Riding a taxi is the best way to move around Dubai especially if your destination or departing point is not close to any Metro or bus station.
Taxi charges in Dubai are cheaper compared to charges in most major metropolitan centres outside UAE. Taxi drivers wear a uniform, are courteous, knowledgeable and most of them speak passable English.
Taxis are managed by the Dubai Taxi Corporation, a subsidiary to RTA. Several companies though operate their own taxi fleets under a franchise agreement with Dubai Taxi Corporation.
All authorized taxis have a cream body paint and a fare-metre. The roof colour differs by company.
Taxis are available for hire at all airport terminals and major shopping malls. You can also find taxis at numerous official taxi ranks located all around Dubai or hail them in the street.
You can arrange for a pick-up by dialling 04-2080808 in Dubai or by texting to 4774 (an Etisalat connected phone needed for the latter). From September 2019 Dubai Roads and Transportation Authority has officially launched a new way to book a Hala taxi via Careem mobile application, which makes the booking process much easier.
There are ordinary taxis, airport taxis, special need taxis, ladies and family taxis and Hatta taxis.
Fares vary according to the category. Toll charges (Salik) are added every time the taxi crosses a toll gate.
Uber is a licensed technology company that connects cab riders to drivers via its own smartphone application. In UAE, Uber has partnered with local companies and given them access to its technology booking platform. The licensee companies operate their own car fleets and employ fully licensed drivers to provide commercial transportation.
Careem is a Dubai based international company. It was founded in 2012 and its operation principle is similar to Uber’s. Careem currently operates in 25 cities in 10 countries, mainly in Middle East and Northern Africa.