Dubai: E-scooters can be spotted all over the UAE, especially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and there are a few reasons why – it is low-cost, portable, and makes it easy to travel short distances, especially if you do not own a car.
Despite these benefits, e-scooters like any other vehicle can cause serious accidents and injuries, if basic safety traffic regulations are not adhered to.
Abu Dhabi has issued regulations on the usage of bicycles and electric bikes to ensure the safety of e-scooter riders, pedestrians and motorists.
So, if you frequently use your e-scooter in Abu Dhabi, or are planning to buy one, here is everything you need to know.
Which type of e-scooters are allowed in Abu Dhabi?
According to an advisory issued by the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi in 2023, these are the requirements for scooters and bikes that can be legally used in Abu Dhabi:
• The height of the vehicle should not exceed 165 centimetres.
• The e-scooter should weigh 35 kilograms or less.
• The width of the scooter should be 70 centimetres or less.
Which e-scooters are not allowed in Abu Dhabi?
According to ITC, these two types of e-scooters are not authorised in the emirate:
• Seated e-scooters.
• Electric bikes with engines operating at 700 watts or more.
According to ITC, these two e-scooter models are not classified as ‘light vehicles’.
Where to ride an e-scooter in Abu Dhabi
E-scooters in the emirate can only be used in these areas designated by ITC:
• In internal roads with speed limits less than 40 kmph.
• In lanes and sidewalks shared by pedestrians and cyclists. These lanes usually have signboards or road signs, which indicate that these are shared lanes.
• In bike lanes, which are only designated for cyclists and e-scooter riders.
• If there is no bike lane, you can ride on the far right of the internal road.
Do not ride e-scooters in these three areas:
1. Bicycles and e-scooters are not authorised on highways with a speed limit of over 60 kmph.
2. Do not ride bicycles and electric scooters on public roads and highways.
3. Do not ride on pedestrian lanes.
The speed limit for e-scooters in Abu Dhabi
The maximum speed for electric scooters and bicycles is set at 20 kmph.
8 traffic rules for e-scooter riders in Abu Dhabi
As per ITC, these are the traffic rules e-scooters must abide by:
1. Give priority to pedestrians and keep a safe distance.
2. Obey traffic laws, signs and markings.
3. Ride with traffic flow, not against it.
4. Bikes are to be driven in designated tracks if any.
5. If no cycling tracks are available, ride on the right side of roads that have a speed limit of 60 kmph or less.
6. Park the bicycles in the designated areas without hindering the movement of vehicles or pedestrians.
7. Stop more than 5 metres from school buses in the event of alarm lever ‘stop’ being activated.
8. Only one rider is allowed on the e-scooter.
Safety guidelines for e-scooter riders in Abu Dhabi
• Use a bell to alert those around you.
• Wear reflective clothing or a vest to be visible, especially during night rides.
• Do not use dual headsets while riding.
• Avoid driving in bad weather and dark areas.
• Wear a protective helmet.
• Do not carry heavy weights when riding to maintain your balance.
• Give signs to change direction.
• Do not stop suddenly.
• Be alert to obstacles.
In addition to the safety guidelines, e-scooters must have a white headlight, a red night light or reflector and a red rear light connected to the handlebars.
Dh200 to Dh500 fines for e-scooter traffic violations in Abu Dhabi:
According to Abu Dhabi Police, penalties issued to e-scooter riders can be between Dh200 to Dh500, depending on the violation.
Dh500 fine for these violations
• Riding on unauthorised roads and areas, including on a main road used for vehicles, or a walking and running track.
• Riding on the hard shoulder along highways or roads where the speed exceeds 40 kmph.
Dh200 fine for these violations
• Riding on the main road.
• Riding against the direction of traffic flow, or disregarding instructions on traffic signs.
• Failing to wear a protective helmet.
• Failing to wear a jacket or reflective clothing while riding in dark areas.
• Parking the bicycle or electric scooter in a non-designated space in a manner that hinders the movement of vehicles or pedestrians.
• Leaving bicycles and electric scooters secured to street lights or signposts.
• Failing to give way to pedestrians at intersections and sidewalks.
• Failing to slow down at pedestrian crossings, or riding across a pedestrian crossing without dismounting from the bicycle or e-scooter.
• Riding in a manner that is unsafe under the persisting weather conditions.
• Holding on to another moving vehicle while riding.
• Riding bicycles and electric scooters on running and walking tracks, in areas where there are dedicated bicycle lanes.
• Carrying heavy materials that hinder the balance of the vehicle.
• Using a siren that disturbs other road users.
1. To rent an e-scooter, you must download one of the apps – Tier, Phoenix, Lime or Bird, which are available for both Apple and Android devices.
2. Once you open the app, you will need to allow the app to access to your current location. The app will then detect an electric scooter station close to you and also show an active map of all the available e-scooters in your area.
3. Once you reach the e-scooter station, scan the Quick Response (QR) code to unlock the vehicle and start your journey.
4. When you reach your final destination, park the vehicle in the designated parking spot. Then, make the payment via the app through your debit or credit card.
The cost for renting an e-scooter in Abu Dhabi:
• Dh3 to unlock the e-scooter
• Dh1 per minute of ride.
Can you take an e-scooter on to a bus?
If you are travelling on an e-scooter in Abu Dhabi and also want to take a ride on a public bus, you can take your e-scooter inside but you have to fold it up and place it in a designated storage area.
ITC has a special public bus – Service 73, which allows commuters to bring their bicycles and e-scooters on board.
The service operates between Al Reem Island and Al Hudairyat Island, with stops at major landmarks in Abu Dhabi City, such as Bab Al Nojoom Camp, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Zayed Educational Complex and Marsana Beach.