Dubai is not particularly pedestrian-friendly and taxis are the best way to travel around the city if your destination/departure point is not near a Metro stop.
They are regulated by the government and should have a working meter.
Taxis are relatively cheap compared to most other major cities. Drivers are usually pretty courteous and most have reasonable English.
Fares are regulated and priced according to the reading on the meter. The minimum fare is 10 AED.
Fares for a standard taxi are shown in the table below. Rates for vans, ladies taxis, and special needs vehicles differ.
|Fare||Day 06:00 – 22:00||Night 22:00 – 06:00|
|Starting fare -street pickup||3 AED||3.5 AED|
|Starting fare – booked||6 AED||7 AED|
|Starting fare – from airport||20 AED||20 AED|
|Meter fare – distance||1.6 AED / km||1.6 AED / km|
|Waiting fare||0.5 AED / minute||0.5 AED / minute|
Toll charges (Salik) of 4 AED are added to the fare each time the taxi passes through a toll gate.
Taxi Companies – Telephone Booking Numbers
Taxis are operated by the Dubai Taxi Corporation (Dubai Taxi), although the company franchises out taxi operations to other companies.
All official taxis have cream coloured bodywork. The roof colours differ by company.
|Company||Roof Colour||Dispatch Telephone|
|Arabia Taxi||Green||800 272242|
|Cars Taxi||Blue||800 227789|
|Dubai Taxi||Red||04 2080808|
|Metro Taxi||Orange||600 566000|
|National Taxi||Yellow||600 543322|
You will have no difficulty getting a taxi at Dubai International Airport. There are busy ranks outside each terminal. You will also find long queues of waiting taxis outside all the major shopping malls. There’s no need to book taxis at the airport or mall.
In addition to the ranks noted above there are more than 50 official taxi ranks around the city. If there are no taxis waiting at one of these ranks you can call one of the numbers listed on the signage (same as the table above). Alternatively you can send an SMS to 4774 (provided you have an Etisalat telephone number). The message text should be the code for the taxi rank as listed on the sign.
There are also taxi ranks outside all Dubai Metro stations. If there are no taxis waiting call one of the numbers on the sign (same as the table above). You can also send an SMS to 4774 (Etisalat phones only). The message text should be the unique code assigned to that particular rank and listed on the sign.
The code consists of the following information:
- R or G – Red Line or Green Line
- Station number – see here for stations on the Red Line and here for stations on the Green Line
- Station entrance – A or B
For example to book a taxi to Al Jafiliya Metro Station you should send the code R21A (for entrance A) or R21B (for entrance B).
Dubai Taxi Smartphone App
In June 2014 the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority introduced the RTA Smart Taxi app. The application allows users to book a taxi using their smartphone.
The system is very sophisticated allowing the user to book the nearest available taxi. The app communicates the location of the user to the driver, allowing users to book a taxi even if they don’t know where they are.
The progress of the taxi can be followed live on screen. The app also gives additional information such as the name of the driver and the estimated arrival time at the destination.
The starting fare for booking a taxi through the app is the same as that for booking a taxi by phone (6 AED in the day and 7 AED at night).
The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.