Salik road toll

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Salik road toll

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:24

Salik information on DubaiFAQs.com has summary of news, procedure to follow to apply for Salik tags, and anything else you need to know.
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Mattar Al Tayer interview about Salik

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:24

Mattar Al Tayer is the boss of the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai (RTA), which is in charge of the new Salik road toll system. The Gulf News today (19 June 2007) had an article about Salik with a bunch of useful comments from Mr Al Tayer, who wanted to remind all the whiners that they are not traffic experts. He was also showing no mercy towards tourists, but was trying to solve the problem of where motorcycles should put their Salik tags.

He dismissed criticism by the public saying that "people are not traffic experts" and the RTA officials are responsible for developing the infrastructure.

He said all visitors, including tourists from the Gulf and other emirates, will have to buy Salik tags. However, if tourists wish to rent a car, the car will already have the tag. The tourist will have to pay the cost to the car rental agency.

"Motorbikes are not exempt from the toll. However, those with a windshield can put the tag on it. As for the others we are still studying how to overcome the problem," Al Tayer said.
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Salik toll charges

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:25

The Khaleej Times also had an article today (19 June 2007) with comments from the same Mr Al Tayer saying:
- there is a 2 day grace period before a fine is imposed
- special needs institution vehicles would be exempted from Salik tolls
- maximum toll amount per day for each motorist will be 24 dhs
- motorcyclists without windscreens will have toll charges deducted from their account by reading their numberplate as they pass through.

The Khaleej Times also said that military & police vehicles, ambulances, school and college buses, and public buses are exempted from the Salik toll, but not taxis or rental cars. Rest of the article was mostly a repeat of the information from Salik.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the RTA Board of Executive Directors, said, “There might be cases when people run out of balance in their accounts. They are bound to be fined while passing through a Salik gate. But we will give them two working days to recharge. If they do it, they will be exempted from the fine. But if they don’t recharge, they will have to pay up.”

“Also, the personal vehicles of individuals with special needs are exempt from the toll. But then they will have to provide a certificate from an accredited medical institution.

If a person has got more than one car, he can fill one application form for the number of cars he has. But then each car will have a Salik card. The maximum limit of the toll fees will be Dh24 a day. Once the motorists reach the amount, they can have a free crossing for the rest of the day,” said Al Tayer.

The official said the toll system is also applicable to motorbikes and other two wheelers. “The Salik card should be pasted in the windshield off the bike if it has got one. If a bike does not have a windshield, we will process the same through the registration number of the bike,” he added.
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Salik tolls and rental cars

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:34

Gulf News 23 June 2007 had an article about Salik tolls and rental car companies, and their suffering. Which they will kindly pass on to their customers (with additional fees)...

Rajesh Arora, manager of Thrifty Car Rental, said they are buying Salik tags for short term customers, but companies leasing their cars will have the choice to purchase it or not.

"But if we do provide the tags then customers will be charged an administrative fee, which would be a marginal one to cover the administrative costs," he said, noting that it would also be their responsibility to maintain the Salik account at the minimum of Dh20.

Sunil Kumar, operations manager at Hertz Rent A Car, ...

... Short-term rental vehicles will only be charged for the times they pass the toll gate, according to Kumar. Vehicles on a long-term lease will be charged an extra 10 per cent when passing the toll gate, amounting to Dh4.40 for each entry.
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Police official criticises Salik

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:35

The Director of the Dubai Police General Department of Traffic had a few words to say about Salik in a Gulf News article from 18 May 2007. And they weren't very kind words. Brigadier Mohammad Saif Al Zafein sounded unhappy about not being consulted by the RTA ...

Brigadier Mohammad Saif Al Zafein ...

... "The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) officials didn't approach the traffic department for consultation or advice in our specialty, which is road safety and traffic flow. We learnt about the toll system from the media," he said.

"Many roads in Dubai are under construction and many others being reconstructed, the metro needs sometime to be ready, more interchanges are needed - so how can the RTA start the road toll system without easing traffic [flow] and offering alternative roads for the public," wondered Brigadier Al Zafein.

