Years ago, Dubai Taxi was the only real option for commuters who preferred to get around town quickly. Today, residents and tourists are spoilt for choice when it comes to commuting and transport options. In recent years, Careem Go and Uber X were the most popular and affordable options for car-centric commuters. However, as of September 1st, 2019, the two ride hailing services were discontinued following the completion of a trial phase.
Go-to choice for taxi-based commuters
Ride hailing enthusiasts will be glad to know that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Careem recently launched a joint venture called Hala Taxi. This service gives commuters the option to “e-hail” an RTA taxi by using the Careem app. By joining forces, the two entities are offering the best of both worlds by pooling fleets and technology. Around 5,500 taxis in Dubai offering Hala services are available for booking via the Careem app. This accounts for about half of the RTA’s taxi fleet.
Among the biggest benefits of using Hala Taxi are its efficiency and reliability. It only takes a few seconds to book a ride or pay through the app. The average waiting time of just a few minutes for customers. Booking via the app eliminates the need for paying with cash. The credit card or debit card that’s on file will be automatically charged at the end of the trip. The fares for Hala services are pretty much in line with regular RTA taxis. However, there is a small booking fee that gets added to the total cost per ride.
Ample choice & the VIP treatment
Uber fans still have the option to book the Uber Black service at a base fare of AED 10 and cost per kilometer of AED 1.9. Uber XL is also available at a higher cost of AED 13 (base fare) and AED 2.65 (fare per kilometer). Top advantages of using such services is the added transparency as the app displays the price for your trip before you book a ride. Commuters also have the choice to easily browse through different services.
Public transport is most affordable
For those commuters who are a bit more price-conscious, the Dubai Metro system is a convenient way to get around on a regular basis. It’s especially convenient if you live near a metro station. Dubai Metro spans 75 kilometres with a majority of the network covering Dubai’s main highway and popular areas. It offers a reliable and comfortable way to commute, not to mention a great view of the city. The biggest pro is cost – with metro fares ranging from AED 3 to AED 7.5 per trip for a standard ticket depending on the distance. The only downside is commuting this way during peak hours as the cabins can get quite crowded.
Residents or tourists staying in or near the Dubai Marina, JBR, JLT or Dubai Media City areas are better off taking the Dubai Tram. The price for any trip is fixed at a low cost of AED 3. Other benefits include its easy availability (with trams running every 6 to 8 minutes). It’s also usually less crowded than the metro or public buses.
RTA Water Taxis
Water taxis in Dubai are no longer just for tourists. They have become a popular option for residents following the expansion of routes. This service, offered by the RTA, now extends to 32 pickup points in Dubai including Dubai Canal, Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and the Palm. Tickets can be booked online or bought at any of the stations located in Dubai. Traveling via water taxi is ideal for shorter distances or leisurely trips. This is because it’s costlier and takes a bit longer than riding the metro or a traditional taxi. Costs range from AED 55 to AED 200, depending on the duration of the trip, while an hour’s journey can cost up to AED 400 for the whole 11-seater taxi.
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