are the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs interested in aviation drones. 97.92% of the respondents pointed out that regulations were a significant blockage to their investments. 94.27% of the respondents cited that infrastructure was a significant challenge as it was not clear where the aviation drones would take off or land. With such a large portion of the population pointing out infrastructural problems, the government and all other stakeholders should take a bold step in formulating and implementing the necessary policies towards providing timely solutions. It also means the drone aviation sector will not prevail without the necessary pickup and landing points to pick up and drop passengers. Law-biding investors pay key attention to national and international laws before investing in other countries. Without proper regulation in place, investors risk being caught in the middle when the countries set laws in the future. When regulations exist, it is always clear to the investors what boundaries not to cross. In such instances, the investors can effectively plan on what products and services to introduce, the market segment to target, and many more. The lack of detailed, well-acknowledged, and understandable regulations is a significant blow to the development of the drone aviation sector. Such a gap in the governing and regulation poses a significant barrier and uncertainty of the industry’s future. The regulators should formulate clear, precise, detailed, and understandable regulations regarding introducing, applying, and operating aviation drones in Dubai City.

Safety concerns, reliability of the drones, investment capital, and lack of essential information were the least of the problems accounting for 54.17%, 50.00%, 59.38%, and 51.56%, respectively. Security and privacy concerns and marketing strategy were moderate concerns counting for 72.92% and 63.02% of the respondents, respectively. The table below represents the results of regression analysis of the above data. The safety of target customers is of great importance to investors and regulators. Customers play an essential role in the investment chain and significantly influence the profits and losses made. National and international laws provide for safety laws according to international labor and consumer rights. The introduction of aviation drones in the market should not come as a security and safety concern but as an innovative power that all players can harness.

Table 3: Summary of linear regression

Regression Model Linear
LINEST raw output
0.5208440401898 -4.17397451997203E-05
3.01810967189123E-05 0.004065705721835
0.999999979853209 0.002893905295326
297814174.324659 6
2494.10074975187 5.02481271499111E-05
Regression Statistics
R^2 0.999999979853209
Standard Error 0.002893905295326
Count of X variables 1
Observations 8
Adjusted R^2 0.999999976495411
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
df SS MS F Significance F
Regression 1 2494.10074975187 2494.10074975187 297814174.324659 2.55545158907569E-24
Residual 6 5.02481271499111E-05 8.37468785831851E-06
Total 7 2494.1008
Confidence level 0.95
Coefficients Standard Error t-Statistic P-value Lower 95% Upper 95%
Intercept -4.17397451997203E-05 0.004065705721835 -0.0102662976751 0.992141663905811 -0.009990163259227 0.009906683768827
X1 0.5208440401898 3.01810967189123E-05 17257.2933661296 2.55545158907569E-24 0.520770189706558 0.520917890673042
X1 Predicted Y Y Residual
104 54.167738439994 54.17 0.002261560005984
140 72.9181238868268 72.92 0.001876113173168
181 94.2727295346086 94.27 -0.002729534608648
96 50.0009861184756 50 -0.000986118475623
114 59.376178841892 59.38 0.003821158107975
99 51.563518239045 51.56 -0.003518239045022
121 63.0220871232206 63.02 -0.002087123220626
188 97.9186378159372 97.92 0.001362184062756

P-value is used to test the research hypothesis and helps make the research conclusions based on the behavior of data collected. in our case, the number of respondents reflecting on specific issues is a substantial challenge as a percentage of the total sample size was used as the independent variable. With such a high p-value (0.9921), it is clear that the challenges discussed have an influential significance on the adoption of aviation and parcel drones.

Challenges Facing Government in The Public Investment in Aviation Drones in Dubai

The table below summarized the challenges facing the government in the implementation of aviation drones in Dubai. The data summarized therein was obtained from a secondary source.