"Al Khail, Emirate, Al Wasl, Jumeirah and Al Safouh roads will face heavy traffic and roads will be congested for long hours," said Brigadier Al Zafein.
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Salik delay

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:36

Zawya Dow Jones reported that the Salik road toll launch may be delayed. But several reports then quoted the RTA saying there would be no delay (Arabian Business, 7 Days, Emirates Today, Khaleej Times) and that the ZDJ report was just a rumour.

Sounds like there's some confusion around with conflicting statements attributed to the RTA. The anonymous spokesperson ("she" says ZDJ) could be in a spot of bother. The RTA boss says there was no such meeting, yet ZDJ says there was. ZDJ are a respected news organisation. It would be unusual for them to fabricate something, as claimed by the RTA boss.

"The RTA is meeting to confirm July 1 as the start date or to chose another date when it will start," an RTA spokesperson told Zawya Dow Jones Sunday.

"The authority has received many points of view and suggestions about the new toll so it is taking these into consideration," she added.

And then a subsequent article on the same day said the meeting decided to go ahead with start date as scheduled...
Maitha Bin Adai, a senior RTA official, said that toll gates are "scheduled to be activated July 1"

Senior officials from the authority held a meeting Sunday morning to discuss whether to delay introducing the toll following petitions by opponents to the scheme and technical issues with installing Salik tags, spokespeople for the authority told Zawya Dow Jones earlier Sunday.

RTA Chairman Mattar Al Tayer denied in a report on the Gulf News Web site Sunday that the authority had ever considered delaying the toll scheme or holding a meeting to discuss a potential postponement in response to public feedback.

And a article the next day in the Gulf News (25 June 2007) had Mattar Al Tayer of the RTA saying the reports of meetings and delays were rubbish...
"Salik is on track as announced," Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA told Gulf News.

Al Tayer described the report as "fabricated and baseless".

"This kind of news would obviously be announced by us. However, there is nothing of this sort," he told Gulf News.
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Salik charges from rental car companies

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:39

Arabian Business had an article today (27 June 2007) saying that rental car companies could make a nice profit out of the Salik toll charges, due to additional "administrative" fees (Arabian Business said "massive"). Unsurprisingly, the rental car firms said the extra charges really were for administration.

But Avis Car Rentals has said it is charging an additional AED1 as part of the admin fees for its rental car customers - a massive 25% extra on the charge levied by the RTA.

"Our rented car customers will be charged AED5 each time they cross the toll, while leased car customers will be charged 10% extra at the end of each month on top of their regular toll charges," Avis spokesperson Ahmed Younes told ArabianBusiness.com.

A spokesperson at Hertz told ArabianBusiness.com that the company will provide tags for all cars but that it will charge the 10% fee added to toll charges as well.

"It's like any other industry. The extra charge will cover setting up a new department to monitor the accounts, employing new staff, and so on," the spokesperson said.
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Salik alternative routes

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:39

XPRESS4ME (the new Gulf News weekly supplement) has a handy guide to avoiding the Salik Toll Gates, should you be interested in saving a few dhs - although of course there's the potential extra time and petrol to consider.

Published: June 28, 2007
Avoiding The Salik Road Toll
Text and graphic by Kahlil A. De Pio

Five alternative (and cheaper) routes to get to Dubai Media City from Deira, Rashidiya and Sharjah.

Image

1. Starting off from the Deira and Hor Al Anz area, this route will take you through Shindagha tunnel, passing through Al Mina and ending up in Al Diyafah. At this point, you can either take Al Wasl Road or Jumeirah Beach road. This route will take you straight to Dubai Marina avoiding the Salik toll gate, or you can take Al Diyafah Road to get onto Shaikh Zayed Road.

2. Coming from Sharjah on the Dubai-Sharjah highway, this route will take you to Maktoum Bridge by way of Al Ittihad, direct to Shaikh Zayed Road. Alternatively, you could take the floating bridge which will connect you through Oud Metha and rejoin Shaikh Zayed Road. You can then take a right straight to Madinat Jumeirah on the fourth interchange. (The floating bridge will be complete in July.)

3. Coming from Sharjah by way of Al Qusais, you take the Dubai Airport Tunnel and go straight through Festival City and over Business Bay Bridge. This will take you to Zabeel Road and connects you to Shaikh Zayed Road at the first interchange. You can take a right at the fourth interchange to Madinat Jumeirah or alternatively, you can take the third interchange and get onto Al Wasl Road.

