You wish to travel by cab in Dubai but you don't know how it works there? Here are some explanations!
If you are thinking of going to Dubai soon, I strongly advise you to make some preparations before your departure. And this, whether you go there to enjoy an unforgettable vacation or just for work!
Indeed, there are so many things to do and see in the emirate - it's really a dream destination - that you will need a minimum of organization.
To help you, I have gathered some information about the most used means of transportation in the emirate: the cab.
Here, I explain everything, like the price of the trip or the type of services proposed. I even give you some tips so that your cab trips go smoothly and that you don't waste any more time in this gigantic city.
CAB IN DUBAI, IT'S CONVENIENT!
Taking cabs in Dubai will allow you to get around the city quickly and reach all the areas where public transport does not go. The emirate does not have a very complete subway system: there are only two lines that will not allow you to really go everywhere!
A cab will save you time in transport - if you don't travel during rush hours.
Taking a cab will be especially convenient, as you will also be able to enjoy a comfortable vehicle with air conditioning. Don't forget that it is very hot in Dubai (up to 113°F - 45°C)! Don't think about going from one site to another on foot under this blazing heat; especially since, as I just told you, Dubai is a gigantic city that stretches over 31 miles (50 km) from east to west (along the coastline)!
However, this should not prevent you from using public transport (subway, bus, streetcar) and completing the rest of your journey by cab.
For my part, I often use the Dubai Metro to the max and finish the last mile with a cab 🙂
WHERE TO FIND A CAB?
There are more than 10,000 cabs in Dubai, so you can't miss them!
You will recognize them by their cream color. However, depending on the company they belong to (there are several transport companies), the color of their roof changes. For example, cabs with a:
- red roof: belong to the company "Dubai Taxi",
- blue roof: belong to the company "Cars Taxi",
- green roof: to the company "Dubai Taxi Al Arabia",
- gold roof: to the company "Taxi Hatta"...
Please note: you will also see pink cabs, the "Dubai Ladies’ Taxis" (there are about 50 of them). They are driven by women and for women only. According to Muslim laws, a woman cannot be alone with an unknown man: this is the reason why these cabs were created.
You will also see large van cabs (with 7 seats - the fare is higher) or special cabs for wheelchair users.
All public cabs in Dubai are owned by the RTA, the Dubai Road and Transport Authority. All companies are therefore supervised by the Dubai government.
Cabs run 24/7, even on public holidays - which is a big advantage over Dubai public transport, as you won't necessarily find a metro running at night.
HOW TO CALL A CAB?
Alternatively, you can order one by phone. The number of the reservation center in Dubai is: 04.208.08.08.
HOW TO GIVE YOUR DESTINATION?
You should know that in Dubai the addresses are not very accurate, and that most of the cab drivers are foreigners (Pakistanis, Iranians...).
Unfortunately, they often have only rudimentary English. So the easiest way is to give the driver the name of the monument/tourist site (for example: Burj Dubai, Dubai Mall, ...), hotel or market you want to go to.
You can also show him your city map with your destination, the business card of an office or your entrance ticket to an attraction (a water park for example...).
THE CAB, AN ECONOMICAL MEANS OF TRANSPORT
What is the price of a cab ride in Dubai? I tell you all about it!
THE FARES IN THE CITY
First of all, you should know that a trip will cost you less than in the U.S. Second, no matter the company, the rates stay the same.
The price of a trip includes several elements. It varies according to:
- the time of the pick-up: during the day or at night,
- the place of the pick-up,
- the distance covered
The fare will also depend on the density of traffic, which can be significant during rush hour.
Regardless of your destination, there will be a minimum charge of AED 8 during the day ($2.18) and AED 9 at night, i.e. between 10 pm and 6 am (about $2.45). Please note that if you order your cab by phone, this rate will be double.
To this minimum charge, you must add the rate per kilometer traveled. The fare is:
- 1.96 AED/kilometer during the day ($0.53, or €0.45).
- At night, add 2 extra AED per kilometer ( + $0.54, or + €0.46)
Note that when a cab stops (in traffic jams), the fare lowers to 0.50 AED/minute ($0.14, or €0.12).
All cabs in Dubai are equipped with an odometer that will indicate the amount in AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham). If the driver does not turn it on, the ride will be free 🙂
You can find out the price of a possible ride in advance by using a ride fare simulator. Simply fill in your pick-up location and your arrival point.
Also, feel free to check out my article on Dubai currency to better understand the AED/DOLLAR conversion.
THE rate FROM THE AIRPORT
Airport cabs are only for people traveling to and from Dubai Airport. To find them, go to the cab stands at the exit of the terminals.
From the airport, special rates are in place: AED 25 for the initial pick-up (up to AED 30 for a larger cab). After that, you will have to add 2 AED/kilometer.
You can book a cab in advance (for example on www.welcomepickups.com/fr/). This will allow you to have a private driver who will take you to your hotel or anywhere in Dubai.
Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall with a sign displaying your name.
Please note that the price will be fixed and will vary only according to the type of vehicle chosen. Indeed, you can choose between a simple airport cab, a 7-seater vehicle or a luxury sedan.
Count 25 AED for the pick-up + 3,25 AED/kilometer driven.
HOW TO PAY YOUR CAB FARE?
You can pay your fare in cash (remember to exchange your money in AED when you arrive in Dubai), by credit card or with the Nol Card (Dubai public transport card).
If you wish, you can leave a tip (5 to 10% of the fare).
You have the possibility to book a cab for a day or a half-day. For this, plan on a budget of about 500 AED for 6 hours (about $136) and 800 AED for 12 hours ($217.70).
IS IT A SAFE WAY TO TRAVEL?
Even if the traffic is heavy in Dubai and traffic accidents are numerous, you can trust your driver. He is used to it, even if he drives like a madman! Just be sure to buckle up.
ARE PRIVATE CABS A GOOD ALTERNATIVE?
Dubai also has many private cabs. These are often luxury cars that you will find near the major tourist sites. These drivers are self-employed: they do not have an odometer, so you will have to negotiate the fare.
Be careful, it can cost you up to 5 times more than a normal cab (for the same trip)!
You can also book a VTC, i.e. a driver for a specific time and a specific destination via the mobile applications "Uber" and "Carrem". The drivers are employees of a transport company domiciled in Dubai (there are no Uber or Careem private drivers).
Expect between $11.30 and $22.60 on average for a trip in Dubai. This can vary depending on the service offered (group transportation, luxury car...)
Of course, don't forget that your hotel in Dubai can offer free shuttles that will take you to various tourist sites in Dubai, as well as to the beach or shopping malls!