Table 4: Challenges facing DCAA

Challenge Count Valid count Percentage Actual percentage
Applicable laws and regulations 17 17 68.00% 68.00%
Expertise 13 13 52.00% 52.00%
Public engagement 21 21 84.00% 84.00%
Investment Capital 19 19 76.00% 76.00%
International laws 11 11 44.00% 44.00%
Safety and privacy concerns 21 21 84.00% 84.00%
Reliability of drones 20 20 80.00% 80.00%
Application context 6 6 24.00% 24.00%
Infrastructure 15 15 60.00% 60.00%

According to government sources, public reaction and safety and privacy concerns are the biggest challenges that need to be overcome for further progress in the investment of aviation drones. The government sources show that 80% of the DCAA staff are concerned about the reliability of drones. In comparison, another 84% believe the city lags in engaging the public on the same project. 24% of the government staff are concerned about the aviation drones application context. International laws are also a significant issue of concern, with 44% of the government staff raising their eyebrows on the same issue.

Chapter five: Analysis Of Findings And Conclusion


This chapter discusses the results presented in chapter four above according to the research objectives. The chapter is broken down into subsections, each representing a study objective. The discussions also seek to answer the study question in a detailed manner as possible. The study’s findings are also compared with the lists of related studies to test how the results concur or differ from other studies. The research targeted individuals aged between 20 and 75 years from different domains and disciplines. These include government and regulation, marketing and promotions, research, development and manufacturing, drone operations and maintenance, education and research, and other disciplines. The choice of domains was meant to help the researcher gain a substantiate insight into the challenges faced by each stakeholder in the implementation of aviation drones in Dubai.

Challenges Facing Investors in The Aviation Drone Sector in Dubai

Dubai is one of the most innovative cities and is known for achieving what is seemingly impossible. The city prides itself in the best and most adventurous skyscrapers, presenting a significant challenge to autonomous flying vehicles. The city has attracted some of the wealthiest investors worldwide and services as regional headquarters to most multinational companies. Dubai is also prone to strong winds, which are known for grounding planes and distracting constructions projects. Access to Dubai tourist destinations presents a groundbreaking opportunity for further development and innovation of Dubai to improve better tourists experiencing. Since autonomous flying vehicles are not fully developed, it is impossible to assess the true sustainability of such a project in a fast-developing city like Dubai without overlooking its adversities. As a result, DCAA stands an ideal chance to establish the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the implementation of aviation drones in Dubai City.

Dubai is one of the most luxurious and profitable investment hubs in the Middle East and the world. Dubai is the most celebrated tourist and shopping destination globally, serving as the jewel of the Arab world. However, investors in the aviation drone sector face several challenges that must be adequately solved before the sector grows further. Challenges facing investors before funding seed capital are a significant threat to the growth and development of those sectors. The results indicate that there are several challenges facing investors and range from safety to regulations. With such a large portion of the population pointing out infrastructural problems, the government and all other stakeholders should take a bold step in formulating and implementing the necessary policies towards providing timely solutions. It also means the drone aviation sector will not prevail without the necessary pickup and landing points to pick up and drop passengers.

The lack of detailed, well-acknowledged, and understandable regulations is a significant blow to the development of the drone aviation sector. Such a gap in the governing and regulation poses a significant barrier and uncertainty of the industry’s future. The regulators should formulate clear, precise, detailed, and understandable regulations regarding introducing, applying, and operating aviation drones in Dubai City.

First, the safety of drone passengers, operators, and those surrounding the thrones is a significant threat to the implementation of vessels in public transportation. No investor would dare to mass invest in a technology whose safety records are questionable. Since the investors are not sure about these drones’ safety records, it would also be difficult for insurance agencies to establish the correct quotation to insure passengers and the drones. The performance of autonomous drones in lousy weather is also a big challenge that ought to be deciphered before they can be allowed in Dubai. The presence of several skyscrapers in Dubai means the drones will have to meander their way between buildings. Although safety does not seem to be a significant concern, more than half of the respondents considered it a problem to be addressed as soon as possible.

The aviation industry is highly susceptible to security threats ranging from hijackers, onboard bomb explosions, and targets by missiles and other weaponry. Aviation drones might not be safe either. With over 70% of the respondents pointing out this challenge, it implies that the investors are really concerned about the safety and privacy of the passengers and all other stakeholders. Drones have high-definition onboard cameras, sensors, and gyroscope on board, which are capable of collecting large sums of information on people, buildings, and other objects within their line of sight. Investors and members of the public are not sure what should be done on this kind of data. The government, investors, and other stakeholders need to come clear on addressing such a problem. Drones are expected to fly near buildings, and the onboard recording equipment might accidentally capture people in their houses or washroom, which might be very embarrassing. Collecting such information might cause problems to drone operators and owners, leading to revoking licenses or subjecting them to huge fines.