4. The third alternative route coming from Sharjah is by Emirates Road, all the way through until you get to the Arabian Ranches, after which you take the next right straight to Al Barsha. Just behind the Mall of the Emirates, you can turn left to Al Mafraq Road, that links up to Shaikh Zayed Road, allowing you to avoid both Salik toll gates.

5. From the areas of Mirdiff and Al Rashidiya, one can take a short ride on Emirates road and turn right to Ras Al Khor road and join Shaikh Zayed Road via the third or fourth interchange. You can either take Shaikh Zayed Road or go across to Al Wasl Road or onto Jumeirah Beach Road.
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Salik road toll profitable for taxi drivers

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:40

The daily maximum charge on any vehicle going through Salik toll gates is 24 dhs so what happens to taxis after the first 6 trips through Salik gates (each time costs 4 dhs)? Taxis look like they'll be able to profit nicely from this, by charging customers an additional 4 dhs for each pass through Salik. Will it be the drivers or the company that get the extra cash? Emirates Today (28 June 2007) had an article about it, and interviewed one taxi company who said they won't be charging extra Salik toll fees. Does anyone believe that?

But taxi drivers will charge passengers Dh4 every time they pass through. And if the cab has already done so six times the company will not have to hand over the extra cash to the authorities.

One privately owned operator is trying to solve the problem so that passengers do not lose out. A spokesman said the company was setting up a system under which only the first six passengers of the day who passed the gates would have to pay the charge.

“No one is looking at making Dh4 profit,” he said.
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Salik road toll tags for rental car companies

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:42

Emirates Today had a story (29 June 2007) about rental car companies struggling to get their cars ready for the start of the Salik road tolls. Partly due to not getting the thousands of Salik tags they need with sufficient time to install them. The RTA helpfully said it was the fault of the rental car companies...
For some companies, such as Hertz UAE, the wait was over yesterday as they received the tags for their 5,500 vehicles. Budget Rent A Car got its 3,500 tags at 2.30pm yesterday, while Diamondlease, which has a fleet of 6,000 vehicles, was handed the stickers after 5pm.

An executive from Thrifty Car Rental said the company will receive its tags tomorrow, while another major leasing company will most likely have to wait until the beginning of next week.

A spokesperson for the Roads and Transport Authority said that companies who are facing delays have applied incorrectly.
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Salik tags for motorcyclists

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:42

There was a clarification of where to put Salik tags on motorbikes in the Gulf News 28 June 2007 (with the appropriate heading of "Read instructions before fixing Salik tag"). Now how are motorcyclists supposed to make sense of the instructions from Mr Al Marzouqi? It sounds like a typical Dubai instruction though. Do procedure A (put it on the windscreen). If you can't do procedure A, then do it the normal way (put it on the windscreen) ... but if the normal way isn't possible :? ... then follow the instructions for procedure A (put it on the ... yes, you got it). Next please ...

Actually, I suppose I'm being deliberately stupid - motorcyclists should "subscribe" if no windscreen, meaning they should buy a Salik tag but not stick it on the bike.

Salah Mohammad Al Marzouqi, Deputy Director of the Traffic Department and Intelligent Traffic Systems' Manager, said motorcycles are not exempt from the toll fees. Motorcyclists should apply the tags to the motorcycle's front windshield if there is one. If not, they should subscribe in the same way as other motorists. Cameras on the toll gates will scan the bike's registration number and deduct the fees accordingly.

And a list of the cars with special installation instructions from the same Gulf News report:

Image
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Salik tags at ADNOC stations

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:45

Good news for Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah residents. Now you can get your Salik road toll tags and stickers at ADNOC FOD petrol stations (the blue colored ones) also according to a press release from the RTA dated 30 June 2007, except it doesn't say from which date the Salik tags will be available ...

... Roads and Transport Authority(RTA) signed an agreement with ADNOC-FOD, for providing the RTA with commercial services support for the new toll system ... ADNOC FOD filling stations in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and Northern emirates will facilitate this arrangement.
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Dubai traffic will flow smoothly by 2009

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:46

There's a report in the Gulf News 20 October 2006 (an old article) with the headline that "Dubai traffic will be smooth within three years" (which implies by October 2009), some numbers about the Dubai road network, and an expected increase of 500 km of roads by 2020 (I was trying to find some information on the RTA budget).

