In Dubai, at some point or another you are going to need to hail a ride to get to where you need to go. Dubai is truly a taxi city and usually taxis are readily available. The government licensed taxis are cream colored and are run by Dubai Taxi Corporation. These vehicles are metered and air conditioned and are relatively inexpensive. They are also the most comfortable and the quickest way to roam the city, with the exception being the traffic during busy hours. You can hail a taxi either on the road, by calling or by lining up at designated taxi areas in malls and public places. There are also private taxis that you will see that have different colored roofs, these are taxis are also licensed and are a viable choice.
The starting fare for a taxi from 6 in the morning to 9:59 in the evening is 5 dhs. From 10 in the evening to 5:59 in the morning, the starting fare goes up to 5.50 dhs. The minimum fare per ride is 12 dhs and the going rate for every 292 metres is 0.50 dhs. If you have a trip that begins at the airport they have a flag fall of about 25 dhs and a per kilometer charge of 1.75 dhs. For tipping, you can either tip them 5 dhs or 10 dhs, or you can simply round the fare up. It is important to note that you carry smaller bills if you’re travelling because some drivers may not have enough on them to break larger amounts. If you don’t carry notes around, taxis are equipped with terminals for credit card payments.
Destinations are given a little bit differently to taxi drivers in Dubai, instead of just a street address, directions and destinations are given by mentioning a landmark that is close by. If you happen to be going to a place of residence of either a friend or relative, the best way to get there is to have your friend or relative give the taxi driver directions over the phone. If a driver is new and doesn’t not have a GPS, you may have to Google maps or other navigation apps on your phone to show them the directions to your destination.
In Dubai, it is acceptable for a woman to be by themselves in a taxi after sunset. However, it is still best to sit in the back seat to avoid attracting unsolicited attention. Be sure to use street smarts when travelling in taxis and your past experiences to help with any situations that may arise in the taxi. If you want to avoid any feelings of uneasiness, you can call and book a pink-roofed taxi. Pink-roofed cabs will have a female driver.
Taxis are having more competition from ride-hailing services, such as the Careem or Uber. There is little difference, cost-wise between these two ride based apps and taxis. However, Careem and Uber usually have nicer cars and they offer amenities, such as free water and chargers and the drivers are more likely to know directions without your help.
It’s really up to your personal preferences when choosing whether to use a taxi or a ride hailing app, but either way, they are generally inexpensive, comfortable and the fastest way to get around Dubai.