Taxi customers can continue to use the RTA call centre until January 15 before system migrates to Hala e-hailing platform using Careem app
All you need to know about the ride-hailing apps that will help you get to the Expo 2020 site. Image Credit: Supplied by RTA

Dubai: Planning a trip to the Expo 2020 all on your own does not have to be daunting. With a quick swipe of your fingers, you can chart out your journey thanks to smartphone apps. Here's a look at some common options available in the UAE and how to use them to get an easy ride to the expo site.

S’hail

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Booking a ride with S'hail app. Image Credit: Screenshots/Gulf News

What does it do?

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) combines all of its navigation services in an all-you-need smartphone app.

What it includes: Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, RTA taxis and buses.

How can it help me?

S’hail’s main features are journey planning and booking Uber or taxi services.

What is the cost of using S'hail?

This will depend on the service you choose.

  • Dubai Metro – Dh3 to Dh7.5 (standard one-way trip)
  • Dubai Tram – Dh3 (standard one-way trip)
  • RTA taxi – Dh12 (minimum fare for a one-way trip)
  • RTA bus – Dh3 to Dh7.5 (standard one-way trip in Dubai); Dh10 to Dh45 (standard one-way trip from Dubai to other emirates)

What are its additional features?

Find: This feature gets you the location of metro stations, bus stops, trams and water ferries; smart car rentals; cycling track; points of interest like hotels, parks, prayer halls, medical facilities and eateries.

Live traffic: Gives a colour-coded visual of routes affected by traffic across all emirates.

Recharge: Users can top up the balance in their nol Cards and Salik accounts through the app.

Bookings: A listing of all taxi and car bookings the user makes.

Live map: An interactive map of labelled metro trains, buses, trams and ferries with estimated time of arrival for each service in Dubai. Users can monitor the movement of all four in real-time.

Departure board: Users can check for the departure and arrival of metro trains, buses, trams and ferries nearby them or a location of their choice.

Maps and guides: Download the latest bus, metro, tram and ferry route maps.

Newsfeed: Get notified of changes and announcements by the RTA.

QR scanner: Scan RTA QR codes.

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Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Dariusz Sankowski for Pixabay

How do I use S'hail to get to Expo 2020?

Step 1: Create an account on RTA

Before you start planning your route to the Expo site via the S’hail app, you will need an RTA account to access all the features. Here's how you can get an account:

  1. Sign up on the app with your full name, email address, mobile number and nationality.
  2. Complete the two-step verification process after you receive the authentication codes through email and SMS.

Step 2: Plan your journey using S'hail

  1. Download the S'hail app from Apple Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Log in using your RTA account details.
  3. Click on ‘Plan a Journey’ icon.
  4. Select the gear icon on the right to check the modes of transport by which you wish to travel.
  5. Enter your starting point A and the destination point B that you can set to your preferred Expo gate (Sustainability, Mobility, or Opportunity Gate).
  6. Set your departure or arrival timestamps and hit search.
  7. S’hail will present you with a list of route alternatives varying by travel duration and fare; colourful icons for each mode of transport will help you visualise your journey.
  8. Tapping on each alternative will give you a step-by-step guide on how to arrive at your destination.

RTA Dubai

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Booking a ride with RTA Dubai app. Image Credit: Screenshots/Gulf News

What does it do?

Besides the authority’s journey planner, the RTA parent app gives clear-cut instructions on how to get to your destination, Expo 2020, from within Dubai.

The built-in RTA Navigator is especially helpful if your travel options are limited to car and the Dubai Metro train.

How can it help me?

RTA Dubai’s dashboard is broadly divided into travel services for road users and public transportation users.

For visitors travelling by their own cars

Salik: Check balance and locate nearby kiosks if you need to top it up. If visitors require further detailed assistance, they can install the ‘Smart Salik’ app for all Salik-related services.

Parking: Automatically detect the nearest parking zone and easily load parking balance using mPay or credit/debit card. You can even bookmark your parking spot and let the app remember it for you.

For visitors travelling by public transportation

Metro: Track the nearest metro stations and get directions to your choice of station.

Taxi: Book a taxi by choosing the type of service whether normal, van or for women. View a table of flat taxi fares for each service in the top-right corner before making your decision.

What is the cost of using RTA Dubai?

