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Look Out, Amazon: Dubai Could Have Delivery Drones by Year's End

Though Amazon’s proposed drones may be snagged in regulatory approval for many years to come, the futuristic devices will reportedly be flying the friendly skies of Dubai in a matter of months.

And it’s not even a retailer that’s seeking to employ the high-tech machines, but the United Arab Emirates’ government itself, which intends to deliver driver’s licenses, medicine and other official documents by air, reports Sky News.

The 18-inch, battery-powered, four-rotor drones were announced at the Virtual Future Exhibition, a government summit in Dubai, before the country’s prime minister and ruler. Two white prototypes touted the UAE flag.

Related: Government Shuts Down Small Brewery's Beer Drones

While the delivery of critical government documentation via drone may sound like a recipe for disaster, the project’s engineer, Abdulrahman Alserkal, told the outlet that fingerprint and eye-recognition technology would be used to protect the cargo from unauthorized recipients.

After an announced testing period of six months, the program could be operational country-wide within a year.

However, in addition to the civilian air regulations that may delay Amazon’s Prime Air program, Dubai’s drones will also have to contend with scorching temperatures and sand storms, Sky News noted.

Related: Not Science Fiction: Amazon Is Working on a Drone-Powered Delivery System

Geoff Weiss is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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