Read today's eNewspaper

Burj Khalifa

Futuristic Dubai dreams of hyperloop transit tubes

A network of tubes whisking passengers across a country at close to the speed of sound may seem like a sci-fi pipe dream, but in the already futuristic city of Dubai it would fit right in.

The city-state just hosted a two-day competition for designs related to a high-speed system known as a hyperloop, in which levitating pods powered by electricity and magnetism would hurtle through low-friction pipes at a top speed of 1,220 kph (760 mph).

The idea, first proposed by Tesla co-founder Elon Musk in 2013, is still being tested. But Dubai has already partnered with Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One to examine possible lines going to the United Arab Emirates' capital, Abu Dhabi,...