  • Dubai Metro – Dh3 to Dh7.5 (standard one-way trip)
  • RTA taxi – Dh12 (minimum fare one-way trip)

How do I use RTA Dubai to get to Expo 2020?

Visitors can view their route to the Expo site by accessing the RTA Navigator on the dashboard.

1. Download the RTA Dubai app from Apple Store or Google Play Store.

2. Type in to select your preferred Expo gate (Sustainability, Mobility, or Opportunity Gate) in the location search bar at the top.

3. Pick your desired mode of transport: car or the metro train.

If car, the app will present you with alternative routes and the estimated time of arrival for each. To begin your car journey, pick your favoured route and tap ‘start’ at the bottom which will redirect you to the Google Maps app.

If you want to travel by the metro, the app will display a dropdown guide to the Expo site and the estimated time of arrival.

Careem

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Booking a ride from Expo 2020 with Careem. Image Credit: Screenshots/Gulf News

What does it do?

Dubai’s car-hailing service offers visitors a special ‘Expo 2020’ fleet that will take them home from the Expo site. While they can hail a Careem ride from the venue, visitors can also make regular bookings to get there.

There is an array of car selections that the visitor can opt for ranging from affordable economy to first-class luxury services. The RTA Dubai taxi, which goes by Hala on the app, is also available for easy booking for those within the emirate of Dubai.

What is Careem’s Expo 2020 fleet?

Careem rides are available for swift pickups from the Expo site. The fleet includes Hala taxis as well Careem’s in-house options like Business, Economy, Max, and Careem Kids. The regular and the dedicated Expo fleets charge the same minimum fares.

How can it help me?

The Careem app caters to both visitors wanting to get around on a budget and families with children alike.

What is the cost of using Careem?

This will depend on the service you choose.

Hala Taxi

With Hala, pickups are only available from Dubai. The minimum fare for all Hala taxi types (regular, van, and people of determination taxis) is Dh12.

Careem car

The following are the minimum fares for each type of ride with Careem within Dubai:

  • Business – Dh18
  • First Class – Dh130
  • Economy – Dh15
  • Careem Kids – Dh22
  • Max – Dh20

Fares from Expo 2020 to other emirates: 

  • Abu Dhabi – Dh340
  • Sharjah – Dh70
  • Ajman – Dh90
  • Ras Al Khaimah – Dh340
  • Fujairah – Dh365
  • Al Ain – Dh340

What are my riding options?

Hala Dubai Taxi types

Hala Ride
Dubai's Hala Taxi is available on the e-hailing ride app Careem. Image Credit: Supplied

These taxis offer their services to those travelling within Dubai, and from Dubai to another emirate but not back.

  • Hala – standard car taxi for up to two passengers with the most affordable rates
  • Hala van – taxi van for up to four passengers
  • Hala (People of Determination Taxi) – wheelchair-friendly taxi that can be scheduled for later

Careem car types

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From economy to first-class options, there's plenty to choose from on the Careem app. Image Credit: Shutterstock
  • Economy – ride for up to two passengers in Lexus, Impala or Infiniti
  • Business – ride for up to two passengers in Lexus sedan
  • Max – ride for up to four passengers in Land Cruiser, Suburban, Yukon or Previa
  • Careem Kids – ride with Cybex child seat for up to two passengers in Lexus, Infiniti or Previa
  • First class – ride for up to two passengers in BMW or Audi that can be scheduled for later

How do I use Careem to get to Expo 2020?

First, visitors will need an account on Careem to book with the app.

Step 1: Sign up on Careem

  1. Download the Careem app from Apple Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Enter your mobile number, and verify it by entering the OTP code sent to your phone.
  3. Then, enter your full name and password to finish your Careem sign up.

Step 2: Book your ride with Careem

  1. Pick your choice of ride – Careem car or Hala taxi.
  2. Set the city to Dubai, and enter your destination.
  3. Confirm drop off location, then enter your pickup location and confirm.
  4. Careem will present you with a list of available rides starting from the lowest fare.
  5. Once you select your payment method and a suitable pickup time, hit ‘Yalla!’ to book your ride.

How can I use the Expo 2020 fleet from the site?

The Careem app will automatically detect your location on the Expo site. After which, the app will prompt you to confirm your pickup location. Select your ride – either a Hala or a Careem – then enter your drop off destination above. Hit ‘Yalla!’ to confirm your booking from Expo 2020.