Investment capital is a moderate challenge to investors seeking new markets in Dubai. In fact, Dubai has built its reputation by providing the most expensive and high-quality services, high rent rates, and fast booming business opportunities. 59.38% of the respondents admitted to having problems raising seed capital to invest in aviation drones. The ease of doing business in a country is an essential factor that determines whether investors are willing to risk investing in such a country or not. Dubai’s ease of doing business is relatively moderate and ranks high on the global scale, as shown in figure 4 below. However, access to financial services might not be that easy, and most investors consider it a challenge (citation). Since the government regulates financial institutions, the authorities must put measures in place to ease the financial challenges facing investors, such as ease of accessing loans.

Ease of Doing Business in UAE
Figure 5: Ease of Doing Business in UAE

Although nationwide surveillance technologies were adopted as the aviation sector gained momentum after the world wars, counter-technologies have been on the rise and continue to play the offensive side. The private sector has occasionally outsmarted governments in developing and deploying technologies worldwide (Kharoufah et al., 2018). As a result, governments have found themselves rushing to catch up with technological advances developed by the private sector or developed in other countries. Dubai is a heavy spender on lucrative and high-end technologies but has been blamed for the lack of authoritative regulations of such technologies (citation). However, the aviation industry is a no joke and calls for the adoption of stringent regulatory measures.

Regulatory agencies lag behind the engineers working on modern technologies, which red flags modern technologies’ development, implementation, and performance. Initially, engineers developed and implemented technologies because it was technically possible (Zoldi et al., 2017). Activists have been on the alert in the recent past, questing the applicability of some technologies in real life. Most engineering companies are models of corporate social responsibilities that guide them on operating environmentally and ethically while achieving their financial gains (Stevenson and V, 2019). Accidents, failures, and injuries forced engineers to rethink their technical approaches and develop frameworks to help them develop ergonomically feasible engineering artifacts (Kharoufah et al., 2018). The frameworks are also the basis for regulatory approaches deployed by government and other oversight agencies.

Aviation is one of the most expensive modes of transport and calls for stringent regulations to ensure efficiency, safety, and fairness among competitors. National and international aviation laws define how government and aviators conduct themselves in the industry without conflicting with one another. The International Civil Aviation Organization oversees the implementation of international aviation laws. The organization is a division of the United Nations and was established in 1947 to oversee the development of the aviation sector. It has overseen the registration of airlines worldwide and now stands to oversee the implementation of safe aviation drones. Most countries do not permit unidentified vehicles in their airspace as it is termed an invasion of that country’s air space (Jones. 2017). Radars keep watch of national and international airspace, allowing nations to monitor air traffic fleet within their territorial airspace.

The presence of drones in their air poses the same threats the other vessels pose in the aviation sector. Although drones are significantly smaller and unlikely to cause as much catastrophe as full-scale planes, national regulations do not permit unidentified or unaccredited flying objects in their country (ibid). Usually, most countries certify new airborne vehicle before it flies in their national space. Although the United States has been at the forefront to grant permits for the development and use of drones in their airspace, the applications of the drones have been relatively narrow and do not include passenger services. Human life is considered the most specific item in the aviation industry. All possible regulatory measures must be put in place before the technologies can be actualized in daily human life.

Drone regulation is relatively new in aviation because most drones fly close to buildings, trees, and other ground objects. Most miniature drones can conveniently fly through narrow spaces between buildings, through windows, and other unimaginably inconvenient places. It poses excellent security and safety concerns that cannot be called for. The size and applications of drones vary, but their implications on society remain the same and should hence be put in constant check.

Infrastructural Challenges to Aviation Drones in Dubai

All modes of transport require infrastructural developments for efficient utilization. Currently, there are no designated landing points for drones. There are also no specified flying or alternate routes through which drones can pass. It is not clear whether drones will pick and drop passengers on ground stations or top of buildings. It is a great challenge that all stakeholders must address in order to conceptualize the best solutions.

