Dubai/ Abu Dhabi/ Fujairah: Smelly, over-priced and old are just some of the complaints that residents have about taxis.

While some taxis are charging additional fees for passengers who want to go to another emirate, other cabs have been replaced with new fleets and new drivers.

But are passengers satisfied with the service provided by taxi companies, or do drivers still need to improve their skills on customer service?

City Talk took to the streets and asked residents how often they use taxis, if they find the behaviour of taxi drivers as rude, and whether they manage to get a taxi on time when they need it.

Christine Lacson, 36-year-old Filipina receptionist said: "I use taxis once a week and I'm happy with the services so far, although some do not know the location of certain places. Around a year ago I used to find it very difficult to find one that would stop for me, but the situation has improved a lot and now it only takes me 10 minutes."

Fares Churbaji, marketing manager, from Lebanon, 29, said: "I noticed that taxi drivers take a longer route if they know that the passengers are new in town. I use a taxi around twice a week and feel that sometimes they are very rude. Once when I was in a taxi, I told the driver to make a quick stop at a restaurant so I could pick up my order but he refused to wait and started shouting. I was not ready to argue and just got out of the car. It used to be very difficult to find a taxi, but I think it has improved a lot now."

Cora Aligarbes, staff service from the Philippines, 45, said: "I use taxis every now and then and the drivers are somewhat rude, but some of them are polite. You rarely find a taxi easily these days and you have to wait for a good 10 to 15 minutes for one. The new taxi drivers in Abu Dhabi are not well versed in the routes, not to mention that some of them drop you way before your actual destination, and not in a parking lot. They definitely need better training and should be controlled; some of them could be dangerous at times."

Mohammad Fuad, employee from Egypt, 37, said: "I usually use them three times a week when there is traffic, which is usually around 5pm. The taxi drivers are pleasant to talk to, but the worst thing is that some of them do not stop for me. I have to wait for half an hour before I can find a taxi, but they do not stop and then I have to wait even longer."

Prashanthan V., sales assistant from India, 28, said: "I drive, but I use taxis sometimes and on overall, here in Fujairah, they are readily available and of good standards. The new fleet of taxis and the new drivers are a huge improvement on the older fleet. There are some good drivers but still you have a few who show disregard for other road users by stopping suddenly and in the wrong areas. Others do not take enough care of their cars so you may ride in a smelly taxi which is not good."

Ali Al Dalati, Syrian public relations consultant, 23, said: "Like all people, some of them are rude, while the rest are decent. They do not have the easiest job in the world, some of them get fed up and just vent. I use taxis a lot, sometimes eight to nine times a day and have faced too many unpleasant and pleasant incidents with taxis.

G.V. Rao, paper distributor from India, 40, said: "I use taxis sometimes and here in Fujairah there is no problem with the availability or the attitude because there is a lot of competition. The new taxis of Fujairah are much better than the ones before, and some drivers are better than others. Some of them drive in a rush manner with little regard for other drivers."

Tarek Khalifa, consultant from Egypt, 26, said: "As I do not have a car I have to use taxis up to seven times a day because I have a lot of errands to do during the day. I do not find taxi drivers rude but they should be clear from the beginning about not knowing a certain direction. I have no issues finding a taxi whenever I need one and I do feel they meet customer needs."

Have you experienced bad service from taxi drivers? How do you think taxi drivers' customer service can improve?

Your comments

Few days ago, I took a taxi and I told him of the destination and asked him to take Jumeirah Beach Road. He was so rude to me and took Sheikh Zayed Road ignoring my request. and he told me this is faster and if you don't care about time I care about it. I have things to do and I will take Sheikh Zayed Road. My question is if me as a passenger, I don't care about time why on the earth I take a cab? If the taxi driver has stuff to do why he is taking the passenger! But as I knew if I complain nothing will happen I just forgot about it. Got used to it kind of!
Posted: May 31, 2009, 17:36

use taxis everyday to go to work. I find the drivers are good but the fare has increased by almost 55% in comparison with previous year because of the waiting period of the taxi being charged to us.
Posted: May 31, 2009, 17:32

I found most of taxi drivers very impolite. Sometimes when they stop first they ask you the destination if it doesn't suit their will, they push the gas! While a huge amount of taxis are lining up in front of Hotels inside the city you have to wait under the sun for a long time. They drive very aggressive and careless. Just a few days ago the taxi which I was in was near to be hit by another car because the taxi driver changes suddenly the lane without indicator or any thing. I was lucky the other driver was fast thinking and react very well. It was taxi drivers obvious mistake but then he started to insult the other driver! Some of taxis are smelling very bad and you have to hold your breath to not to vomit! I wonder if there is any supervision on taxis here in Dubai as I have complained several times but got no answer!
Posted: May 31, 2009, 17:29

We have to reprimand also taxi drivers don't know how to give change, who chooses passenger and asked for fixed rate.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: May 31, 2009, 17:14

Since the RTA removed the waiting time for Taxi, most taxi drivers are taking advantage of going to longer routes than shorter routes. I am a frequent user of taxi, i live at Al Baraha and i am taking taxi every morning going to clock tower, most of the time i am fighting with taxi drivers because they are bringing me to the road which is very traffic at that time instead of taking free roads. This is too much. How we can make our complaint directed to the RIGHT PERSON
Posted: May 31, 2009, 15:16

