Dubai is not a particularly pedestrian-friendly city. Taxis are a good way to travel around the city if your destination/departure point is not near a Metro stop.
Taxis fares are cheap when compared to western cities (partly due to low petrol and fuel prices). Drivers are usually pretty courteous and most have reasonable English.
There are essentially three choices of taxi in Dubai:
- Dubai Taxi Corporation – Official taxis
- Uber – Multinational taxi and transport company
- Careem – Dubai-based taxi and transport company (purchased by Uber in 2019)
Fare Comparison – All Taxi Services (Dubai Taxi Corporation v Careem v Uber)
The easiest way to find out how much a taxi ride will cost is to install the RTA’s S’hail mobile app.
Enter your starting point and destination and the app will give approximate fares for all taxi services (including Careem and Uber). Fares and journey times for other modes of transport (Dubai Metro, buses etc.) are also given.
The Dubai Taxi Corporation also has a standalone app that gives fares for its services only. Download it here.
Uber’s standalone app can be downloaded here.
Careem’s standalone app can be downloaded here.
If you don’t want to install apps, all services also offer web-based taxi fare calculators:
Dubai Taxi Corporation web based fare calculator can be found here.
Uber’s fares can be estimated here.
Careem has a fare estimation tool here.
As a general rule, Dubai Taxi Corporation fares are generally cheaper than Careem and Uber. However, there are many factors that can affect the fare (surge pricing, vehicle type chosen, vehicle type availability, traffic conditions etc.). The S’hail app is the best way to easily compare prices for any given journey.
Dubai Taxi Corporation
The Dubai Taxi Corporation is a subsidiary of the Dubai Government Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). It operates official taxis in Dubai. The total fleet comprises over 10,000 vehicles (although taxi operations are franchised out to other companies).
All these official taxis have cream coloured bodywork. The roof colours differ by company. Dubai Taxi Corporation vehicles (red coloured roofs) make up around half of the total fleet.
|Dubai Taxi Corporation||Red|
Dubai Taxi Corporation – Fares
Fares for Dubai Taxi Corporation vehicles are regulated and priced according to the reading on the meter. The minimum fare is 12 AED.
Fares for a standard taxi are shown in the table below. Rates for vans, ladies taxis, and special needs vehicles differ.
These rates also apply to the franchises (Arabia Taxi, Cars Taxi etc.)
|Fare||Day 06:00 – 22:00||Night 22:00 – 06:00|
|Starting fare – street pickup||5 AED||5.5 AED|
|Starting fare – booked||10 AED||12 AED|
|Meter fare – charge per km||1.82 AED / km||1.82 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.
Fares from Dubai International Airport are slightly higher. The starting fare is 25 AED. The meter fare is 1.96 AED / km.
If the meter isn’t turned on then the ride should be free.
Fares can be paid in cash, by credit card, Nol card, or by smartphone (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay).
Dubai Taxi Corporation – Telephone Booking Number
To book a Dubai Taxi Corporation/RTA vehicle by phone call the number 04 2080808.
Dubai Taxi Corporation – Taxi Ranks
In addition to online and phone bookings, taxis can also be hailed in the street or hired from a taxi rank.
There are taxi ranks at all terminals at Dubai International Airport. There is no need to book in advance.
Dubai Taxi Booking Apps
Dubai Taxi Corporation, Uber, and Careem all have apps for online bookings.
The Dubai Taxi Corporation app can be downloaded here.
Uber’s app can be downloaded here.
Careem’s app can be downloaded here.
RTA’s S’hail app offers fare comparisons and bookings for all three services.