Here are five reasons why you should download the S'hail app by RTA. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: One app is all you need to plan your entire journey with public transportation in Dubai, and it's free.

The S’hail app developed by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) brings together all of Dubai’s public transportation services - Metro, Tram, taxis, buses and marine transport on one platform.

The app is a navigation tool that provides commuters with the route’s details including the duration of the trip, the arrival and departure schedule, and the estimated fare.

The app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery.

Here is a detailed look at the app and why it is a must for Dubai residents and tourists.

1. Plan your public transport journey

Not sure if you should take the Metro or the taxi to your destination? On the app, you can select your mode of transportation and destination. You can compare the cost and duration of the trip and decide which route suits you best.

The Metro, Tram, bus and marine transport timings are also constantly updated by RTA.

Here are the steps on how to use the app:

1. Download the ‘S’hail’ app.
2. Open the app and tap on ‘Plan a Journey’. Enter your current location and your destination. You can either enter both these details manually or select them on a map.
3. Then, click on the settings icon on the right side of the screen and choose your preferred mode of transport. For example Metro, Tram, Bus, or Marine Transport.
4. Then, choose the departure or arrival time, and tap on the blue tab labelled, ‘search’.
5. The app will then provide you with a list of options, with the route, the departure and arrival timings and the fare.

2. Book a taxi

Through the S’hail app, you can book an RTA public taxi. However, to book a taxi, you need to log in using your UAE Pass account. The UAE Pass is the official digital identity for citizens and residents of the UAE.

Click here to find out how to create a UAE Pass account for residents and here for visitors.

1. Open the app, and tap ‘Book Taxi’.
2. Enter your pick-up and drop-off location and tap ‘Search’.
3. Then, the app will show you the duration of the trip and the approximate cost.
4. Next, tap the yellow button labelled, ‘Book a taxi’,
5. Choose the vehicle – a regular taxi, taxi van or women's taxi, which is specifically for women and children.
6. Once that’s done, you will be able to view the date, estimate arrival, duration, and price.
7. Next, tap the ‘Book’ button. You will then get a booking confirmation on the app and an SMS on the registered number with your UAE Pass.
8. You will have to settle the fare at the end of your trip via card or cash.

3. Download maps and guides from RTA for offline use

On the S’hail app, you can download all of RTA’s maps and guides for free, and access them offline. Here’s how you can find the maps on the app:

- Tap on the three lines on the top left of your mobile screen, which is the app’s menu section.
- Select ‘Maps and Guides’.
- Next, you will find the following maps:
• The Dubai Metro Rail Network Map
• The Bus Network Map
• Tram Routes Map
• Dubai Marine Transport Routes Map
Tap on any of the maps, and it will be downloaded. Once the app is downloaded, you can access the maps without having Wi-Fi or data.

4. Get the departure timings of buses

Leaving work late and not sure if you will be able to catch the bus on time? S’hail has a section on the app where you can find all the departure timings for your bus stop.

Here’s how you can find the bus departure timings:

• Tap on the three lines on the top left of your mobile screen, which is the app’s menu section.
• Next, tap on ‘Departures’ and enter your bus stop or station.
• You will then find the complete list of the bus route’s departure timings.

5. Find when the next bus is coming at your station

If you are a public bus user, you can check the arrival and the next departure time of a bus route by scanning the QR code available at all bus stations in Dubai.

At the bus stop, you will find a signboard with a QR code printed on it. Open the S’hail app and tap ‘Scan QR code’. Make sure you allow camera access to be granted to the S’hail app and that you are connected to data or public Wi-Fi. Once you scan the code, you will get access to the live schedule of that specific bus stop.