"The RTA takes the responsibility to combat traffic congestion in Dubai within three years and we have already put a strategic plan to develop road networks and public transportation in Dubai up till year 2020," according to Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA
"We have been discussing with companies the possibility of having flexible working hours as it will decrease the traffic flow by 30 per cent," according to Mohammad Obaid Al Mulla, CEO of Dubai Public Transport Agency at the RTA

Dubai traffic in numbers

350,000 vehicle trips per hour in Dubai
15 minute delay in each 25 minute trip during rush hour
6 hours of rush hour traffic per working day (250 days per year)
AED 4.6 billion annual economic cost in Dubai due to traffic congestion
541 cars per 1,000 residents in Dubai
1.57 million cars expected by 2010
2.6 million cars expected by 2020
500km of new roads to be added to the Dubai road network
96 new bridges to be added
AED 44 billion is what the RTA expects to spend on new road projects
AED 22 billion to be spent on expansion of Shaikh Zayed Road, the Parallel Roads, Al Khail Road, Emirates Road, and the Outer Bypass Road
2 new north to south roads under construction - Nad Al Hamer and Academic City roads with 30 interchanges, total length 115 km, and estimated cost of AED 7.9 billion
AED 1.7 billion to be spent on improving 200 km of another 15 main roads.

Proposals under consideration to reduce traffic congestion in Dubai include

ban on importation of old cars
ban on registration of old cars
increasing car registration fees
new traffic rules to improve traffic flow in Dubai
flexible working hours

Factors contributing to the increase in congestion

  • Insufficient road network capacity: 61%
  • Accidents: 16%
  • Events and festivals: 9%
  • Poor driving behaviour: 8%
  • Road work and detours: 5%
  • Bad weather conditions: 1%
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First Salik violator

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:49

Salik goes live, and the Gulf News carries a report of the first violator. His comment about it possibly taking up to 10 days for the Salik tag to be registered is at odds with previous information from the RTA that Salik tags are active as soon as, or shortly after, you buy them. Whether or not you get an sms right away with your account number.

If the comment about it taking 10 days is correct, then does that mean all those who bought Salik tags within the last 9 days are going to collect fines?

First violator breezes through
By Sunita Menon, Staff Reporter
Published: July 01, 2007, 01:43

Dubai: At midnight, Mohammad Ahmed Hakim, 23, a UAE national in his Nissan Altima drove through the Salik toll gate on Grahoud towards Sharjah, minus the Salik Tag.

He became the first Salik violator not once but twice yesterday within a span of 20 minutes, but declined to be photographed.

"I was waiting on the roadside and exactly at midnight I drove under the toll gates. After I crossed the first toll gate I drove all the way to the Airport Road, came back on the other side of Garhoud and crossed the toll gate installed near the Grand Hyatt."

The Salik toll system went operational at midnight yesterday. Motorists were seen rushing to the Emarat petrol station located near the toll gate towards Sharjah at Garhoud to buy the Salik tag before the toll gate went operational. Violators will be fined Dh 100.

"I brought a Salik tag form the Emarat petrol station but was told by the counter staff that even if I get the tag pasted on my vehicle windscreen I will be fined. They told me that it could take 10 days before I get myself registered.

"That was it. I then decided to just violate the toll rule. My friends called me crazy but I just did it. I even waited to pay the fine at one of the toll gates installed towards Dubai on Garhoud, but no official showed up. Now I will have to find out whether I was fined and for how much.”

In reply to a query when he would make use of the Salik tag, Mohammad said: "From tomorrow.”

A couple of motorists who had made the last-minute purchase of the Salik tag said that they were hoping that the toll will be postponed.

They said that they would make use of the toll gates while going to work but would prefer taking alternative routes while heading back home in the evening.

"What needs to be seen is whether or not the toll system is successful in bringing down the traffic congestion on Dubai roads. If that is not happening, then the authorities should rethink on the efficacy of the toll system,"said Marwan Ali, a Palestinian resident of Sharjah.
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Salik chaos on the first day

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:50

This seems like a good summary of the first day of Salik - chaos on the roads for most by the sounds of it. From Emirates Today 02 July 2007.

SALIK CHAOS
VESELA TODOROVA SENIOR NEWS REPORTER

Fuming commuters faced lengthy journeys yesterday, as Dubai’s roads were plunged into chaos by the introduction of the Salik toll system.

