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Taxis can now be booked within 10 seconds through an App Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: Taxis will now take less than 10 seconds to book and 3.5 minutes to arrive after the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced Monday that all booking and dispatch services can now be done by app from December 7.

Hala, a joint venture between RTA and Careem, will now handle the process instead of the RTA.

The shift from the voice response system to the Hala e-hailing system on the Careem app aims to improve quality and uptake after Hala was launched in August.

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Ahmad Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA's Public Transport Agency Image Credit: Supplied

Ahmad Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said, “This step marks a paradigm shift of Dubai Taxi booking process from the call centre to Hala. It is part of the RTA’s strategic drive to support Dubai Government’s Smart City initiative. This transition comes after a landmark one-millionth booking within days after the official launch of Hala service on August 29.

“The full transition of taxi booking and dispatch services to the Hala platform will start on December 7. Several actions have been put into effect in order to guarantee a smooth transition for customers who are used to calling 04-2080808 to order a Dubai Taxi.

“The step contributes to RTA’s objective of revamping taxi services in Dubai making the service more accessible through e-hailing, and at the same time advancing the integration of public transit means. Among the additional benefits that customers will enjoy from this innovative way of booking a Dubai taxi, is the ability to raise any questions or concerns directly via the Careem in-app chat. Safety and lost and found issues will continue to be handled by RTA’s Call Centre (8009090). Customers will also be able to book taxis from all over Dubai with a shorter estimated time of arrival,” he added.

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Clemence Dutertre, CEO of Hala Image Credit: Supplied

Clemence Dutertre, CEO of Hala, said: “Our mission is to offer the best experience to customers when booking a ride in Dubai. The migration of the Dubai Taxi booking process to Hala will continue to ensure the most efficient experience for customers, connecting users to the closest Dubai Taxi at the touch of a button. Hala customers will get a booking confirmation in less than 10 seconds, get a taxi in an average of 3.5 minutes, and benefit from an enhanced experience with an average quality rating of 4.8/5 stars. Hala offers its customers a smarter way to get around Dubai by knowing their fare upfront, driver details, tracking their route, and paying through cash or credit card.”

There is no additional charge for using the new service.