Visitors using one of the recently launched luxury taxies by RTA at Dubai mall. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: VIP taxis are now just a call away in Dubai as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has connected the luxury fleet to its central dispatch system.

Also known as limousine taxis, the 2,000-odd luxury vehicles have been catering to upmarket customers and tourists at the airport and hotels.

As part of the RTA’s expansion of its Dispatcher 8 System, the RTA has now begun to offer the service through its call centre.

“We have connected 70 limousine taxis to our dispatcher system right now as a first phase of the project,” said Adel Shakeri, Director of Transportation Systems at the RTA’s Public Transport Agency. “Depending on the feedback we receive we will add more vehicles gradually so that everybody can use the luxury service with ease.”

VIP taxis were launched a couple of years ago as a luxury alternative for tourists and initially catered to airport and hotel customers.

The service has now gained popularity, with the RTA using the fleet for regular customers during occasions such as Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha and New Year’s Eve.

“There are a lot of people who prefer luxury and use this service,” said Shakeri. “It’s not tourists who use it anymore, that’s why we opened up the service through our call centre. Anyone who wants to use this service can call 04-2080808 and book it and the nearest VIP taxi will pick the passenger in the shortest possible time.”

As many as 2,000 VIP taxis, owned by 55 companies, operate in Dubai, with the fleet consisting mainly of the latest Lexus models.

“Our idea is to provide value for money to those who are looking for a quality service,” Shakeri said. “We are giving attention to detail in this service, right from the firms licensed for the service to the drivers who are well trained and experienced.”

The VIP metered taxis have a starting fare of Dh50 with an increase of Dh2 per kilometre. The taxis come in two colours — white and black — but do not have regular taxi signs.