Dubai: Residents will be able to rent a personal driver to drive their car using a Dubai app by the end of the month, a senior official told Gulf News at the GITEX tech show in Dubai on Sunday.
For Dh40 per hour, residents can request the personal driver service through the free-to-download ‘DTC’ app of Dubai Transport Corporation (DTC), part of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said Dr Yousef Al Ali, CEO of DTC.
The minimum charge is Dh80 for two hours.
Hire a driver by the hour
Dr Al Ali said a personal driver could be requested when someone is too tired to drive himself or herself, when the regular family car driver is on holiday, when children have to be driven to school in the family car, and in other situations.
He added that registered DTC app users can request a male or female driver, or a driver who speaks a particular language, such as Arabic, English, Urdu or Hindi.
DTC has also rolled out a “limo” or luxury car rental service through the DTC app, Dr Ali said.
Users can request an electric vehicle, a family limo, a vehicle for people of determination, and a dedicated limo for ladies, besides a standard limo.
Dr Al Ali said: “We are more cost-effective than others as our limos and the technology we use are our own assets. There is no commission [that is passed on as additional cost to customer]. We also have promo codes for discounts and special rates for frequent users.”
No Dh20 Sharjah charge
He also confirmed to Gulf News that DTC limo riders will not pay the Dh20 charge for going to Sharjah, which is applied to the fare in regular taxis. “The DTC limo is already more expensive than regular taxis, so we didn’t put any additional charges [for going to Sharjah].”
Virtual nol card
RTA also unveiled its virtual nol card initiative at GITEX 2019, held from October 6 to 10 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The nol card allows payment of public transport fare as well as other payments such as parking fees, shopping at certain retail outlets, and refuelling stations, among others.
“We are keen to familiarise the public with this initiative for buying the virtual nol card and saving it in their mobile phones where they can top-up the card directly from their credit cards, which are saved in their phones. The NFC feature has to be enabled in smartphones of riders such that they can use the virtual nol card in paying fares for metro, bus, tram and marine transport services,” said Mohammad Al Khayat, Director of Automated Fare Collection at RTA’s Corporate Technology Support Services Sector.
“RTA is planning to roll out the virtual nol card in the third quarter of 2020. Later on, all the existing nol card functions will be added to the virtual card. Offering this initiative couldn’t have come at a better time as Dubai is heading towards the hosting of a big event, Expo 2020.”