Dubai is currently the global leader in infrastructural development and is home to the nest hotels and restaurants, the largest shopping mall on the planet, and the most beautiful and largest artificial island. This is a sign that Dubai is well placed to quickly and effectively put in place all the infrastructure needed to support and affiliate aviation drone service. The development of ground stations might be a great challenge within the main downtown district because of the many skyscrapers that might obstruct the drones. Also, the construction of landing and pickup stations might be challenging to drones as a result of strong winds, which could risk lives and property. The DCAA should then conduct a detailed feasibility study to establish the best option from the aforementioned choices.

Technical Challenges and Solutions in Dubai

Drones are a marvel technology modeled on the performance of helicopters. Most of the drones found in the market today are lightweight drones with a payload capacity of a few grams. However, the only drones with a high payload have been dedicated to military services and operations. Yet, the development of aviation drones with a high payload is on the fast track but lags behind all other applications of drones. As a result, the lack of widely available drone variants dedicated to passenger transportation raises questions on their application’s technical and statistical significance. In this context, all stakeholders must play their role to hasted research and development and testing of aviation drones, put regulations in place, and pump in the finances needed to keep the domain successful. The current versions should also be subjected to extreme testing procedures before being approved for passenger transportation. Although technologies have proven essential to human life, innovative products are still subject to rigorous testing and approval to ensure the highest safety and security standards.

Currently, the aviation sector presents cons and pros to the world economy and true sustainability. While aviation presents a convenient way to transport people and goods worldwide, its contribution to global warming cannot go unnoticed (Liao et al., 2020). Disruptive technological advancements and innovations are not something new but have always come at a price. Unlike the invention of the jet engine, which took long periods, money, and workforce to design, develop, test, and implement, current technology is dependent on artificial intelligence to power mode advanced research and development. However, the fast pace of development is susceptible to errors, especially when flawed systems are used for simulation. Such circumstances pose great danger to the future of the drone aviation sector and should hence be subjected to rigorous safety and security checks.

As a relatively young technology whose financial implications are not yet established, the future of aviation drones is more of a financial than a technological experiment. Dubai is financially stable and could implement the project without facing any financial hurdles. Besides, Dubai is famous for providing the best services to its residents and visitors, from the best beaches, hotels, malls, and airports. It is now looking forward to providing the best aviation drones on the planet. Over the years, the government has been the biggest spender on all infrastructural projects due to its substantial financial gains from the oil trade. As more people travel to, live, and invest in Dubai, private companies have shown interest in investing in high-end projects and technologies. Gaining insight into the technical requirements, benefits, opportunities, and potential challenges surrounding autonomous aviation will help DCAA formulate policies to regulate the operation of aviation drones. With clear guidelines and regulations in place, the private sector stands a chance to invest in services that compete with the government’s, helping raise the standards of services standards.

Security is a paramount part of human nature since time immemorial. The advent of modern, digital, and high-performance aviation vessels has brought with its pros and cons. The development and adoption of data capturing technologies have had unprecedented effects on privacy and have attracted criticism from all social classes. Most of the privacy breaching technologies are used by security agencies to collect data on intelligence matters. However, the tools and technologies have found their way to the communities and are susceptible to misuse. Security and safety go hand in hand and are an essential part of aviation drones’ development, operations, and regulation. Like any other technological artifact, the ideal intentions of the owner or operator cannot be fully discerned unless they are caught in evil acts such as spying on people’s homes. Experts warn that the potential benefits of modern technology outweigh its disadvantages. However, the threats emanating from the development and use of the technologies should not be overlooked.

The technological advancements and development of state-of-the-art infrastructural endpoint will see Dubai transform into a more attractive, convenient, secure, and connected city. Access to major service points such as coffee shops, banker automated teller machines, government offices, hotels and restaurants, and other luxurious endpoints will be eased. It is a technological venture that presents the city with numerous opportunities for technological and economic growth and creating more tourist attraction endpoints.

