Official taxis in Dubai
How do you recognize an official taxi in Dubai?
Dubai is known for its excellent metro network, yet it may happen that you have to take a taxi to get to your destination. As in all major cities you have different taxis. On the one hand you have the official taxis that all charge the same rate, on the other hand you have private taxi companies that bring you to your destination at a higher rate.
The official taxis are controlled by the government and can be recognized by the cream color and a random color on the roof. The color of the roof determines for which company the taxi drives. For example, taxis with a red roof are the most common and also the largest company.
In total, more than 10,000 taxis are driving around in Dubai.
All cream taxis with a colored roof use the same rate for a journey
Dubai Taxi Corporation subsidiary of RTA
Dubai Taxi Corporation is a subsidiary of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and therefore the largest player in Dubai’s taxi operations. In total they have more than 5,000 vehicles in-house.
More than 12,000 drivers work to make it run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All taxis are well maintained and have air conditioning that is really necessary during the hot summer months.
With this huge fleet you can see these taxis most often in the streets of Dubai.
Private taxi companies in Dubai
These private companies mainly work for Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) and are strictly controlled by the government. As a result, the vehicles are all well maintained and they all charge the same price as Dubai Taxi Corporation for a ride.
This company has been operating for the government since 2000 and has more than 5,000 cars in their fleet. All Cars taxis can be recognized by the cream color and the blue roof.
National Taxi started in the year 2000 with 50 taxis. In the meantime, the fleet has grown to almost 2,000 taxis, half of which are hybrid cars. You can recognize these taxis by the yellow roof.
Arabia Taxi has been operating in Dubai since 2005. With a fleet of nearly 1,000 taxis, this is a major player in the taxi business in Dubai. You can recognize them by the green-colored roof.
Oneroad is a taxi company that is in Chinese hands. The company is believed to have more than 2,000 cars in Dubai. At Oneroad they are investing very hard in new energy-efficient taxis. These half Chinese taxis have a brown roof.
This is a smaller player among the larger taxi companies in Dubai. They have 35 taxis but have an additional 400 available through other companies. You come across these in lesser sizes and have a purple-colored roof.
Metro Taxi is also a smaller company and does not even have its own website. But that’s why it’s not bad to be fed by this taxi company in Dubai. The top of the taxis can be recognized by the orange color.
Ladies and family taxi
In Dubai you can sometimes come across a taxi with a pink roof.
This is not a separate taxi company but a special taxi that can only be taken by women with or without children.
The drivers of these taxis are also women. These can be used by women of all nationalities and can be ordered via the Dubai Taxi Corporation website. This service is available 24/7 and available throughout Dubai.
How to get a taxi in Dubai?
Hail a taxi
With more than 10,000 taxis in Dubai, there is no lack of transportation for tourists. You will see this in abundance in the streets.
There are hundreds of places where you can find them such as hotels, shopping malls, sights and other attractions.
Sometimes it can happen that there is not immediately a location nearby. Then you can hail a taxi on the street.
In all major cities you can find waiting taxis almost everywhere in certain places, taxi ranks.
These taxi ranks can be found at major attractions, hotels, airports, shopping centers, metro stations, …
Book a taxi
It is also possible to call a taxi and have it delivered to a specific location. For this service you pay a little more, 4 AED ($ 1) to be exact.
If you are staying in a hotel where there is no taxi stand nearby, you can also have a taxi called by reception, but always make sure you ask for an official taxi and not a private one.
After a considerable test period it is possible to book a taxi via the Careem app.
You can simply indicate where the taxi should come to get you. You can also view the estimated waiting time, travel time and costs for this ride in advance. More info about this app later in the article.
Fares & rates for a taxi in Dubai
As mentioned earlier in this article the prices and fares are all the same. Regardless of whether it is the official Dubai Taxi Corporation or a private taxi company. The only condition is that they have a cream-colored body and a colored roof. You can also always find a sticker on the window that drives the taxi as a subcontract for the RTA.
Is it expensive to take a taxi in Dubai?
No not at all! It is even much cheaper than in other world cities.
All these prices have been verified and confirmed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai! Last update January 2021.
When you take a taxi you always leave at a starting rate. However, there are different rates, depending on whether or not you have booked the taxi or what time you take it.
Regular taxi (including van) pickup
This rate is valid when you take a cab at a taxi rank or a road pickup.
6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
11 p.m. – 6 a.m.
Regular taxi (including van) booked
These rates are valid when you book a taxi at a specific location.
6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
11 p.m. – 6 a.m.
Salik toll gates
If passing through Salik toll gates, the customer will afford paying the toll required. In case you are unwilling to pass through Salik toll gates, please inform the taxi driver of alternative routes. The average price of a Salik toll gate is 4 AED.
For more information you can visit this Salik toll gates page of the RTA.
