RTA, Emirates NBD to launch new combi-card

Emirates NBD to offer product that can be used to pay fares and parking fees

Passengers wait to board the F43 feeder bus near Discovery Gardens
Image Credit: Gulf News archive
The combi-card, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, will have features of credit/debit bank card and the unified fare collection card commonly known as Nol Card to allow commuters to use public transportation.
12 Gulf News

Dubai: Commuters in Dubai will soon be able to use their credit or debit cards to travel on all modes of public transport, including the Dubai Metro, buses and water taxis, and even to pay parking fees.

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in collaboration with Emirates NBD said they would launch a "combi-card" — a co-branded credit/debit card — by April next year.

"The combi-card, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, will have features of credit/debit bank card and the unified fare collection card commonly known as Nol Card," said Abdullah Al Madani, CEO of the RTA Technical Support Services Sector at the RTA.

Al Madani said the card will enable cardholders to enjoy all the benefits and features of a credit or debit card and to pay the fare for various public transport modes. The card can also be used to pay for parking tickets in the paid-parking zones.

Any individual who qualifies for a credit card will be able to obtain the card, regardless of whether or not they are an existing Emirates NBD customer, he said.

The combi-card would have the features of Nol Blue card, which is a personalised card, Al Madani indicated.

Twin chips

The card would have two chips — one for the bank's credit or debit card and the other for the Nol card interface. The Nol card chip would have a credit limit as per the customer's instructions. The Nol Card chip would be topped up automatically (as instructed by the customer) from the credit/debit accounts on the same card. This way, the combi-card holder would never run out of credit on his Nol Card. "The Nol card chip will be recharged or topped up automatically," said Jamal Bin Gulaita, Emirates NBD Group Deputy CEO.

Bin Gulaita said the bank will also provide supplementary cards to the main cardholder's family members, which could also be topped up in line with instructions given to the bank. "One of our key philosophies has always been developing products that give customers superior value with benefits and rewards," Bin Gulaita said.

Nol cards: Million uses a day

More than a million Nol Card transactions are recorded every day as people are increasingly using it to ride public transport and pay for parking tickets, a senior RTA official said.Mohammad Al Mudharreb, Director of the RTA's Automatic Fare Collection Card department, said that more than 2.7 million Nol cards had been sold so far. "We have noticed that increasing number of people are using Nol Cards to pay for parking their vehicles," he said.

The RTA will offer travel passes and discount cards for students, people with special needs, and senior citizens next year.

What do you think of this initiative? Will it encourage more people to ride the Metro? Would you apply for it?


  • Mustafa

    Nov 9, 2010 3:04

    its really good move...!!

  • Clarissa

    Nov 9, 2010 2:58

    Very good idea. So that no more worry to always top up/reload Nol Card. (Sometimes it cause me late in my work because Reloading machine did not work and I was not able to ride the Bus.)


    Nov 9, 2010 2:28

    This is a really good idea.Now a days all having nol cards but the problem is when we try to top-up from the mechine sometime it does not work or accept only coins its difficult to recharge.In this scenario everyone have credit/debt cards.easy to use not tensions....all the best to RTA.

  • Andrew

    Nov 9, 2010 2:13

    What about people who are non Emirates NBD customers, shouldn't such service be avail to all in Dubai? Would Emirates NBD offer credit cards to low and middle income public transport travelers?

  • shaik shakeel

    Nov 9, 2010 2:04

    Why RTA restricts to only one bank? It should open the facility for all the nationalised banks.By partenering with one bank, there is no redundancy for the system. By giving chance to more banks competition to provide good service will increase.

  • George

    Nov 9, 2010 1:08

    Before adding 1 more card to the list, can anyone please explain the current use of the "then compulsory" E Gate Card & the Emirates ID Card? This new card is just going to be 1 more addition to the present list of Emirates ID card, Labour card, Health card, Debit Card, Credit Card, Driving Licence Card, Vehicle Registration Card (Mulkia), Nol Card, Parking Card etc. What next?

  • Sumita Narayan

    Nov 9, 2010 12:41

    It's a great idea. Will help in carrying lesser number of cards and the need to recharge/buy cards. Also saving the environment by using lesser plastic/paper.

  • Minhaj

    Nov 9, 2010 12:24

    yes a great idea....this is what, a fastest growing city like dubai must have.

  • Vijay

    Nov 9, 2010 11:56

    Really innovative. several times i have worries abt running out of money or forgeting card in my home before my travel. its gives me more space in my valet and tension free ride. Definetely its a great idea on its first step, wish to have it on all govt deptments and other public sectors. all the best RTA & NBD.

  • Naresh

    Nov 9, 2010 10:48

    i agree with Herold, that when we already got our Emirates ID cards then why we need to go for one more new card ?

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