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.
Taxi ranks can also be found at shopping malls, Dubai Metro stations, hotels, and bus stations.
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.
Comments and Additional Information
I think booking via DTC app is the cheapest. The base tariff, per kilometre fare and per minute fare are all cheaper than Careem or Uber. There are no surge charges also. The problem with booking Careem and Uber is that sometimes during rush hours you end up paying double. So I prefer DTC over the other two.
Today dated 4th July 2019, I rode a taxi from Al Maktoum Street Deira 11:53pm to Karama, past 12a.m. the driver dropped me and as soon as I closed the door and went to compartment at the back to pick up my things he just left and I run in the middle of the street and waving my hands to let him stop but, didn’t stop. So much worried now with my things. His plate number is DA550. I made a complain too but, it’s not just I thought that they can call the taxi while he is still in the vicinity. They just took all the details of my complain and instead of taking the number of the taxi and called him while nobody else picked up my things. Hope they are honest to return it. The driver keep on talking to his phone on headset. So his concentration is not to his passenger. Sorry, but so much disappointed today.?
Will I be able to get an infant car seat when ordering a taxi in Dubai? Arriving from New Zealand.
Need to know the taxi rate from Dubail International airport to the Oberoi hotel at Dubai. We are family of 4, Two Adults and two kids (ages 14-8). We will have total of 8 checked in bags plus 4 carry on bags. We are looking for a mid size SUV or a car that can fit all of us and luggage to and from Airport. Please give me the your rate and what type of car will you provide us.
We lost our fotos and a gift (Burj Khalifa Lego) for our son in a Taxi. We was with a pakistani who comes form a region pershawa close to Afganistan.
We took the taxi from Burj Khalifa to Four Seasons Hotel (Nusr‘et).
Maybe you can help us. We stay at the Nikki Beach Hotel. Thank you.
I took a taxi from Dubai mall to the airport last night. I had been told the charge should cost about dh 50. The driver charged me dh 120 without turning the meter on. I forgot to take the driver platw or registration. How can I file a complaint?
How many maximum persons are allowed in Dubai Cab
4 person in normal cab and 7 person in big cab.
Are your taxi fare rates per person or per taxi? Does a taxi for 4 people cost the same as a taxi for 1 person on same journey? is the fare exactly what is displayed on the meter?
Staying at the crowne plaza hotel, festival city. Took a red roof taxi to dragon mart malland cost me 30 uae. On the way back I took a blue roof taxi and cost me over 50 figure that.
Do not use if you don’t drive and you need a taxi that will be on time to pick up your kids from school. I have only been here 6 weeks and have been late and let down time and again. The drivers are all good. The system is the problem. Complete let down. I have booked, texted and had to keep ringing to see if one is coming. Completely rubbish.
I use the taxis on a regular basis, and have never been taken the “long” route. When I am not using a taxi, I travel with my husband, so I know the routes. All the meters in all the taxis are working. I have never been refused a short trip.
When I went to Dubai back in 2007, it was very easy to hail a cab. Also, being quite familiar with the city map prevented any driver from taking advantage of me and taking the long route to my destination. But I think the taxi fares in Dubai should be reduced by at least 15%. They don’t have a really good public transit system and people are left with no choice but to take taxis everywhere they go. But one thing I would surely like to see in Dubai is the speed restrictions enforced. Some of these drivers cruise at 120+ kph and that makes me very nervous. But one thing is for sure, I would love to drive at rocket speed on the desert roads, well over 150 kph if the Camry (typical taxi) could handle it.
They don’t have good public transit system… really?? check again.
If 120+ makes you nervous than 150 is not for you even in desert road. By the way Camry can handle it.. can you?
Dubai has good taxi system but I agree some of the drivers would lie and state the meter is not working. If that is the case just leave the taxi and get a new one.
I found every time I travelled in a Dubai taxi as a single female I was taken the long way and usually paid 50% more than when I travelled with a male.
I was in Dubai in January 2009. Taxis are relatively cheap but 90% of the drivers are on their mobile phones while driving you. They drive very fast and I once had a driver who combed his beard for the most part of the trip. One taxi driver picked me up from the Deira City Center and expected me to pay 10 dirham more than the meter read, lying to me that his metre was broken. But I don’t agree that taxi’s are hard to come by. I found one any time I wanted one!
From December 2 2008 taxis will be exempt from the Salik road tolls.
It’s very easy to watch the taxis passing by but comparatively hard to hire one. Regarding the bus, it’s either too much crowded and won’t let you in or late. i.e. if it’s a ride of about half an hour, it can take an hour and half or more because of traffic.
It’s a shame that some drivers are rude to passengers. The worse thing is that even if you book a taxi sometimes they don’t even turn up.
The standard of driving in dubai is the worst I have ever experienced, sickeningly poor, a state of affairs presumably bred by the contrast of arrogance and extreme wealth with poverty and apathy.
It frequently took me over an hour to hail a taxi, to then sit in a jam for several more, each day. When trying to hire a car I was told that my UK driving license was inappropriate, a laughable outrage! If I return to dubai, it will be at the head of a massive armoured column that I shall run up and down the Sheikh Zayed road, crushing all those who stand in my way, Range Rovers and illegitimate taxis alike, whilst broadcasting instructional audiotapes on the principles of defensive driving at 160 decibels.
My experience with taxi drivers within heavy traffic: I tell him ‘its completely up to you how you make the target, but please don`t exceed my 20 (or other) minutes limit’. Most drivers shout or laugh but then they drive like a private car owner: small uncrowded streets, outlying but fast roads etc. strictly avoiding the time costing jam areas. The tour is often under the ´normal´ fee, even if I calculated with the fair drivers extra tip.
It is now virtually impossible to get a taxi in Deira. The traffic jams here mean that no drivers want to work here. Be prepared for a long wait!
The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority has announced that all new taxis in Dubai will be fitted with a device to prevent them travelling at more than 120 km/h. The move comes amongst increasing concern from both residents and tourists that taxi drivers are placing lives in danger by driving too fast. An awareness campaign reminding taxi drivers of the 120 km/h speed limit has also been launched.
Taxi drivers in Dubai drive too fast and tailgate. Just tell them to slow down and most will oblige.
With all the traffic jams, many taxi drivers are now refusing to take people on short trips through busy areas.
It’s much cheaper to get a taxi from the airport than booking a hotel transfer beforehand (unless of course it’s free!)