Should I Use Taxis in Dubai?

Due to its infrastructure and climate, Dubai is not a pedestrian-friendly place. Even if you stay near any public transportation station, you will eventually find yourself in the need to take a car or a taxi at some point.

Dubai taxis are operated by government owned Dubai Taxi Corporation and all official standard taxi vehicles are cream-coloured. Since Dubai Taxi Corporation franchises its services to other private companies, the roof colour of taxi vehicles may differ. Dubai Taxi Corporation’s standard vehicles have red-coloured roof, for example, while privately owned Arabia Taxi has green-coloured roof. All taxis have a working meter and are air-conditioned. They are generally the most comfortable, the fastest and not that expensive way to go around the city. However, during the peak hours and in the congested city areas, taxis should be avoided as they get stuck in the traffic and the cost of the ride increases due to the long waiting time.

   

The taxis can be hailed in the street, picked up at taxi ranks, booked by the phone, SMS (SMS service is currently available only for Etisalat mobile numbers covering 53 areas at the moment) or RTA’s  (Road and Transport Authority) Smart Taxi Application.

There are taxi ranks all over the city. They include taxi ranks at Dubai International Airport, all shopping malls, ranks outside all Dubai Metro stations. There are always taxis waiting for customers at Dubai International Airport taxi ranks and all shopping malls taxi ranks, so no need to book a taxi in advance when departing from any of these points. In case there are no taxis at the visited rank, it is possible to request a taxi via phone by calling any of the numbers on the rank’s sign or via SMS to 4774 mentioning the unique code assigned to the rank and found also on the rank’s sign.

Via phone, a taxi service can be booked by calling a Dispatch Centre on 04 2080808 up to 24 hours in advance.  

The SMS service works only with Etisalat mobile numbers and the message with the area number needs to be sent to 4774. The “Reservation Number” is then sent back via SMS to the mobile number.

The RTA’s Smart Taxi application allows the users of smartphones to book a taxi in an easy way even when they do not know the location where they are. The user’s location is communicated via application to the driver, while the progress of the taxi can be followed live on screen. The name of the driver and the estimated arrival time to the destination are also communicated through the application to the user.

Dubai Taxis operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week including public and religious holidays. They all have a well-maintained and clean interior and are equipped with the latest tracking devices via satellite to ensure the highest safety standards. The drivers are generally courteous and mainly come from South Asia with at least a fair level of English.

Dubai Taxis offer different taxi services. The featured services include the standard taxi service, limousine service, “in safe hands” service, the special needs service, female driver service, general rental service, Mashaweer service, Hala service.

The limousine service mainly serves the needs of the Tourism Industry clients and refers to the provision of the chauffer-driven luxury vehicles (Infinity or Lexus), complementary meet and greet service at Dubai Airport and highly qualified drivers. This service is also available from Dubai to other Emirates 24/7. Therefore, there are various charging modes: meter based, zone based, and time based. This service can be booked by calling the Customer Care Center on 04 2080555 or via email book.limo@dtc.gov.ae .

“In safe hands” service is particularly tailored to meet the needs of women and children, students, families, people with special needs. This service can be booked to meet the daily, weekly or monthly needs of the customer and is characterized by privacy, speed, reliability and highly trained drivers. Usually, it is booked by families who need a reliable driver to take their children to school while the on-time arrival is mandatory. This service can be booked via email to insafehands.mashawer@dtc.gov.ae. Any information regarding the service can be obtained by calling 04 2080555.

General rental service offers the possibility to rent a taxi vehicle with the driver on the hourly basis. The reservation should be made at least 24 hours in advance by calling 04 2080808 and current rates are 500 dirhams for 6 hours rental and 800 dirhams for 12 hours rental. This service might be of a particular interest to those who have little time in Dubai available and need to visit many places not only within Dubai but also within other UAE cities. Within this group are also those who look to rent or buy a property in Dubai or other Emirates and need to visit many spots in a short period of time. Those looking to rent or buy a property in Dubai can visit www.iwannaproperty.com for more info on UAE’s and Qatar’s property market.

Ladies and families taxi service is created to meet the needs of GCC and Arab families as it respects their privacy by providing the female driver. The vehicles are distinguished by the pink roof and this service is also known as “the pink taxi service”. The fare is slightly higher than for the standard taxi.

The Special Needs Taxi Service meets the needs of mobility impaired passengers. These vehicles are larger in size and have the universal special needs blue icon logo placed on the side passenger doors and back window. They must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance by calling the Dispatch Centre on 04 2080808. The usual meter fare applies.

Mashaweer service refers to the possibility to hire a driver without the taxi vehicle for the agreed period. The main condition is that the suitable fully insured vehicle with fuel is provided by the customer. The charge is 40 dirhams per hour for at least 2 hours, 250 dirhams for 8 hours, 1000 dirhams for a week and 3500 dirhams for a month. The service requests are made by calling 04 2080555 or by visiting the Dubai Taxi Corporation Office at Terminal 3 of Dubai Airport.

Hala Taxis are black and white coloured taxi vehicles which cannot be hailed on the street, only booked via phone or the smart application. They also do not have the sign on the roof top. This service ensures the faster arrival of the vehicle to those who use the phone or the smart application to book for taxi.  They also have free Wi-fi service, tablet PCs, and smart meters for payment by credit card, Nol, NFC and cash. They can be booked by calling 04 2080808 and the fare is slightly higher than for the standard taxis.

Dubai Taxi Corporation’s website offers the fare calculator for different types of services they offer. This calculator is available on www.dubaitaxi.ae.

With many featured services, Dubai Taxis are an excellent mode of travel around the city. They provide comfort, reliability and reasonable fares.