Dubai: In a hurry to catch the bus but need to check your nol card balance first? You need to have a minimum balance of Dh7.50 to be able to use public transportation in Dubai, and if you think your balance is low or have not recharged your nol card in a while, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) provides convenient and easy offline and online methods to top up.
All the options approved by RTA allow commuters to check and recharge their balance in minutes.
1. At the bus stop? Top up your nol card through the solar top-up machines
While you are waiting for the bus at a stop or station, you can use solar top-up machines to recharge your card. However, these machines are located at select bus tops and only accept cash payment. You can find the location of RTA solar top-up machines here: https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/ae/home/about-rta/contactus#findus
2. Recharge your nol card at Dubai Metro stations
You can check your nol card balance, top it up or buy a new nol card through ticket vending machines or ticket office counters located at all Dubai Metro stations. You can use cash or credit/debit card as a payment method.
Since January 15, 2024, ticket offices at Dubai Metro Stations only accept a minimum value of Dh20 to top up your nol card.
3. Top up your nol card at a grocery store
RTA has official ‘top-up agents’ that are authorised to recharge nol cards for customers. These include hundreds of stores in Dubai, like local grocery stores, mini-marts, cafeterias and supermarkets.
You can find their locations by visiting this link from the RTA website - https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/ae/home/about-rta/contactus#findus, and then scrolling down and clicking on the ‘nol top-up agents’ options under ‘nol service channels’.
4. Recharge your nol card at a petrol station
Since 2022, public transport users can top up their nol cards at local Zoom stores, standalone stores and Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) Group and Emirates Petrol Products Company (EPPCO) stations.
Apart from these offline options, there are also many online options to recharge your nol card from anywhere at any time.
5. Top up your nol card instantly through the ‘nol Pay’ app
The ‘nol Pay’ app is equipped with an instant top-up feature and is available on smart mobile phones with Near Field Communication (NFC), which is a method of wireless data transfer available for iPhone, Android and Huawei users.
To check your nol card balance, open the ‘nol Pay’ app and tap on 'check card info', then place your nol card on the back of your smartphone and do not remove it. The app will then show you the balance. You can also view the card's transaction history.
• To recharge your card, tap on the 'Top-Up nol card' option. Then place your nol card on the back of your smartphone, making sure you do not move it, until the app reads the card data. After the app has successfully read the data, you can take the card off.
• Enter the top-up amount from the options provided or select another amount, with a maximum limit of Dh150.
• Tap on 'Confirm' and then tap the 'Pay' button.
• The app will then transfer you to a payment portal, where you can enter your credit/debit card details.
• Next, place the card on the back of the smartphone again and do not move, as the app uses NFC technology to transfer the amount onto the card.
• Once that's done, you will be able to view a summary of your payment, with the top-up amount instantly reflecting in the card balance.
How to top up a virtual nol card
If you are a Huawei or Samsung mobile phone user, you can also download a virtual nol card and add it to your phone’s wallet. When recharging this card, all you have to do is select ‘Top Up’ from the ‘nol Pay’ app’s homepage, select the amount and settle the payment via credit or debit card. The balance is then topped up instantly.
6. Recharge nol card through the RTA website
You can check and top up your nol card through the RTA website – rta.ae. On the homepage, click on ‘Check nol balance’ and enter your nol tag ID (which is a 10-digit number at the back your card) and click on ‘Search’. You will be able to see your current balance.
To recharge, visit this link from the RTA website - https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/ae/public-transport/nol/topup-nol?lang=en and enter your nol tag ID and email address.
Next, confirm the nol card number and enter your credit or debit card details to recharge the card online.
7. Use the ‘RTA Dubai’ app to recharge your nol card
You can also use the ‘RTA Dubai’ app to recharge your nol card. Here’s how:
• Download the app from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Huawei App Gallery, and go to the app's homepage.
• Log in with your UAE Pass account.
• Scroll down until you see the 'Public Transportation Users' section, and tap on the blue ‘top up’ button.
• Enter the nol tag ID and you will be able to see the balance on your card. Select the top-up amount and enter your email address.
• Next, tap the ‘pay’ button and enter your card details or pay through Apple or Samsung Pay.
8. Download the S’hail app to top up your nol card
S’hail app is RTA’s official public transportation navigation app. It is available for Apple, Android and Huawei devices and allows you to book a taxi, plan journeys using the Dubai Metro or bus and get information on public transport in Dubai. In addition to that, the app also allows you to top up your nol card. Here’s how:
• Open the app, tap on ‘Top Up nol card’ option on the homepage and enter your nol tag ID.
• Next, the app will show you the balance on the card. Select the top-up amount and enter your email address.
• Tap on ‘Top Up’ and enter your credit or debit card details for the payment. Once the payment is successful, you will receive a confirmation on the app.
9. Use ‘Dubai Now’ to recharge your nol card
The ‘Dubai Now’ app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, is developed by the Digital Dubai Authority and allows users to access over 170 government and private services. Some of the services include paying your electricity and water bill, recharging a Salik account or topping up a nol card.
Here's how to top up your nol card on the app:
• Open the app and log in with your UAE Pass account. On the homepage, tap on ‘Bills’, and tap on ‘nol’.
• Add your nol tag ID and select your top-up amount.
• Next, settle the amount by entering your credit or debit card details. You will receive a confirmation once your payment is successful.
If you want to avoid this and are in a hurry, you can use the ‘nol Pay’ app instead, which instantly activates the balance once you recharge it.
10. Use your bank’s mobile app to top up your nol card
Banks such as Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) allow their customers to use their mobile banking apps to top up nol cards and Salik accounts. According to RTA, ADCB customers will have to pay a Dh1 additional fee to recharge their nol cards.
11. Top up your nol card through ‘Careem’
The Careem app, which is available for Apple, Android and Huawei devices, allows users to recharge their nol card. Here’s how:
• Open the app, and tap on ‘All Services’ on the homepage. Next, tap on ‘Bills and Recharges’ and tap on ‘nol’.
• Enter your nol tag ID and tap ‘Add account’. You will then be able to view your balance and select your top-up amount.
• Then settle the amount by entering your credit or debit card details or use Apple, Google or Samsung Pay.