Dubai: In a hurry to get to work or school but can’t find a taxi on the road? Local transport authorities in the UAE have made it easy for people to book taxis through apps or by contacting dedicated call centres.
While you can still hail a taxi from the road, booking them in advance can also be of help if you want to plan a journey ahead of time.
Here is all you need to know about booking a taxi in different Emirates in the UAE.
Taxis in Abu Dhabi are operated by the Emirate’s local transport authority – the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC). Street taxis in Abu Dhabi are silver and have a yellow ‘taxi’ sign.
There are three ways you can get a taxi in Abu Dhabi:
1. Hail it from the road
Taxis in Abu Dhabi can be flagged down at the roadside or you can find taxi stops outside malls, hospitals, public attractions, universities and hotels.
2. Book through a call centre
In Abu Dhabi, you can also book a taxi through ITC’s call centre – 600 535353, and inform the agent about your pick up and drop off point and provide your mobile number.
You will then receive an SMS, notifying you about the details of the trip, such as the taxi’s number plate, the driver’s name and the approximate arrival time of the taxi.
3. Book through the ‘Abu Dhabi Taxi’ app
The ‘Abu Dhabi Taxi’ app is available for both Apple and Android devices, and allows you to plan your journey with a taxi and get an approximate cost of the trip. People of Determination and elderly people with a disability get a 50 per cent discount on their total tariff.
You can select a standard taxi, a family taxi – which is for women and children – or special taxi for People of Determination.
To book the taxi, follow these steps:
1. Download the ‘Abu Dhabi taxi’ app from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.
2. When you open the app, you will be asked to register your mobile number.
3. Enter your mobile number, email address and full name.
4. You will be asked to enter a One Time Password (OTP) sent to you on your registered mobile number.
5. After an account is created, tap the ‘book taxi’ button.
6. Next, enter your pick up and drop off location in the search bar.
7. The app will show you the approximate fare for the trip.
8. Next, select the type of taxi you want to book.
9. Tap on the ‘Ride Now’ button.
10. You can choose the option for payment – card or cash.
11. The app will then detect if there are any taxis near your location.
12. Once the app has found a driver, you will notified via SMS with the confirmation details.
How much will it cost?
Here is a breakdown of the taxi fare in Abu Dhabi, as per ITC:
Day time tariff – 6am to 10pm
• Flag fall – Dh5
• Every 1km – Dh1.82
• Waiting time (by the minute) – 50 fils.
• Minimum trip fare – Dh12
• Booking fees (not applicable if you have hailed a taxi from the road) – Dh4
Night time tariff – 10pm to 6am
• Flag Fall - Dh5.50
• Every 1km - Dh1.82
• Waiting time (by the minute) – 50 fils
• Minimum trip Fare – Dh12
Booking fees (not applicable if you have hailed a taxi from the road) – Dh5
Airport taxis – the fares for airport taxis are slightly different, with the starting fare being Dh20.
The Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) under Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) operates a fleet of taxis, including regular taxis, a ladies taxi, which has a pink roof and a People of Determination taxi, which is a van special equipped for various needs that customers might have.
Here are the ways you can book a taxi in Dubai:
1. Flagging a taxi down
Passengers can flag a taxi on the street. However, taxis are not allowed to stop in areas which are not designated to safely stop in, which is something you should keep in mind when hailing a taxi on the road. You can also find taxis outside malls, hospitals, metro stations, and hotels.
2. Booking through the call centre
If you can’t find a taxi on the street, you can dial 800 88088, and inform the agent about your current location and final destination, and provide your mobile number.
3. Booking through an app
The easiest way to book a taxi through an app is using the ‘Careem’ app, which is available for Apple and Android devices. RTA licensed taxis are available for booking through the app, under the ‘Hala taxi’ category.
How much will it cost?
• Day time tariff – 6am to 10pm - The metre starts at Dh5.
• Night time tariff – 10pm to 6am - The metre starts at Dh5.50.
• Tariff per kilometre – Dh2.19
• Booking fees – Dh10 to Dh12.
• The minimum trip fare is Dh12
If you take a taxi from any of the airport terminals in Dubai, they have a starting fare of Dh25 and the tariff per kilometer is Dh1.75.
The starting fare for a ladies taxi is Dh6 or Dh7 from 10pm to 6am.
People of Determination taxi
According to RTA, the starting fare of the taxi service varies according to the location and time.
The Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) oversees the fleet of taxis in the Emirate.