Drones, just like any other flying objects, can only operate in favorable weather conditions. These include low weather speeds, high visibility, clear skies, and little or no rainfall. All airports must have a functional weather station that helps the flight control attendants make sound decisions before planes can land or take off. Most passenger jets used in the twenty-first century are large and not easily blown by the medium-speed wind. The technical performance of any mechanical objects is a priority before regulators accredit them permission to operate within their designated territorial borders. The internal performance of drones is the first impression to designers, developers, and regulators. The external and internal designs are a big attraction to customers (Kharoufah et al., 2018). The rate of fuel consumption of drones or any other transport vessel has been on the watch out for by most regulatory agencies worldwide, citing global warming and climate change. Engineers have been in a rush to develop more efficient engineers and even sought alternative energy sources such as solar power and hydrogen gas. The effect of the technologies on onboard passengers and goods and their response to the immediate environment has been on a strict watch out by experts, citing uncertainty in the operations of such technologies.

Business Challenges and Solutions to Lightweight Drone Services in Dubai

The marketing of drones and drone services is also another challenge facing investors. Since Dubai does not manufacture drones, it implies that investors will have to import the technology. According to Dubai regulations, the market is open to establishing assembly plants within which different drone parts can be assembled and tested. The marketing of drone services within Dubai remains a nightmare, but investors remain optimistic as that is always the case with every new investment.

According to Oleksyn (2021), UAVs provide experts with an upper hand in data collection, research, and development, as well as accessing areas that could not be accessed before, such as flooded areas, across flooded rivers, and many more. Such technologies spurred further research, development, innovation, and improvement of new and existent technologies, respectively. The development and marketing of DIY software are expected to skyrocket with intelligent systems that can securely navigate any terrain or environment. It should be noted that intelligent software solutions’ performance depends on the in-cooperation of high precision hardware sensors.

The development of the drone industry is congruent to the development of commercial and fighter jets. The history of drones dates back to the 19th century when Austria used unnamed balloons to attack Venice (Afxentiou, 2018). The balloons contained explosives and were a great leap in technology and military intelligence. The balloons contained about 15 pounds of explosives each and were dropped once they were positioned above the city. Lucky enough, most of the balloons were blown away by a sudden change in the wind, and most of the city remained intact. The use of balloons does not meet the criteria for classifying drones today but played a major role in developing unmanned aerial vehicles later during the world wars. Although the surprise mission was a failure, it was a great development and advancement of the aviation engineering concepts that later saw the birth of the airplane. The thought of the use of unmanned balloons to attack Venice saw the development of technologies that would later be used for military purposes, as is the case today.

Intellectual property theft has been a significant debate in the west, specifically in the United States, Britain, Germany, and France. However, open-source technologies are highly adopted in Asian countries such as China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Today, open-source technologies have created an ample environment for developing real-life changing technologies, making Asia a big player in the global economy, power, and influence. As a result, drone technology has advanced, and the region produces some of the most intelligent aviation drones globally. Sharing innovative information among experts and presenting the information freely to others for modification as found necessary has been a boost in the development of aviation drones in recent years, breaking the domino effect of patenting essential technologies. The engineering community should embrace open-source high-end and competitive technologies to create room for innovation. It will create room for resource and knowledge sharing among manufacturers, researchers, and operators, exposing vulnerabilities in the associated technologies.

The future projections of drones
Figure 6: The future projections of drones

Startup involvements have a commendable influence on the financial stability of the investors and the country at large. Pumping more seed capital in any sector helps the national gross domestic product grow at higher rates, helping the government collect more revenue than investing in foreign markets (Chandler, 2017). However, with the adverse effects of drones on job opportunities and the environment, the true sustainability of such an investment might not be achievable. This is because most of the revenue generated by the industry would be channeled to rehabilitative projects such as environmental protection and global warming.

Dubai is a luxurious city inhabited by thousands of foreign investors and workers. The level of innovation exercised by the Dubai authorities is coupled with the high-end developments, which draws the attention of heavy spenders. The introduction of passenger drones would be highly welcome in Dubai, and the prices would not be a shock to the target customers (Zoldi et al., 2017). Besides, most of Dubai is comprised of skyscrapers that could conveniently be accessed from the rooftops by drone technologies, saving passengers thousands of working minutes lost in traffic jams.

