SeaBubbles, a French startup focused on the new generation of passenger boats, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al Masaood Power Division, UAE’s leading expert in marine propulsion systems and power generation, at the 28th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show.
The MoU will see both parties collaborating to pilot and evaluate the performance of hydrogen-powered flying boats, manufacture and maintain operations in the UAE, and retrofit existing boats with SeaBubbles’ sustainable powertrain system.
Inspired by the Emirates’ pearl-diving heritage, SeaBubbles unveiled UAE’s first flying boat powered by hydrogen ‘X-Pearl’ at Dubai International Boat Show. X-Pearl is an exclusive edition to honor the legacy and the vision of the country.
“The Dubai International Boat Show is iconic, so it felt like the perfect opportunity to reveal the X-Pearl to an international audience and showcase that we are moving towards this ecological transition together with Al Masaood. The MoU agreement marks another step forward in terms of driving hydrogen mobility in the UAE. With COP28 coming to the Emirates next year, we are very excited to strengthen our local ties.”
SeaBubbles’ crafts can carry up to 12 passengers and a pilot, making them ideal for a range of water mobility solutions including electric passenger vessel, zero-emission water taxi, VIP shuttle, or even for inter-city transfers. By producing minimal wake and water disturbance, it also provides a solution for eco-tourism sightseeing tours in protected areas such as the Eastern Mangroves wetland reserves.
“This is the return of the Dubai International Boat Show after two years, so while the show starts a new cycle, we also start something new and exciting with this partnership with SeaBubbles. The X-Pearl, by emitting only water, demonstrates our commitment to sustainable solutions and we are honored to sign this ground-breaking partnership that will help drive green mobility for future generations,” said Mr. Rasso Bartenschlager, General Manager of Al Masaood Power Division.
SeaBubbles’ innovative technology ensures a more ecological future courtesy of its hydrogen fuel cells, which generate the electricity supply for the internal systems and propulsion pods, while a battery pack supports it during flight. This hybrid concept ensures 100 percent reliance on renewable energy sources, while its foils reduce wetted surface area and thus power usage, leading to a craft 35 percent more power-efficient than a regular boat. The X-Pearl can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour (kph).