You can hail a taxi on the road but also find them outside malls, universities, hotels, hospitals and other public places in the Emirate.
If you wish to book a taxi, these are the options:
To book a taxi over the phone, dial 600 525252, which is the SRTA call centre.
Digital Sharjah app
Digital Sharjah, which is the official government services platform for Sharjah residents, allows commuters to book a taxi from SRTA through their mobile application, available for both Apple and Android devices.
To book the taxi, follow these steps:
1. Download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
2. Open the app on your phone, and go to the menu tab and select, ‘Transportation by Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority’.
3. Next, tap the ‘book a taxi’ category.
4. Enter your pick up and drop off location.
5. After you have entered your location details, the app will confirm if there is a taxi nearby.
6. Select how you wish to pay for the trip – by card or cash.
7. You will then receive an SMS with the trip’s details.
How much will it cost
From 6am - 10:59pm - Dh3
From 11pm - 5:59 am – Dh4
From Airport - Dh20
To (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain) - Dh20
The Minimum charge for the trip - Dh10
The Charge for Every 155 metres - Dh0.25
First accumulated 10 waiting minutes - Free
Every Additional waiting minute - Dh0.50
Metre Fare Per Trip as Operational Service fee - Dh1.50
Waiting time will be charged when the taxi is not moving or moving below 25 km/hr.
Any road tolls are borne by the passenger.
Ras Al Khaimah
In Ras Al Khaimah, you can hail a taxi from the road or book taxi over the phone.
If you want to book a standard taxi or a ‘ladies taxi’ in Ras Al Khaimah, you must call the Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority (RAKTA) call centre at 8001700.
How to book a taxi in Ras Al Khaimah through Careem
1. Download the Careem app on your phone.
2. Open the app and select ‘Hala Taxi’.
3. Next, select your drop off location.
4. After that, the taxi can either pick you up from your current location or you can manually enter your destination of the search bar.
5. Next, the ‘confirm pickup’ button.
6. After entering the location details, select the type of vehicle, choose ‘Hala (RAKTA TAXI)’. The app will show you an estimate of your trip fare.
7. You can either pay the fare online by entering your credit or debit card or you can opt to pay with cash.
8. Next, the Careem app will detect if a taxi driver is available near you. Once that’s confirmed, you will be notified via SMS of the trip’s details.
Taxi fare in Ras Al Khaimah
According to RAKTA, these are the taxi charges in the Emirate.
• Day: 6am to 9.59pm – Dh4
• Evening: 10pm to 5.59am – Dh5
• Travelling to other Emirates - Dh15
• Every 595 metres - Dh1
• Every 1 km - Dh1.88
• Minimum trip charge - Dh6
If you make the taxi wait after five minutes, you will be charged 50 fils per minute.
Ajman Transport Authority offers taxi services in the Emirate. You can either book a standard taxi, a women’s taxi or a taxi for People of Determination.
Here are the two ways in which you can book a taxi in Ajman.
1. Call centre
If you want to book a taxi for women and children, which is called ‘Mahra Taxi’ or for people of determination, you can call the Ajman Transport Authority call centre – 600599997.
2. How to book a Taxi in Ajman through ‘Route’ app
In 2021, Ajman Transport Authority launched a taxi-booking app called ‘Route’, the app is available for both Apple and Android users.
1. Download the app
2. Open the app, and sign in with your UAE Pass and enter your mobile number.
3. Next, select your pick up and drop off location.
4. Select the type of vehicle – standard, Mahra, People of Determination, or limousine.5. Then, tap ‘confirm’.
6. Next, the app will give an estimate of the fare, and the trip’s details.
7. Choose the payment type – cash or card and tap ‘confirm booking’.
8. Next, app will detect if a taxi is close by and you a confirmation SMS with the trips details.
How much will it cost?
Fare for every 1km averages at Dh1.80, however this may fluctuate according to fuel prices for the month.
• Minimum fare for standard taxi – Dh12.50
• Minimum fare for ladies taxi – Dh10
• People of Determination who have the Sanad card can use a taxi for free.
Private Ride hailing apps
International ride hailing apps such as Uber and Careem have a wide fleet of vehicles, which includes standard vehicles to luxury cars.
While street taxis are metred, private taxis have a flat rate. The fare for private taxis is determined by time and distance of the trip. The cost of trips can be impacted by time, peak hours, toll gates, and waiting charges.
Careem is available in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Uber is available in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.