Everyday I am going to office using taxis since last 1 year. I feel the recent increase of waiting charging time, which makes me to pay more money. The waiting time is to be increased otherwise, I may be forced to stop using taxis in the near future.
Abdul Hakeem
Posted: May 31, 2009, 14:20

i had some bad experiences with taxi drivers not stopping or arguing not to take a short distance.
Posted: May 31, 2009, 13:10

I hope the Abu Dhabi Transport Authority will provide more trainings on taxi drivers regarding traffic rules and regulations before securing a license. That will also include trainings on personality development and interpersonal skills.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: May 31, 2009, 13:00

I feel taxis are not available readily and serivice is very poor with respect to the amount charged. most of them are uncooperative .many times they go empty and do not stop,plus new thing happening is that they are dictating which place to go ,i had a recent incident where the driver told me he is off to Satwa if i was to go there he would take me.
Bur Dubai,UAE
Posted: May 31, 2009, 12:48

I do take taxis nearly every day. On one occasion I found one who would not stop for me and my family. When I attempted to take down the plate number, I was a victim of his verbal diarrhoea, much to the embarassment of my wife and daughter. On another occasion, one wouldn't take me to Karama from Bur Dubai, just waving me off. Additionally, just yesterday I saw a pushing and shoving match between a driver and passenger he had just dropped off opposite Shindaga Carrefour. And yes, some are learning and they are polite. I can't guage the drivers' behaviour, maybe they are under pressure and in difficult conditions as most of them will relate if you prod them gently. Driver need training in mannerism, decency and treatment of passengers, not just getting trained in driving.
Agnelo Fernandes
Posted: May 31, 2009, 12:29

Taxi drivers especially at certain malls are very rude and arrogant. All of them are choosing pasengers, I don't know why?
Posted: May 31, 2009, 11:56

I use taxis every morning from King Faisal Road to Sahara Centre - in Sharjah. Everyday I have to convince the driver that nowadays there is less traffic on Al Khan Bridge etc. Then near Sahara Centre, they start grumbling about the slow movement and how it will take a long time for them to get back - So everyday I have to urge them to go to Sahara, convince them abt the traffic, listen to them crib about the traffic and then find a route for them to go for the next trip ? Boy what a nice way to start the day !!!
Bindu Sathianesan
Posted: May 31, 2009, 10:41

I used to take taxi everytime i go out sometimes u get the taxi easily but the worst experience i've had is during ramadan... they will stop u and ask after that they will say they have to go for prayer or just any excuse only coz they will ask where are you going and if you say the address they take an alibi..
Posted: May 31, 2009, 10:27

I was forced to launch a complaint against the taxi driver on 23rd May 2009. My husband and I boarded the taxi from a mall on 23rd May and the driver was driving very rashly and was not maintaining minimum distance from the vehicles in front of us. He also was about to cross a red signal near Karama post office and then applied a sudden break. It was a horrible and unsafe drive for us. After reaching our destination at Bur Dubai, We launched a complaint against the taxi driver. We got 2 calls from the RTA complaint centre apologizing to us. I raised the complaint against the taxi driver hoping that this incident does not repeat with other customers.
Sony Nagpal
Posted: May 31, 2009, 10:27

Adding more buses to various routes in Abu Dhabi will solved the problem. since there are new taxis operates, it's better to reduce or to abolish totally the number of old taxis where from my experience many of the drivers are so unfriendly.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: May 31, 2009, 10:15

Though I drive car but off and on I use Taxi to be very honest I never any driver rude during my travelling. One thing is very clear that we all are humanbeing and we all have shortcomings too. So if somebody finds rude taxi driver at least we should tolerate them because they are also humanbeing.
Q. H. Seddiqi
Posted: May 31, 2009, 10:13

The behaviour of some of the taxi drivers is very bad. One week ago, i wanted to go to Najda street. I got into the taxi and told him the place i want to go. He stopped the taxi and asked me to get down of the taxi saying that the Taxi will not b going anywhere near Najda, Hamdaan or Madinat Zayed as the places are too crowded and there are lot of traffic jams. I cannot understand why they behave in such a way. When he did not want to go in that route, he should not have taken out the taxi. All routes are congested in the evenings and this is not new to anyone of us. I also observe that when we are travelling along with children, they get irritated when the kids are talking to each other and one such driver asked us to keep our mouth shut as he was getting irritated while driving. I think lessons need to taught on how to behave with the general public.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: May 31, 2009, 10:10

In Sharjah, many of the taxi driver's costumer service are poor 1. most of them are choosing their passenger 2.rude(specially when traffic) 3.and most of them tell you that "I dont have change"(coins), 4. hygiene...but their also had minimal friendly drivers with a very good driving skills and knowledge in the road and good hygiene.. thanks..
From A Reader
Posted: May 31, 2009, 09:37

I think also the authorities should hire ladies to work as Taxi Ladies but with few hours not like the men do and give them a chance. Ladies would like to be driven by ladies. Only a suggestion.
Posted: May 31, 2009, 09:34

A mall in Jebel Ali, theres a lot of taxis waiting outside the mall but unfortunately they will not take passengers if the destinations are nearer;because they will argue with you of too much waiting they are doing and they will want long journey only.There are instances that I fed up for there reasoning and tell them I will call the RTA and they answer me back "You call RTA no problem"; it shows only that they are not respecting.
Posted: May 31, 2009, 09:27

To fetch a taxi in Abu Dhabi any time of the day is still a nightmare. I suggest that the bus service operates short trips from Airport road to street ends such as Salam, Electra, Hamdan, Khalifa etc., every 5-10 mintues up and down directions then the taxis isuue could be solved.
Shabir Zainudeen
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: May 31, 2009, 08:41