The scheme caused massive traffic jams, as motorists took detours to avoid the paypoints at Al Garhoud Bridge and Intersection Four of Sheikh Zayed Road.

While traffic ran smoothly through the tollgates, The Greens, Al Barsha and Arabian Ranches residential communities were left paralysed by a huge influx of cars.

The situation on Al Maktoum Bridge was chaotic for most of the morning and early evening. The problem also affected Dubai International Airport, where flights were delayed by passengers arriving late for check-in.

An RTA spokesman, who requested anonymity, said: “The system will work; it just needs some time for people to get used to it. Motorists cannot judge the system in the first few hours, it needs at least five days. Even after surgery, doctors need 48 hours before they can confirm it has been a success.” At Dubai International Airport, there were flight delays throughout the afternoon and evening, as a result of the traffic jams. A source from the Dubai Civil Aviation Department said: “Passengers did not arrive in time. We expect more delays as people get used to Salik.” Many motorists were unable to buy Salik tags as outlets had sold out.

Among those who suffered was Nadim Nehme, 27, who usually takes just nine minutes to reach Dubai Media City from his Al Barsha home.

Yesterday, the account manager spent an hour and 50 minutes on the road.

For most of the time he was queuing behind a four-kilometre line of drivers waiting to get on to an interchange over Sheikh Zayed Road to avoid the Dh4 toll.

Arabian Ranches resident Maryam Cardew, 26, spent two hours and 15 minutes in traffic yesterday morning.The British teacher said: “It was terrible. Normally it takes me 25 to 45 minutes depending on the traffic lights.” Ironically, some motorists who previously avoided Sheikh Zayed Road were forced to use it, as traffic made it difficult to turn on to Al Khail Road. Arabian Ranches resident Caroline Whyatt, 34, made this choice after being stuck on Al Barsha flyover.

“I could have walked faster,” said website manager Whyatt. “It took me two hours to get to work – a journey that used to take between 15 and 20 minutes.” But not everyone was complaining about Salik.

Marketing manager Helen Sell, 40, who lives in Mirdiff, who usually takes an hour to reach her Dubai Media City office, decided to pay the toll.

“I used to avoid Al Garhoud Bridge fearing the traffic,” she said. “However, when I used it today, it took me less than 30 minutes to get to work. It was great – the best Dh8 I’ve ever spent.”
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Taxis don't have Salik tags

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:51

From the Khaleej Times 2 July 2007. Taxi companies without Salik tags? How silly is that? Sounds like the RTA are trying to blame the taxi companies for this as well (they blamed the rental car companies for Salik tag delivery delays last week).

So who are the RTA going to blame for the shortage of Salik packs at service stations around Dubai? The service stations? Surely the RTA can do a few sums ... 650,000 cars registered in Dubai so a supply of ah, well, maybe 650,000 Salik packs should do it right? The RTA proudly said they'd sold close to 200,000 Salik packs yesterday. And if outlets are running out, does that mean they only produced around a third of what might be needed?

Salik Gate: Taxi users left high and dry
By Joy Sengupta

DUBAI — Commuters relying heavily on taxis for travelling within Dubai and to neighbouring emirates were left waiting in the scorching heat for hours yesterday, as some cabbies refused to ply along the Garhoud and the Al Barsha tolled road sections for lack of Salik tags.

Moreover, with areas like Deira, Emirates Road, Airport Road and Jumeirah Road clogged due to heavy traffic, taxi drivers paid no heed to people trying to get to their offices located in these areas yesterday morning.

People living along Deira probably faced the worst problem. With virtually no taxis stopping to pick up passengers due to the clogged traffic at the Maktoum Bridge, many were forced to walk to their destinations.

Of the different taxi companies operating in the emirate, Dubai Taxi, Metro Taxi and Arabian Taxi had their Salik cards in place. However, National Taxi and Cars Taxi have yet to get Salik tags fitted on the windscreens of their vehicles. On an average, about 1,500 taxis belonging to these two companies are plying on the Dubai roads.

According to National Taxi drivers, the company had instructed them not to ply along the tolled road. “The company has clearly stated that if we move in this area, the fine will have to be paid by us. We know passengers are facing problems but we cannot do anything about it,” said a driver.

