Dubai Taxi Guide |

Dubai Taxi Guide

Posted on

23 October 2013

Last updated on 19 January 2020

Guide to getting around Dubai by Taxi

New rise in Dubai taxi fares
Update November 2015

Taxi fares have risen for passengers in Dubai. A consequence of the deregulation of fuel price across the Emirate, passengers can now expect to pay Dhs 1.82 per kilometre, as opposed to Dhs 1.71. And those jumping in an airport taxi will now pay Dhs 1.96 per kilometre, instead of Dhs 1.75.

Taxi tailgaters to receive warning via 'Back off Radio'
Update April 2015

Drivers who tailgate a taxi in Dubai will soon start receiving a message over their radio asking them to back off, as the RTA has recently revealed. The RTa in partnership with Arabian Radio Network (ARN) has created a device called 'Back off Radio', which will alert drivers when they are too close to the taxi in front. 

The device is still in testing stages, as a number of taxis are being fitted with the device. So don't be alarmed if a strange voice starts yelling at you over your radio while driving -- it means you're driving too close! So take care. The 'Back fof Radio' device will also collect real time information that both warns about tailgating, as well as detecting speeding and aggressive driving which will then be analysed by the RTA to make decisions about road safety. 

Dubai Taxi Guide

SEE ALSO: Want to get somewhere quickly? Why not ride the Dubai Metro! 
Taxis work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including public and religious holidays. You can book people carriers for more than 4 people, special needs taxis and ladies only taxis, these have a pink roof.

RTA Smart Taxi App
If you are an iPhone, Blackberry, Windows 8, and Android-based smartphone user, you can download the RTA Smart Taxi App from your app store. You must register to use the app, but once you have signed in, you are able to book a taxi immediately. The app locates where you are exactly, and sends these details to the nearest driver, who will then be allocated. The app is free, and covers all 9,000 cabs in the city. 

Via Telephone
You can also make a booking for a half day and full day fixed fare if you need a taxi for a long length of time.

There are 5 official taxi companies and all rates are the same - rule of thumb is official taxi company cars are all cream coloured with varying different roof colours:
Dubai Transport
Cars Taxis
National Taxis
Metro Taxis
Arabia Taxis
Phone 2080808
Phone 2642825
Phone 3366611
Phone 2673222
Phone  2855111
Cream coloured cars   (EW recommended)
Cream with a Blue roof
Cream with a Blue roof
Cream with a Red Roof
Cream with a Green Roof
Dubai - Taxi contact

All taxis have a meter and this should always be operational.

Starting meter fares:      

From 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.    
Hired on Road / Street Pickup 5 AED Public and District Taxi
Booking through Dispatch Centre 6 AED Only Public Taxi
Airport 20 AED Only Public Taxi
From 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.    
Hired on Road / Street Pickup      5 AED Public and District Taxi
Booking through Dispatch Centre 7 AED Only Public Taxi
Airport  20 AED Only Public Taxi
Peak Hours:    
Saturday to Wednesday    
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.    
Thursday and Friday    
4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.    
Hired on Road / Street Pickup 5 AED Public and District Taxi
Booking through Dispatch Centre 12 AED Only Public Taxi

• Minimum taxi fare is 12 AED.
• Taxis are not exempted from Salik fees.
• The journey is free if the meter is not operated.
• Sharjah Emirate and Northern Emirates fare will be charged an extra 20 AED.

EW Insider Tips

• There always seem to be a lot of new taxi drivers on the road so they may not necessarily know where it is you want go- make sure you know in advance or ask the driver to stop at a garage to ask for directions- carry a little map yourself to for them going round the houses too to increase the fare!

• Make sure you know names of major landmarks near where you are going as most drivers don’t know the smaller street names although they do know the main ones- they know things like hotels, malls, shops, tourist landmarks, area names etc.

• Most drivers speak a mixture of English, Hindi and Arabic- here are some handy phrases whilst in a taxi:

      Go - yalla/ yellah
       Stop - bas/ bus
      Straight ahead - seer/ seedah sida/ seeda
      Left - yasaar  
      Right - yameen  
      Yes - aiwa  
      No - la  
      One minute - ek minnit
      Behind - try saying backside - we know but it works!!!
                    Lovely example of Dinglish - Dubai English!

• Some taxi drivers do like to speed- if you are uncomfortable with the way they are driving tell them to slow down/ drive carefully or you will get out or report them.

• The Salik toll is now free for taxi drivers so you don’t have to pay for going through any of the toll gates.

• All taxis have a sticker on the passenger side window in the back with the complaints number and rules of carriage if you need help.

• All taxis have a number near to the back passenger door- make a note of this as you get in or out if you need to remember what taxi you were in- especially helpful if you leave anything in the taxi.

• Carry some change if possible-they sometimes do not have change for even a 100 Dhs note- if you don’t have change ask to stop at a garage on your journey to break a large note.

• As a lady travelling alone in a taxi, always get in the rear of the vehicle- it can be misconstrued if you  sit in  the front seat!

• You can use hotel taxis if you are desperate but they have much more expensive rates.

• Always fasten your seat belt whether in the front or back.

• A taxi for hire will have the light on its roof lit up so you can flag this down in a safe stopping area.

• If you are walking along the road, you'll often hear beeping taxis as they approach you. This is not a "get out of my way" warning blast, but a "would you like a taxi?" question honk. Just wave them on if you actually having a wander!

• Some drivers are looking for long trips and larger fares but sometimes you may need them for a short journey due to having shopping or it being very hot outside- the drivers are not allowed to refuse a fare for a short journey- offer them a nice tip if they start grumbling- or just ignore them!

• Do not get into any remotely dodgy looking taxi with no signage, branding or light on the top - they will rip you off, have bad driving standards and are illegal!

• Sharjah taxis have green number plates and are not allowed to make pick ups in Dubai- although some try- do not use these.

• Remember there is zero tolerance to drink driving so always, always get a taxi if you have been drinking- to save your life, other’s lives and prevent a lengthy jail term and hefty fine- just don’t do it! There are over 10,000 taxis on Dubai roads so use them. You can always rescue your car the next day.

• Be aware that taxi drivers work long and hard hours- be nice to them, ask about their family back home, leave a generous tip- see if you can brighten their day up.

Makani App

Say farewell to painful seconds of trying to describe your location to a taxi driver, as a geographic address system has been launched in Dubai to enable people to locate buildings within an accuracy of one metre, using an application and a 10-digit code. 

Makani (or My Location) was developed under the supervision of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, for use by Dubai Municipality. 

The smart system works by acquiring real-tme coordinates from satellites, to provide detailed information about location and access points to different buildings and facilities, by entering 10 unique numbers assigned for each building entry. 

Makani launched by Sheikh Hamdan

Sheikh Hamdan has directed the Dubai Municipality to issue 10-digit sums to Dubai buildings and access points within 6 months. So those funny little number code you've spotted on your building's notice board? Now you know what it's for! So make sure you make a note of it. 

Makani will become very useful for residents and visitors to the Emirate if ever they require a taxi, or even when calling 999 - users will be able to spot a plate nearby, and report the location of the accident or the crime. The system is expected to be fully integrated and in working order prior to 2020. Plus, people from all nationalities may find it very useful in finding a location easily, as users will only need the 10-digit code instead of names of places. It will effectively resemble a US zipcode. 

The app is available to download in all versions of different devices, such as smartphones (iPhone, Andriod, Blackberry) and tablet PCs, comupters and navigational devices in cars. 

Download and install Makani today, here >>

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