- There is a fixed starting rate of 12 AED on Thursdays and Fridays and during peak hours. (peak hours are from 7 a.m. – 10 a.m. & 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
- The minimum total fare is 12 AED.
- When the taxi has to wait you pay 0.5 AED per minute.
- An extra charge of 20 AED applies when passing through Sharjah emirate.
Airport taxi in Dubai
If you arrive at Dubai International Airport (DXB) or Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC, Dubai World Central) there is a fixed starting rate. For a regular taxi you pay 20 AED.
All other taxi services, such as a Female taxi or for disabled persons, the starting rate is 25 AED.
You also pay 1.96 AED / km.
Taxi for a day in Dubai
In some cases you may want to explore different parts where you stay for a while.
Then it is possible to rent a regular Dubai taxi for 6 or 12 hours. The taxi will remain fully available for you during that time. For this service there is a fixed rate of 500 AED for 6 hours and 800 AED for 12 hours.
The condition is that you stay within Dubai.
Most taxi drivers in Dubai are not shy about driving fast, the majority have a heavy foot.
We could experience this ourselves. On the motorway, Sheikh Zayed Road, the taxis drive terribly short of one another. They run less than 5 meters apart and this at a speed of more than 100 km / h! The driving behavior is certainly not boring in Dubai. For example, we were in a taxi en route to Dubai Marina and the taxi driver made a maneuver from section 1 to section 8 at less than 400 meters, and this on a busy Sheikh Zayed Road. Now you will say he had seen the exit too late, no, this is the most normal thing.
Afterwards we always said when boarding a taxi that we are not a fan of fast driving and that had a good effect.
Taxi from Dubai to Abu Dhabi or vica versa
If you are in Dubai for a longer time, it might be a good idea to visit Abu Dhabi.
For example, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a major draw in Abu Dhabi. It is also possible that with Ethiad Airways you land in Abu Dhabi and you want a transfer to Dubai.
This is all possible with the regular Dubai taxi.
The distance between the 2 emirates is approximately 150km and with the taxi you can count on a travel time of 1.5 hours to 2 hours.
Depending on the exact departure and end location, the average price for this ride is between 250 and 300 AED.
Taxi for disabled people
The RTA in Dubai also has special vans for disabled people. These are equipped with every comfort and have a lift for wheelchair users.
The price for this service can be slightly more expensive than a regular taxi ride. For more info you can go to the page, special needs taxi of the RTA.
It is also useful to know that disabled people receive a 50% discount on a regular taxi in Dubai (no wheelchair users).
Book a Dubai taxi with the Careem app
Since the end of 2019 it is possible to book a taxi via the Careem app.
This app is extremely user-friendly to use. This way you can indicate where you want the taxi to go. Then you get the time the taxi needs to get to your departure point.
If you link a credit card to this, it is possible to pay via the app. It is also possible to pay the ride in cash to the driver.
It is also very useful to see in advance how much you will cost a ride. This way you can determine whether it is worth taking the cheaper metro or not.
Download Careem app
Extra info & tips to take a taxi in Dubai
Extra info & tips that can come in handy for you to travel carefree and prepared with the taxi in Dubai.
The weather in Dubai during the summer period is not exactly for people who don’t like the sauna. It can rise above 40 degrees in the shade.
However, this does not bother you in Dubai’s taxis, almost all taxis are equipped with air conditioning.
A taxi driver is usually happy with a tip, this is everywhere in the world. In Dubai you tip as much as you want. We always round up and gave the driver a friendly thank you with a smile.
For example, we had to pay 73 AED and gave 80 AED, this tip costs less than 2 dollars. View more information about money and currency in Dubai.
Book taxi by hotel
Sometimes you want a taxi and ask your hotel reception if they can call one. You can say that you want a regular taxi and not a from a private company.
These are usually equipped with more luxury such as leather interior but at the same time a lot more expensive.
If you plan to travel a lot in Dubai by taxi, it is best to take a name tag with the address of your hotel on it.
Dubai has a huge number of hotels and there may be some that the taxi driver himself does not know either.
It is best to request a name card for this at the reception of your hotel.
Faq & conclusion
When leaving the building, there are rows of sufficient taxis at each terminal. It is not necessary to book a taxi in advance.
No not at all! It is even much cheaper than in other world cities.
The average price per kilometer is approximately 2 AED per kilometer. However, there is still a starting rate, this information can be found at the beginning of this article.
Yes, it is mandatory to transport a baby in a child seat. This is available for almost every taxi if required.
Using the official taxi is highly recommended. They are well maintained and all equipped with every comfort. The prices are also cheap for a world city.
The only downside is that the drivers can sometimes drive very fast, but you can solve this by reporting that you would rather not.
Good luck with taking a taxi in Dubai!