Uber

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Booking a ride with Uber app. Image Credit: Screenshots/Gulf News

What does it do?

Uber is much like Careem as far as ride-hailing services go. As of now, only those in Abu Dhabi and Dubai can book a ride with the app.

How can it help me?

An extensive fleet of Uber cars can help you arrive at the Expo.  

What are my riding options and their rates?

Uber’s fares will fluctuate depending on peak hours and your distance from the Expo site. Keep in mind that poor weather and heavy traffic can prolong the time of your travel to affect your rates.

UberSelect – premium ride for up to two passengers with the option to schedule for later in a sedan.

• Minimum fare Dh15.

UberComfort – ride with highly-rated experienced drivers that prioritize your comfort for up to two passengers in a sedan.

• Minimum fare  Dh19.

UberGreen – go green with a premium electric ride for up to two passengers in a Tesla.

• Minimum fare Dh16.50.

UberXL – affordable group ride for up to four passengers in an SUV or a minivan.

• Minimum fare  Dh20.25.

UberFamilypremium ride with child seats for up to two passengers.

• Minimum fare starts at Dh15.

UberBlack – sleek luxury ride for up to two passengers in a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz.

• Minimum fare starts at Dh23.

How do I use Uber to get to Expo 2020?

To use Uber, visitors must first sign up on the app.

Step 1: Sign up on Uber

  1. Download the Uber app from Apple Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Enter your mobile number, name, and email address.
  3. Verify the number by entering the 4-digit authentication code.

Step 2: Book your ride with Uber

  1. Select your choice of ride from the riding options.
  2. Enter your destination and the time at which you would like to be picked up if your choice is UberSelect.
  3. Pick your preferred payment method, which includes card, PayPal, Google Pay, and cash.
  4. Then, tap ‘Confirm [Your choice of ride]’.

Dubai Taxi (DTC)

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Booking a ride with Dubai Taxi app. Image Credit: Screenshots/Gulf News

What does it do?

Along with the option of booking your standard Hala cab from Careem, visitors can also choose from Dubai Taxi’s own extensive range.

How can it help me?

The DTC (Dubai Taxi Corporation) fleet is made up of special cars to accommodate families, women, the eco-friendly, and those with a taste for luxury rides. Pickups are only from Dubai with the DTC.

What is the cost of using Dubai Taxi?

DTC rides are broadly categorised into limousines and taxis.

  • The limousine meter starts at Dh7.50 and charges Dh3.50 per kilometre.
  • The taxi meter starts at Dh12 and charges Dh1.96 per kilometre.

What are my riding options?

Limousine options:

  • DTC Black – ride for up to two passengers in Lexus or Infiniti.
  • DTC Black XL – spacious car to accommodate more luggage for up to four passengers in Lexus or Infiniti.
  • DTC Ameera – car driven by a female drive for women and children for up to two passengers in Lexus or Infiniti.
  • DTC Energy – premium electric car for up to two passengers in a Tesla.

If you’re looking for something more modest, your special taxi options are:

  • Dubai Taxi van – van with luggage space for up to four passengers in an SUV.
  • Pink Taxi – a pink-roofed taxi driven by a female driver for women and children for up to two passengers in an SUV.
  • Assist Taxi – a red-roofed taxi equipped with necessary modifications for People of Determination for up to two passengers in an SUV.

How do I use Dubai Taxi to get to Expo 2020?

Step 1: Sign up on the Dubai Taxi app

  1. Download the DTC app from Apple Store or Google Play.
  2. Enter your mobile number to start the process, then type in the OTP sent to you via SMS text.
  3. Fill in your full name and email address.
  4. Confirm your account verification sent to your email.

Step 2: Book your ride with DTC

  1. On the head banner, tap the red button ‘Book a ride’.
  2. Enter your pick up location then confirm.
  3. Enter your preferred Expo gate (Sustainability, Mobility, or Opportunity Gate) as your drop off destination and confirm.
  4. Select your choice of ride from the available list.
  5. Tap ‘Cash’ on the bottom-left to select your payment method.
  6. To schedule the ride for a later time, pick your day and time on the bottom-left.
  7. Wrap up the process by tapping ‘Book Now’.

Visitors can also book their rides through the DTC hotline: 80088088.

- The writer is an intern with Gulf News