Picture used for illustrative purposes
Picture used for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Planning to take the bus in Abu Dhabi? Whether you live in the Emirate or are visiting for work or family reasons, you will need to make sure you have the Hafilat card with you. Hafilat, which means ‘buses’ in Arabic, is the bus card you can use to take advantage of the bus network across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

If you are a first time user, here is all you need to know about how to register for a personal Hafilat card and how to top it up online.

How to register for a Hafilat card

1. Visit the website for Hafilat cards – www.hafilat.darb.ae

2. On the right of the screen, you will see a green tab titled, ‘Register here’.

3. Once you click on the tab, you will have to fill out a pre-registration form with the following personal details:

•Full name
•Birth date
•Emirates ID Number
•Street Number,
•Your address: Location, street name, and villa or apartment number.
•Zip code –type in 0000
•Town – type in your Emirate or district in Abu Dhabi
•Phone number
•Email address

4. Upload your personal photograph.

5. You will then be asked to create a password for your Hafilat account.

6. You will then be asked to click on a link sent to you via email on your registered email address.

7. Once you have received the email, click on the verification link provided by the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) and log in to your account with your email address and password.

Confirm your details and upload your Emirates ID

1. After logging in, you will receive an overview of the details you have entered in the registration form. Click on the ‘save’ tab.

2. You will then be transferred to the ‘evidences’ page. For this, you will have to pick the type of card you prefer:

•Senior citizen
•Personal card
•Student card

3. Pick the type of card that applies to you and upload your Emirates ID as verification.

4. Click on ‘confirm’ and you will receive a print out of you card details.

5. To receive the actual card you must go to the nearest Bus Terminal and present the print out. You will also be asked to pay for the card before receiving it. The card costs between Dh5 to Dh10, depending on the type of card you choose.

Types of Hafilat card

There are six different types of Hafilat cards that you can choose from

1. Contactless Smart Ticket (CST) (Temporary Use): it is free of charge and is valid for 30 days from date of purchase.
2. Contactless Smart Card (CSC) Anonymous: the cost is Dh10 and the card is valid for five years
3. Contactless Smart Card (CSC) Personalized: the cost is Dh10 and the card is valid for five years
4. Contactless Smart Card Senior Citizen CSC: the cost is Dh5 and the card is valid for five years
5. Contactless Smart Card for People of Determination: the cost is Dh5 the card is valid for five years
6. Contactless Smart Card Students: the cost is Dh5 and the card is valid for five years

How can I use the Hafilat card?

Once you have the card, you will need to top up the card with some credit. To do so, simply follow these steps:

1. Visit hafilat.darb.ae
2. Select ‘Recharge card’.
3. Write the serial number on the bottom of your Hafilat card.
4. Select the amount you would like to add to your balance.
5. Pay online using your credit card.

Once you have sufficient balance on your Hafilat card, using it is a simple process as buses are equipped with card readers, kept near the driver’s seat. You are required to swipe your card at the time you get on board, and when you get off the bus.

The card reader shows a green circle with a tick when the check-in or check-out is successful. The bus fare is deducted from the card balance, according to your trip.

How much does a trip cost?

The trip is charged based on whether you are travelling within Abu Dhabi city, or from various suburbs, like Madinat Zayed or Musaffah, to the main city area. Charges for intercity trips are slightly higher.

• Local trips (within the city): Dh2
• Regional trips (suburbs): Dh2 + Dh0.05 per kilometre.
• Intercity trips (between emirates): Dh10 + Dh0.1 per kilometre.

Bus Routes

Abu Dhabi’s public bus system is divided into two main networks: Region and City.

• Bus numbers prefixed with an ‘A’ only travel to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport.
• Bus numbers prefixed with an ‘X’ are Express buses.
• Minibuses are represented with an ‘M’.

How to find public bus route

To find a public bus route between two locations, you can use the Darbi website – www.darbi.itc.gov.ae/darbweb/map-viewer.html

Simply select the ‘journey planner’ option and enter your ‘from’ and ‘to’ locations, along with the time at which you wish to take the bus. The website will then provide you with the possible routes and the buses you need to take to get to your destination.

ITC has also tied up with Google to provide the updated bus routes on Google maps. You can find the available buses in your area by selecting the bus icon on the map, if you use the Google maps app.