Security and Privacy Concerns

Security is a paramount part of human nature since time immemorial. The advent of modern, digital, and high-performance aviation vessels has brought with its pros and cons. The development and adoption of data capturing technologies have had unprecedented effects on privacy and have attracted criticism from all social classes. Most of the privacy breaching technologies are used by security agencies to collect data on intelligence matters. However, the tools and technologies have found their way to the communities and are susceptible to misuse. Security and safety go hand in hand and are an essential part of aviation drones’ development, operations, and regulation. Like any other technological artifact, the ideal intentions of the owner or operator cannot be fully discerned unless they are caught in evil acts such as spying on people’s homes. Experts warn that the potential benefits of modern technology outweigh its disadvantages. However, the threats emanating from the development and use of the technologies should not be overlooked.

The safety record of airborne vessels stands undisputed except for a few incidents that repeatedly occurred during the early days of air travel. However, accidents involving flying objects pose great risks to those on board as well as on the ground, infrastructure, and the environment (Nassi et al., 2019). The case stated above mainly applies to large aircraft. However, aviation drones are relatively large and could potentially pose similar threats to passengers, the power grid, buildings, and other infrastructure. Drones are considered some of the safe aviation vessels as they have been developed as a lightweight innovation of planes and helicopters. However, records show that remotely controlled drones, as that is how they are all operated, are highly susceptible to bad weather. Drone crashes do not result from technical or mechanical failures but instead human errors caused by the operators. According to De Schrijver (2019), more than half of all drone operators admitted crashing at least one drone in their professional lives. These are devastating figures which could have enormous implications in drone aviation.

The international bill of rights guarantees every person rights and freedoms that must be observed and protected by their respective government. Governments, in turn, have agencies tasked with ensuring their citizens and visitors to their countries enjoy these rights and freedoms. The security of drone passengers and non-passengers is a fundamental goal that the government must ensure and achieved at all times. Through the development of right and secure infrastructure, formulation of policies on flight routes, landing and pickup stations, quality assurance, and other associative regulations must focus on safety, security, and the privacy of all people. On the other hand, members of the public, passengers, and parcel recipients must observe the security guidelines put in place by the governments and drone operators for the sake of their wellbeing.


It is clear that the aviation drone industry faces numerous challenges in Dubai, ranging from safety concerns, security and privacy issues, infrastructural development, reliability of drones, investment, lack of information among the stakeholders, marketing strategy, and unclear regulations. The challenges cut across all stockholders and constitute a significant barrier to adopting and advancing aviation drones in Dubai. Without a proper solution to the investment, infrastructural, technical, and reliability problems challenging the sector, the progress will be slower than anticipated. However, the current goal is to harness the power of aviation drones instead of just banning them. New technologies present numerous opportunities to be incorporated into society to a better life and other essential services.

The cost of doing business in Dubai is relatively high, and most investors might need to acquire business loans. The government should put measures to ease the loan acquisition and repayment system as it regulates financial institutions. The regulators should revise the foreign investment policies to attract more investors, specifically in technologies that are not developed locally. The arrival of foreign investors will usher in a new era of technological development in various fields, including the drone aviation sector. With policies that attract foreign investors, the city is likely to develop more opportunities and result in population increase which will need drones for better and more convenient mobility around the city.

Infrastructural development lags, and there is no agreement on whether drones should land on buildings or ground stations. Dubai is highly susceptible to strong winds and sand storms which could cause significant damage to property and loss of life. As the biggest controller of the transport sector, the government should invest in the research and development of high-end and intelligent drone stations with automated security checkpoints. It will help ensure the security of the drones and their passengers. DCAA is entitled to conducting feasibility studies on the best development plan, site, and technologies to be used. With the current uncertainty at hand, there stands a significant barrier to achieving the current goal. The studies should open up opportunities and help the DCAA officials better understand and assess the applicability of passenger and parcel drones in Dubai.

