Anybody living and driving in Dubai would certainly know about Salik – the city’s electronic toll collection system. But what about those who have recently moved here or have just started driving? Surely you must be full of questions like – How does it work exactly; how to set up your account; how does the money get deducted, etc.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to Salik with all your questions answered.
What is Salik?
Spread across Dubai, Salik is an electronic toll system that was launched in 2007 to help decongest roads and facilitate free-flowing traffic. Salik means ‘clear and moving’ in Arabic and comprises eight toll gates that are designed to automatically deduct money from your pre-paid Salik account each time your vehicle passes through a toll point. The system was built by Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority with the primary purpose of ending manual checkpoints and offering motorists/drivers the convenience of traveling on highways without halting their vehicles and paying manually. In other words, no toll booths, manned gates or barriers – just drive straight through the toll gate.
How does it work? What are the charges?
Salik relies on the Radio Frequency Identification technology or RFID which detects any vehicle passing through the toll gate and automatically deducts the fee from the linked account. Once you sign up for Salik, you will be issued an RFID tag that must be pasted on the windshield of your car. The sticker will be linked to your account and should ideally be placed approximately 1 centimeter below the rearview mirror.
A fee of AED 4 will be deducted from your account each time your vehicle passes through a Salik toll gate. Earlier, the authority had set a maximum limit of AED 24 per car regardless of how many toll points the vehicle would pass through. However, this limit was removed in 2013. So if you cover 9 toll points now, you will be charged a total of AED 36.
How do I set up my account?
Visit the official website – https://www.salik.gov.ae/en – to set up your prepaid account and apply for Salik (RFID) Tag. To register, you will need to provide details such as your car’s plate number, where it was registered, the traffic code number on the back of your valid driver’s license, etc. The total cost of registration is AED 100, which includes AED 50 for your tag and AED 50 for the prepaid balance added to your Salik account post activation. There is an additional delivery charge of AED 20 in case you purchase your tag online and want it delivered to your address. You can also buy the Salik Tag from petrol stations, Dubai Islamic Bank or Emirates NBD Bank.
How do I recharge my account?
You can top up the balance in your account by simply logging in to the official website and selecting the top-up option under the Services tab. Moreover, you can also download the Smart Salik app on your phone to add money to your account, buy a top-card from a petrol station, call 800-SALIK (72545) toll-free number or use smart kiosk located in the city. The minimum recharge value is AED 50.
What if I pass through a gate with low Salik balance?
Don’t worry. If your balance is running low, you will be allowed a grace period of five working days from the date of the trip to recharge your account. In case you breach the deadline, you will be charged AED 50 per car each time you pass through a toll gate.
Where are the toll points located?
With the opening of the new Salik Gate in Jebel Ali in October 2018, there are presently eight toll points across Dubai. Here are the locations of these gates:
- Al Safa (Sheikh Zayed Road)
- Al Barsha (Sheikh Zayed Road)
- Al Garhoud Bridge (Sheikh Rashid Road)
- Al Maktoum Bridge (Umm Hurair Road)
- Al Mamzar North (Al Ittihad Road)
- Al Mamzar South (Note: You will be charged only once if passing through Al Mamzar South and North gates in the same direction within an hour)
- Airport Tunnel (Beirut Street)
- Jebel Ali (Sheikh Zayed Road)
Here are some other things you must know…
- You can use the same Salik account for multiple vehicles, but they will all require separate tags.
- Salik Gates are not free during public holidays or weekends. However, the Al Maktoum bridge toll gate is free from 10pm to 6am on weekdays and from Thursday 10pm till Saturday 6am.
- You can set up your account for automatic recharge via your bank or Mpay
- Only military, police, emergency services and school, college or RTA public buses are exempt from toll fees
[Related: How to Renew Your Car Registration in Dubai]