National Taxi and Cars Taxi officials said the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) had not provided them with the Salik cards till yesterday. “We are also worried about this situation. Talks are on and we should be getting these tags in a day or two. Till then, we have asked our drivers not to ply near the tolling spots.”

Cars Taxi company officials said, “We are intrigued why there is such a shortage of Salik tags and why the RTA failed to give us these tags before the Salik launch date. Hopefully, this problem would soon be sorted out.”

Meanwhile, officials of several Sharjah taxi companies pointed out a number of taxi companies had yet to furnish to the RTA list of their total number of taxis operating in the emirate.

But Saeed Diane, Operations Coordinator of Emirates Taxi said: “We have handed over a list of our vehicles to the RTA. They have assured us that the Salik tags would be sent to us within a couple of days.”
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Salik road toll to be waived at night?

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:53

The DTCM, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, had this press release on their website (dubaitourism.ae) yesterday with a comment that the RTA was considering not applying the Salik charge from 2200 to 0600. The RTA denied this report today in news from Arabian Business (see next post)...

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) officials briefed members of the Travel and Tourism Group about taxis and other transport-related issues at a meeting organized by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to discuss tourism industry concerns about RTA issues.

The meeting, held at the DTCM Head Office on Sunday (July 1), was addressed by senior RTA officials led by Mr. Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency. Also attending the meeting were Ms. Lina Makarem Dergham, DTCM Director Business Development and Ms. Afra Al Fahim, DTCM Deputy Director Business Development, among others.

They briefed the members of the group comprising of tour operators, rent a car firms, tourism companies, hotels and hotel apartments about the RTA initiatives for public transport services in the emirate.

It was disclosed that one of the requirements to license Car Rental Companies is to have a minimum of 20 luxury cars. Within two years Dubai would have over 1000 buses connecting Dubai .

The RTA is in the process of reducing taxies’ fuelling, cost and pollution. It was disclosed that city tour taxi would be in operation shortly in which RTA would have drivers for all nationalities with a comprehensible knowledge about Dubai events and location among other things and it would work on hourly basis.

The RTA presently has a total of five vans for special needs people.

About the International Driving License (IDL) and Temporary License, the industry felt that the local license was more reliable than the international one. They added that holders of a UAE license could drive in the US and UK using the license.

The RTA officials explained that other emirates do not accept visitors to drive with their local licenses. Hence, if a driver makes an accident outside Dubai, he would be taken to court for driving without a license. Moreover, the insurance would not cover the accident. Hence, the present system offered more protection to visitors and car rental firms at a license exchange fee of AED110 for certain nationalities listed on RTA website rta.ae. Other visitors could use their international license.

It was clarified that the IDL could later be obtained from the UAE Touring Club at the Airport, for outbound passengers only.

The RTA will contact Ministry of Interior asking that UAE law be amended to allow for reciprocal use of domestic license with certain countries. The RTA said it would consider empowering reputed car rental firms to issue temporary license for domestic license holders of approved nationalities.

The RTA is offering the exchange service at two shopping malls operating from 10 am to midnight.

The RTA rejected members’ suggestion that tourism and hotel establishments be charged a flat fee since this would not foster awareness to reduce congestion.

It was also disclosed that RTA was considering waiving the road toll between 10 pm and 6 am.

About the freelance safari drivers, the DTCM officials asked RTA to assist in supporting the tourism industry as regards to this problematic issue. The issue started first with the Dubai Police in 1999, when they agreed to allow freelancers to practice the overland tourist safari activity by obtaining the special license due to seasonal demand and lack of enough full-timers. The RTA gave freelancers a grace period from until May 2007.

During this time, the DTCM raised the matter with the Ministry of Labour. The ministry promised to look into it in order to find the right formality to allow such practice. The issue was still pending with the ministry.

The RTA officials suggested that existing inbound tour operator presently leasing 4WDs and drivers should be licensed to do so. The government department employees should obtain a NOC from their sponsor.

DTCM officials responded that the present supply of vehicles and drivers sponsored by tourism companies was not sufficient to meet the demand. Moreover, the government department employees hired as temporary drivers were UAE nationals and did not require a NOC.
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Salik road toll waiver denied by the RTA

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 15:53

Could be an interesting day to be a fly on the wall at the RTA with conflicting statements coming out of them. No doubt there will be many residents in Dubai who won't shed many tears should the RTA end up with egg on their face. This report from Arabian Business.com ...