Security and privacy are an issue of significant concern in the current digital age. Since drones depend on onboard cameras, strict regulations should be put in place to regulate where and when the drones fly and what kind of data capturing equipment should be installed. Technical challenges arise on every manufactured item, and aviation drones are not an exception. To ensure this challenge is solved as soon as possible, the regulators and investors should liaise with the manufactures to set up end-user support centers in Dubai. This will ensure the manufacturers provide technical support to the operators within the shortest time possible. The adoption of passenger and parcel drones flying around the city is as dangerous as it is optimistic. Suppose a remotely controlled drone with an onboard camera flies near a bathroom window, and the controller spots a naked person. In that case, the chances of crashing the drone in that particular residential area are high. The safety and security of the residents are also at stake as there might be a significant loss of lives and destruction of property. Regulations should then focus on safety and security in all residential areas.

Experts predict that 2.3 million drones will be shipped in 2023 and will mainly dominate the agriculture, media and telecommunications, insurance, construction, and mining sectors (Cohn et al., 2017). The drones developed for the military are expected to decline in size but improve in battery life and range. The optical capabilities of drones will experience a great leap in improvement and innovation. Experts also indicate that drones will appear in other sectors to collect data in situations consider harmful for human beings, such as fires, floods, and power plants (Cohn et al., 2017). The security sector is projected to be a great beneficiary of drone technology in the next few years. The aviation sector is projected to boom with the introduction of competitive state-of-the-art drones from China, Japan, Germany, and the United States. The competition is expected to result in legal tussles among the giant manufacturers citing intellectual theft and stiff competition, which will cause brands to dominate in the regional and global markets.

All drones are expected to be developed into smaller devices, and the mini drones will dominate the military and industrial sectors. The US army recently launched mini-drones which are capable of penetrating enemy zones undetected. The development of drone-related software and algorithms such as machine vision, flight control algorithms, and advanced processing capabilities means decisions can be taken on their own. It is essential to limit the time needed to make decisions and travel without human intervention. The use of drones for military purposes has stirred up debate among technology critics, citing ethical concerns (ibid). Over the years, drones have caused civilian deaths which have never been accounted for. Others cite privacy infringement concerning installing cameras on drones that can literally fly above anyone’s compound. The application of drones finds more opportunities and comes along with improvements in the current technologies.

The development of the aircraft industry saw unpredictable changes in plane size. The leading global competitors focused on medium to large planes which could accommodate up to 500 passengers (Shayea et al., 2020). However, Boeing pulled from the game, citing that the future of aviation would be short-range flights linking towns and cities; hence, the company focused on medium-range jets. Airbus, on the other hand, argued that long-haul flights would dominate the future of air travel. The company executives believed that passengers would fly from their cities to connect long-haul flights at designated airports from where they would fly halfway around the world. The drone industry is susceptible to similar arguments and decisions should rivals seek market dominance. Currently, passenger drones can only carry up to six passengers (Jeon et al., 2017). The demand for more passenger drones is out of the question and stands open for discussion. With a significant rise in drone demand, engineers are likely to develop larger passenger drones that can carry up to ten passengers. However, the financial decision is subject to operator decisions and policies. This is because no one would accept to invest in a drone that would never pay back on time.

Aviation drones are a promising solution to the current logistical challenges facing Dubai. The city population has been growing steadily, and infrastructural projects are booming on every side of the city. The presence of so many skyscrapers challenges the use of helicopters to access different parts of the city. More so, road transport has exhibited its drawbacks times and again. Drones are relatively smaller and more convenient than conventional helicopters. Usually, large air vessels can damage property near their landing and take-off points, which makes them inapplicable for city operations. Besides, helicopters are more expensive than drones. Aviation drones are intelligent and convenient enough to fly between buildings, trees above public roads and parks without causing any damage or disturbance.

The application of unmanned drones is a major technological breakthrough that is projected to contribute to economic growth. However, technology comes with benefits and drawbacks. While the technology is ideal for timely and convenient parcel delivery, the technology has raised eyebrows on its applicability for human transport. Autonomous modes of transport have been developed but are still in the test phase. Such technologies are ideal for the transportation of goods and parcels. However, the question of the actuality of implementing these technologies for human transport is not out of the box. Yet, the project calls for deep research, development, testing, and regulation.

