Dubai Transport

Tourists in Dubai to get a free mobile SIM

Online Journey Planner From RTA On The Way

Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) is planning to launch an online joureny planner sytem in March 2009.

According to Khaleej Times, the system will help passengers calculate the fares of the journey, and find the easiest and the fastest mode of transport to a particular destination and the changing points between buses.

The system will also help the passenger figure out the time needed to reach by foot the nearest location from where he/she could get public transport services and the location from where a passenger could switch to another bus or transport mode to reach his/her destination. It will have route maps and options with full details for passengers to choose from. The passenger needs to enter the present location and the destination to go. Users can select the destination either by the bus stop name or the name of a nearby landmark such as hotels, libraries or coffee shops. The option of dates and time schedules of the bus service will also be available.

Presently, the authority is trying to find an appropriate name for the system.

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Sharekni: The RTA Car Pooling Website

Sharekni is car pooling website by RTA. It is an official attempt to ease traffic congestion and “legally” facilitate commuters for car pooling.

Sharekni requires more promotion to get people acquainted to it. Currently most of the searches made on the site returns no results. Also, RTA has to soften its policies on car pooling and rephrase its definition of “illegal taxis”, in order for attempts like Sharekni to get successful.

For details check Sharekni website.

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RTA launces luxury coaches on Dubai – Abu Dhabi Route

Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched an initiative that is going to ease travel expenses of recession-hit expatriates.

According to Khaleej Times, The Public Transport Agency (PTA) of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) inaugurated the much-awaited Deluxe Coach bus service between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Essa Al Dossari, the CEO of the PTA, said 10 Coach buses would ply on the route in the first phase. Eventually, there would be 55 buses on the route. The one-side fare is Dh20. Initially, these buses will transport passengers to the capital and Al Ain and the service would be extended to more areas in the coming phases.

The 10 buses were bought at a cost of Dh128 million.

The coaches have top-class luxury standards and are fitted with seats emulating aircraft’s Business Class seats, with ample space between seats along with audio-visual multi-channel entertainment packages. Additionally, the coaches are fitted with wireless internet service (WiFi) as well as a food compartment and toilets, the top official said.

“These new buses are of Volvo B12B brand and are fitted with the latest version of Euro IV engines that meet high environmental standards, a unique transmission system (I-Shift), and sophisticated braking and stability systems (ESP).

Tourists in Dubai to get a free mobile SIM

Cheating Expats in Dubai taking Rent-a-Car companies for Ride

expats cheating rent a car companies in dubai
As if expats dumping their cars and fleeing credit liabilities in Dubai was not enough, a recent report by Khaleej Times highlights how some cheating expats have taken rent-a-car companies for ride. Rental companies have shared their frustatio and despair over clients damaging cars, not paying violation fees, and sometimes not returning the vehicles at all, infact not coming back to collect their passports / identification documents.

In Sharjah, around 250 rented cars that were dumped by the renters were recovered by the police and handed back to the companies in 2008. Car rental agencies reported 386 cars as missing in the same year.

The General Department of Criminal Investigation of Dubai Police received 50 complaints in this regard in 2008. In some cases, the police forced the renters to pay the dues amicably instead of referring them to the court.

The police have suggested to the companies to enter the number of a valid credit card of anyone who wants to take a vehicle on rent.

“Although it is illegal to keep someone else’s passport, we are forced to keep them as deposits to protect our rights. But that has become ineffective as many renters have left their passports with us for years and never turned up to pay their dues and get the documents back,” said Badr Al Deen Abdull Raziq, manager of Al Tayseer Rent-A-Car in Sharjah. His company has suffered a loss of Dh300,000 due to such renters.

“At present, I have the labour card of a person named Ottuparakal Vasu Sanil from India who has not shown up for the past two years. He dumped the car somewhere. I had to lodge a complaint with the Sharjah Police whose patrol recovered it and handed it back to us. His dues had run into Dh30,000 and it’s very difficult to find him as he might have left the country somehow,” he said.

Abdull Razaq, owner of another company in Sharjah, said a renter, identified as Narayana, who came on visit visa, took a car on rent three years ago and didn’t come to take his passport and pay the dues which had gone up top Dh48,000. He left the car behind the company’s premises.

The owner of another company, who did not want to be named, said a visitor, Kuthirakode Abdulla Kunhi, took a car on rent three years ago and left his passport with the company.

“I wonder how this man has managed to leave the country if he has done it,” he said.

Bu Khatir, manager of a car rental company in Dubai, said that some of the customers take vehicles on rent and rent them out to others. Some such people do not pay the dues or even sell the vehicles.

“I had to face a case of a renter, Husham Abdullah, who rented out a car taken from us two years ago to an Iraqi man who stole the car and disappeared. Husham’s uncle had to ultimately pay the total price of the Land Cruiser,” he said.

Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Deputy Director of the General Department of Traffic in Dubai, said once they get such a complaint, a circular with descriptions and registration number of the car as well as the number of the passport is sent to all exit and entrance points and the police departments in the country.

The police patrols also have the information and they search for the vehicle within the emirate.

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Taxi Drivers in Dubai offering Shared Trips to cover Daily Targets

Getting a taxi in Dubai is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes you have run for a taxi, wave and shout like crazy and even pick a fight for it. But now things are changings. Recession has its effect on Taxi as people are preferring the bus or a walk to cut costs.

As Khaleej Times report, cabbies are now offering shared trips to the different parts of the city and to Sharjah. Taxi drivers said they were struggling to meet their daily targets since the beginning of December.

Many taxi drivers can today be seen calling passengers for shared trips and they say the residents prefer sharing fares.

Farooq Khan, a Pakistani driver, while calling passengers in Al Quoz for a trip to Sharjah, said, “There is no other way to meet the target of Dh370 a day. Since the beginning of December we have been struggling to meet the target. Now we are trying to find a solution and people like the idea of sharing taxis.”

“I take four passengers to and fro and the fares are shared. They are happy and so am I,” he said.

An illegal taxi driver in Al Quoz who did not wish to be named said, “We have big competition now. Dubai taxi drivers never called passengers in the past. Now they are also doing it.”

The RTA has set a fine of Dh5,000 on illegal taxis.

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Dubai Police to install radars every two kilometers

Police will soon install radars every two kilometres on the roads in addition to mobile radars to deter speeding and reckless motorists and protect road users.

So far 90 new digital radars are installed on several internal roads and highways in Dubai including, 30 radars on Shaikh Zayed Road, 22 radars on Dubai-Al Ain Road, 17 radars on Dubai-Hatta Road, 10 radars on Emirates Road, six radars on Al Khail Road and five radars on Business Bay Bridge.

These new digital radars are highly advanced and can distinguish between light and heavy vehicles they can catch offences from both sides and the speed limits, on which they flash, can be controlled from the centre of the department.

The camera used in the radar must also be fitted with pathfinders, be able to deal with various temperatures and humidity, be able to be fitted on a tripod and have a wireless broadcasting system to be controlled from a room at the traffic department.

dubai mall open after coronavirus lock down

Parking Fee Hike at Dubai Airport

Dubai International Airport doubled parking prices for some time slots, a move that has not been received well by residents.

Parking B in terminal 1 remains the lowest-priced parking in the airport, but it has also seen a significant increase. Those parking their vehicles in parking B will have to pay Dh5 for half an hour and Dh15 for up to two hours. Earlier, it was Dh5 per hour.

Parking A in terminal one has doubled, from the previous Dh10 per hour to a new fee of Dh10 per half hour.

An hour costs Dh15 whereas two hours costs Dh25. Parking for more than one day would cost Dh240. Parking at terminal 3 is even higher. It is Dh25 per hour.

dubai mall open after coronavirus lock down

Riding the Abra

Abra is a traditional boat made of wood, used to transport people across Dubai Creek in Dubai. A medium-sized single-engine craft with a capacity of about 20 passengers, it is driven by a single operator from a sort of cockpit stepped in the center of the hull. The short platform around the cockpit, sheltered by a canopy, is where the passengers are seated, all facing outwards 10 on each side. The speed of the engine may be varied, while the steering system is basic: often a wooden rudder connected to the cockpit’s mechanism by means of ropes and pulleys.

Abra was the sole mean of transport between Deira and Bur Dubai, the two sides of Dubai Creek, long before Al Shindagha Tunnel was constructed for vehicular traffic. Although the creek can now be crossed through bus and taxis, Abra still remains the economical, and fastest, mode of transport to cross the creek, usually taking not more than 10 minutes for a journey between Deira and Bur Dubai.

Abra is regulated by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). There are about 149 Abras in service at present, operating from about 5:30am till about midnight. 10 abras run one of the three routes at all hours.

Abra charge 1 dirham per crossing per head, or 100 dirhams per hour for exclusive hire. “Rowing” abras are also available at 1 dirham per head or 30 dirhams per hour.

RTA has also introduced Water Bus which can be termed as a luxurious Abra. It is also working on a Water Taxi project.

Riding the Abra is must for anybody visiting Dubai.

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Salik Road Toll dropped for Taxi Passengers

Taxi passengers in Dubai will no longer have to pay the Salik road toll.

The Roads and Transport Authority said the move was part of a series of initiatives aimed at improving taxi services.

Passengers currently have to pay the Dh4 Salik toll every time they pass under a gate.