Roads body denies climbdown on toll
by Ben Flanagan on Tuesday, 03 July 2007

The Dubai roads authority will not consider an evening waiver of its controversial ‘Salik’ toll charge, despite claims to the contrary by other government agencies.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is “considering waiving the toll between 10pm and 6am”, according to a statement issued by Dubai government’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

Another statement on the website of the UAE state-linked news agency, WAM, confirms that this applies to the ‘road toll’.


The admission was made in a meeting between the DTCM and the roads authority, at which RTA boss Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla was present, according to both statements.

However, a spokesperson for the RTA categorically denied a move to waive the AED4 toll charge during off-peak periods.

‘This is not true – the whole system is 24 hours,’ the spokesperson told ArabianBusiness.com. ‘We are 100 per cent sure of it.’

However, a source at the DTCM said that an evening waiver was indeed under discussion. ‘It’s there in the minutes of the meeting. Could they have been talking about another charge? No, there’s no other toll in the city except this one.’


Such a climbdown on the road toll would be embarrassing for the RTA, which has insisted that the toll – charged to motorists passing through two gates in the city – will remain in force as initially planned: 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

ArabianBusiness.com has received dozens of comments from readers regarding the scheme. Some have questioned why Salik – which is designed to reduce jams – is also applicable at night and at weekends, when the roads are generally much less congested.

“Why is it that one has to pay when it's off peak time or when its a holiday? This is a total contradiction,” wrote one.
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Salik road toll SMS problems

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 16:15

The RTA says they're having problems but they're trying to fix the system, and it's new so that's why.

I wonder how the RTA would feel about buying a new car that didn't work properly because it was "new"?

From the Gulf News 11 July 2007...

Motorist charged toll without using gate
By Daniel Bardsley and Alia Al Theeb, Staff Reporters
Last updated: July 11, 2007, 00:20

Dubai: Motorist Benedict D'Almeida was shocked when he received an SMS telling him he hardly had any credit left on his Salik tag - because he claims he has never passed through a toll gate.

The 40-year-old Indian, who works for a catering company, bought his Salik tag at the end of June, a few days before the hi-tech system went live on July 1.

Since that date, D'Almeida insists he has never passed through the toll gates near Mall of the Emirates or Al Garhoud Bridge.

As a result, he should still have Dh50 credit left on his tag, but instead he received a text message telling him there was just Dh2 credit remaining. The message continued: "Please add funds to your account immediately to avoid violation fines."

D'Almeida said he was "very surprised" to receive the SMS from Salik, adding that it caused him "utter frustration".

"I am sure there must be some mistake in the system since I have never passed through the toll gate," he said. When he called the Salik helpline, D'Almeida said he was told to visit the Salik offices in Rashidiya in order to solve the problem.

However, as the office's opening hours coincide with his working hours, he said he is unable to go there to sort out the problem.

"Before I explained things to the customer service representative, he asked: "Have you received an SMS?" This means they must have received similar complaints about SMSs," he added.

Other residents have made similar complaints to D'Almeida, among them Toni, who received an SMS saying she had just Dh2 credit left, despite having used Salik only four times. She said she tried calling the hotline, but it was always busy and she could not get through.

"Why should we get messages from the RTA if there is anything wrong with their system?" she asked. Toni also complained that her husband had not yet received a confirmation SMS although he bought the tag on June 20.

One motorist said when he called the RTA helpline after receiving a Dh2 reminder, the response of the operator seemed to suggest that there had been many similar complaints.

"I called the hotline, and one person who answered asked me if I have received the message before even I told him my problem," he claimed.

Other Salik users have said they have received accurate reminders when their balance dropped to Dh10.

An RTA spokeswoman said the organisation had received other complaints about Salik.

"We are trying our best to fix the system for all the customers. It is a new system and maybe there are some people who have received wrong SMSs for the credit they have," she said.

"We are trying to update the system and to make the improvements," she added.

Helpline: 800-72545
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RTA says waterbuses on hold

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 16:29

The waterbuses don't work properly so the RTA suspends the service until next month.
The Salik toll system doesn't work properly so the RTA ...

... implemented it anyway. Why the inconsistency?