Chapter six: Recommendations

Dubai remains one of the most strategic cities to adopt full-scale and industrial drone services for passenger and parcel delivery. As a well branded and reputable global business center, Dubai is indisputably the jewel of the Arab world and home to the most luxurious tourist recreation and destination points. The city population has been growing every year while tourists visiting the city have boomed in recent years. The current challenges in technology, regulations, safety, privacy, security, and investment pose a significant challenge to the foreseeable development in the sector. Referencing the above-discussed challenges and solutions proposed therein, the research puts forth a number of recommendations as discussed below.

  • First, the government should create a conducive business environment for local and international investors in drone technology. The move will create confidence among the investors and will see a considerable creation in high-end jobs for both locals and foreigners. Creating jobs positively impacts the country’s gross domestic product and promises better service delivery to the city residents and visitors.
  • Secondly, the DCAA should formulate and implement clear policies on the registration, use, and disposal of aviation and parcel drones. The authority should also provide detailed information on the selection of drone landing and pickup stations such as hotels, airports and train stations, beaches, banks, and malls. Just as airplanes use designated flight routes, the authority should define drone flying routes to minimize any chances of inconvenience caused by the drones in the air.
  • The government should embark on infrastructural development to facilitate the operation of aviation drones. The projects entail drone landing points, security access points, passenger waiting terminals, and other associated development needed for drone service delivery.
  • Lastly, the government should revise its regulations on financial institutions to ease the acquisition of loans and other financial services within the country. It will ease investors’ ability to acquire business loans to start, boost or expand their businesses.

Further research should be conducted on the applicability of the above-presented recommendation and how they affect the ability of DCAA to oversee the implementation of passenger and parcel drones in Dubai. The research should also focus on the financial feasibility of the drone industry in other cities around the world.


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Appendix 1. Questionnaire

Please help us fill the Questionnaires below
Part A Personal information
Professionalism (Tick where appropriate)
Government and regulation [ ]
Promotion and marketing [ ]
Development and manufacturing [ ]
Drone operations and maintenance [ ]
Education and research [ ]
Other [ ]
Challenges facing the drone industry
Please select the challenges that you think are challenging the implementation of aviation drones in Dubai.
Safety concerns [ ]
Security and privacy [ ]
Infrastructure [ ]
Reliability [ ]
Investment Capital [ ]
Lack of essential information [ ]
Marketing strategy [ ]
Regulations [ ]
For Government Officers only.
Please select the challenges that you think are challenging the implementation of aviation drones in Dubai.
Applicable laws and regulations [ ]
Expertise [ ]
Public engagement [ ]
Capital [ ]
International laws [ ]
Safety and privacy concerns [ ]
Reliability of drones [ ]
Application context [ ]
Infrastructure [ ]

Appendix II: Value Proposition Canvas

Designed for: Designed by: Date: Version:
Value Proposition Canvas DCAA Team 28/06/2021 2.0
Gain Creators Gains
Products and Services DCAA provides services for drone taxi providers and ensures seamless operation of drone taxi services without the barrier of regulation.
DCAA takes full advantage of the benefits that come with drone technologies and provides fast delivery for the customers.
DCAA ensures the establishment of an IT system that meets all modern requirements for the use of drone technologies and frequent system updates with an up-to-date tracking system.
The customers get fast services in the delivery of products and goods.
The drone taxi providers get high-quality services that ensure smooth operation.
The customers get an opportunity to co-create value with the company.
Customers seek fast delivery of products and goods.
Customers also seek companies that let the customers be a part of the creation process and establish friendly relationships, with a possibility to create values in collaboration with the customer.
Drone taxi providers require high-quality services and smooth operation without a regulation barrier.
The customers are interested in the fast delivery of products and goods.
Drone taxi providers are interested in access for drone taxi services and tracking system that meets all the requirements from modern drone technologies.
Customer Jobs
Pain Relievers Pains
Value Proposition Customer Segment Providers of drone taxi services and Freight Companies & Airlines

Appendix III: FMEA Worksheet

FMEA Worksheet
Figure 7: FMEA worksheet

Appendix IV. Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas

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