RTA Will Soon Stop Taxi Phone Bookings | ExpatWoman.com

RTA Soon to Halt Booking Dubai Taxis By Phone

The (04) 2080808 number to call and book taxis in Dubai will be phased out

Posted on

3 September 2019

Last updated on 4 September 2019
RTA Soon to Halt Booking Dubai Taxis By Phone

Phone booking will soon be replaced by the taxi-hailing service from Careem - Hala

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that the phone booking system for Dubai taxis will soon be discontinued in place of an e-hailing service, similar to Uber and Careem. RTA has collaborated with Careem to launch an online booking service - "Hala" - as part of the Careem app.

Hala is available from September, and users can book any of the 5,500 taxis available on the service.

Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency at the RTA, said during a press conference that "The RTA call centre will continue to operate. But, eventually we will phase out the phone booking service for taxis."

“We are encouraging [...] people to download the app. Over time, as we start getting more people [booking taxi] through the app, we will phase it [phone booking] out. But we are not going to close it down immediately.”

Previous test runs of the Hala taxis found that e-hailed taxis' estimated time of arrival is under 3.5 minutes.

According to Clemence Dutertre, CEO of Hala, Hala has plans to incorporate the entire Dubai taxi fleet in the ride-hailing service.

“We are tailoring the number of taxis that are available on the platform according to demand and ramping up... The objective is to have all taxis on the platform by the beginning of next year,” said Dutertre.

As of now, only 550 taxis are branded with the sky blue and white Hala design and roof, which will be expanded later.

RTA Soon to Halt Booking Dubai Taxis By Phone

What is Hala

Hala is an e-hailing service based in the Careem app, where users can book for taxis in Dubai.

Unlike the street-hailed, government-run taxis, Hala taxis are decorated in blue and white.

The starting price is AED 8 (during regular hours), AED 9 (during night time), and AED 12 (during peak hours). However, the ride fare matches that of regular taxis.

Payment can be made by credit card or by cash.

An AED 12 cancellation charge will be made if the Hala booking is cancelled within 3 minutes.

Officials said, "We have integrated the Careem system into the RTA system which means all the RTA features including the cameras to monitor the safety in the cars remain. These cars in the fleet will continue to provide street-hailing service as well."

Bassel Al Nahlaoui, the Managing Director of Careem Gulf and Pakistan, said the company is set to expand a similar service model in other parts of the UAE.