Salik, the toll system in Dubai, was supposedly implemented to ease congestion on Sheikh Zayed Road. However, it seems that it is now being using to extort Dubai residents.
Emirates 24|7 reports that Business Bay residents are crying foul over new roadworks that have blocked all other access points in and out of the area, forcing them to use the Al Safa Salik tollgate.
Some say access point to enter the district from the toll free Al Khail Road is still open, but the exit road is blocked off, forcing them to re route their cars and head to Sheikh Zayed Road.
“Even a run to the grocery store is now forcing us to drive through the tollgates,” said Akanksha Mehta, a resident of Executive Towers in Business Bay who said the routes were blocked as early as the first week of April.
Mehta calculated that between her husband and her car, their daily average now in just Salik fees alone is Dh16 each.
“If this continues we will be forced to pay Dh350 a month in just Salik!” she said.
Another resident, who did not wished to be named but also resides in one of the Executive Towers’ blocks, said: “I don’t believe this excuse of construction work is really true. All I have seen are sandpits being shifted from one place to another, but no actual roadwork ever taking place.” The two-year-old resident of the neighbourhood blamed the Roads and Transports Authority.
The RTA reportedly collected Dh776 million in Salik fees in 2009 compared with Dh669m in 2008 and Dh214m over six months after July 2007, when the toll was introduced in Dubai. Car owners are charged Dh4 for passing through the gates.
Business Bay boasts a prime location, with average rents ranging between Dh60,000-Dh70,000 for a one-bedroom flat, Dh70,000-Dh90,000 for a two-bedroom and Dh95,000 to Dh110,000 for a three-bedroom.