Dubai: E-scooter users in Dubai can now take advantage of using cycling tracks in 10 districts within the Emirate, after an announcement was made by Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
In the announcement, made on April 10, 2022, RTA also said that it would be introducing a driving permit application for e-scooters by the end of April, which can be done online through RTA’s official website – rta.gov.ae. What are the rules you need to follow if you ride an e-scooter? Here are all the details.
Do I need a driving permit to ride an e-scooter or e-bike?
On March 31, 2022, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, issued Executive Council’s Resolution No. 13 for 2022, which provided updated guidelines and rules for the use of bicycles, electric bikes and scooters. In the resolution, it was stated that a driving licence would now be essential to ride an e-scooter.
Elaborating on the application process for a driving permit, RTA stated that the process for obtaining the permit would involve attending courses and passing an online test.
However, RTA stated that holders of vehicle driving licences, international driving licenses or motorcycle driving licenses do not need a permit to ride an e-scooter.
If you do require a driving permit, the process for applying for the driving permit will be started online by the end of this month, according to RTA.
New safety rules for e-scooters
New safety guidelines have also been issued in the Executive Council’s Resolution that have to be adhered to:
· The rider has to be at least 16 years old.
· Reflective vests and helmets are a must for cyclists and bikers.
· Wearing a protective helmet and appropriate gear and shoes.
Riders must not carry items that causes an imbalance or carry passengers:
· Pillion or carrying riders is not permitted on bicycles and electric bikes unless the bikes have separate seats for them. Pillion riders or anything that causes an imbalance on an e-scooter is prohibited. Pillion (carry) riders should also respect the safety requirements set by RTA.
Maintaining a safe distance and parking in designated areas:
· Bikers should ensure they maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and pedestrians.
· They should also ensure that the bikes are parked in designated parking spaces. Parking in non-designated areas and causing obstructions to vehicles, pedestrians and users of public space is strictly prohibited.
Traffic rules for e-scooters
· Cyclists and bikers should always ride on the right side of the road. Before changing their lane, they should give hand signals and ensure they can make their move safely.
· Riders should also dismount the scooter while crossing the pedestrian crossings and abide by traffic movement and traffic laws.
· Flashing and steady lighting should be used as per RTA’s requirements.
· Avoid reckless driving which poses a danger to the public or users or endanger the lives of others.
· Avoid riding e-scooters outside designated or shared lanes
· Bikes should not be towed by any vehicle and the bikes themselves should not be used to tow other objects.
· Making major modifications to the bike is not permitted.
· It is the responsibility of all riders to ensure brakes and tyres of the bikes are in good condition.
· Informing competent authorities when any accident occurs, whether the accident caused or did not cause damage to others.
The Resolution No. 13 for 2022 of the Executive Council stated the technical specifications applicable to the e-scooter and bike, which includes:
· A white headlight, red and reflective light on the rear.
· A horn fixed on the steering arm (T-bar),
· Brakes on the front and back tyres.
· Tyre size must be proportional to the size of the scooter.
· The size of the scooter must be proportional to the size of its rider. RTA also advised the public to select high-quality e-scooters to avoid battery burn accidents and frequent technical malfunctions.
· Roadworthy tyres: This means that the tyres attached on the e-scooter are suitable for the road and are free from cuts, cracks, or bulges.
· The maximum speed limit must be set at 20 km/h.
· E-scooters must be manufactured and tailored according to the climatic conditions and specifications of the UAE.
How do I rent an e-scooter?
If you don’t own an e-scooter and are thinking of trying it out, you can rent an e-scooter in Dubai. The e-scooters for rent will be available in popular tourist sites and areas with public transportation stations.
According to RTA, there are four companies operating e-scooters in the UAE - Tier, Skurtt, Arnab and Lime.
1. To rent an e-scooter, you must download one of the four operator’s apps - Tier, Skurtt, Arnab and Lime. The apps are available for both Apple and Android devices.
2. First, you will need to allow access to your current location for the app. The app will then detect an electric scooter close to you.
3. The app will show an active map of all the available e-scooters in your area. If you cannot any scooter icons, try zooming out the app to search for a wider area.
4. Once you locate the e-scooter station, scan the QR code to unlock the vehicle.
5. When you reach your final destination, park the vehicle in the designated parking spot. Next, make the payment via the app by linking your debit/credit card.
The cost for renting an e-scooter in Dubai
· Unlocking the e-scooter costs Dh3.
· You will then be charged 50 to 60 fils for every minute.
Where can I ride my e-scooter?
Here the 10 new locations for e-scooters in Dubai:
- Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard
- Jumeirah Lakes Towers
- Dubai Internet City
- 2nd December Street, Satwa
- City Walk
- The Palm Jumeirah
- Al Qusais
- Al Mankhool
- Al Karama
- Al Rigga
There will also be eight cycling tracks in:
· Al Qudra
· Nad Al Sheba
Fine for illegal parking
RTA stated that the fine for not parking a bike or electric scooter in designated spaces and parking it haphazardly is Dh200. RTA has provided parking spaces for electric scooters along the designated tracks and permitted areas. They are mainly in key tourist attractions, and around public transport stations.