From Emirates Today 19 July 2007:

Waterbus services on hold for a month
JOSEPH GEORGE NEWS REPORTER

The recently inaugurated waterbuses that will ferry passengers along Dubai Creek will be put on hold for a month, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official revealed yesterday.
Two waterbuses that were ready for commissioning have been taken out of Dubai Creek for testing and quality assurance.

Khalid Al Zahed, Director of Maritime Projects at the Marine Agency of the RTA said the new boats will be tested and their safety aspects evaluated before they can be made operational for public use. “We want to ensure that everything is fine. It requires a full safety assessment.There are lots of things that need to be looked into before commissioning the buses,” said Al Zahed.

Among the things that will be subject to evaluation are the visibility for the captain, the speed, the breaking system, stopping and reversing of buses, and the manoeuvrability of the vehicles.

The water buses that were supposed be ready by midJuly will now only be ready by next month.

One of the staff at the Station yesterday told Emirates Today that the waterbuses were parked at the station for two days but have been towed away to a base in Sharjah for maintenance. “The air conditioners were not cooling effectively and they have taken it away for testing.” His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum,Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had inaugurated the first of the 10 buses on Sunday.

It is part of the Dh1 billion project aimed at developing the marine transport system in Dubai.

The buses are air-conditioned and have LCD screens with comfortable seating.

“The first of the two buses will be fully operational by next month and based on its performance we will issue orders for more,” said Al Zahed. A total of 12 waterbuses will be commissioned.

The RTA has signed an agreement with the Singaporean Penguin Co to operate and maintain the waterbus. The pact includes arranging for a periodical corrective and preventative maintenance, ensuring the safety of the waterbuses, minimising accidents involving the waterbuses and attending to all matters that may jeopardise the safety of the vehicles.

Company officials have already started working at the new waterbus office at Al Seef Station in Bur Dubai.

The water buses will have a two-way circular route and will cover four stations: Al Sabkha, Old Deira Souq, Old Dubai Souq and Bur Dubai.
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No cancer risk from Salik

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 16:47

There were reports, or rumours, that driving through the Salik road toll gates could cause cancer. These have been dismissed by the RTA, the Roads and Transport Authority Dubai, now also apparently a medical authority.

According to the RTA, the Salik tollgates only use video cameras. Which then begs the question, how are the Salik tags read? By video camera?

Report from Emirates Today 25 July 2007:

Salik doesn’t cause cancer
MUNA AHMAD ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

Claims that driving through the Salik tollgates in Dubai could cause cancer were yesterday dismissed as wild stories.

Passing the pay points is entirely safe, said top officials at the Roads and Transport Authority.

They were responding to fears caused by a scare-mongering e-mail that has been circulating this week.

The message says the Salik gates at Al Barsha and Al Garhoud Bridge and the electronic systems used can lead to cancer and other diseases. It claims a scanner is aimed at vehicles as they pass through, and advises motorists to reduce the number of occasions they pass the gates to the minimum, while urg ing them to pass the e-mail on to friends.

But Engineer Maitha bint Udai, CEO of RTA, said the system was 100 per cent safe.

“The toll system is not a new thing,” she said. “It is a system that has been in place for more than 10 years in many developed countries. It is a well-studied system that guarantees no harm is caused to motorists travelling under the gates. The Salik system is similar to other toll systems in the world and it is safe to pass under it.” A toll system was implemented in Norway more than 60 years ago, she said. There are similar systems in the UK, Switzerland, Australia and the US. “Before implementing Salik, we sent a delegation to the US to study the system and the cards. We met the manufacturer of these cards and studied how they worked. The Salik tag is one of the safest in the world as it does not contain batteries.

“The tags work only when motorists pass the gates and it turns off automatically. There are other tags used in developed countries that contain batteries and are active all the time,” she said.

The Salik tag was certified by the American authorities, who are strict about things that may affect public health, she said, and added the gates did not contain scanners.

“Salik gates have video cameras and these do not pose any risk to motorists.”
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Re: Salik road toll

Postby sleepyjim » 03 Dec 2007, 17:29

Went to Dubai on my Harley last weekend and bought a salik for the bike (dont need to attach it, just buy it) and was never charged for tolls, but they say it will.....

Motorcycles can leave salik at home and camera will look at plate and deduct amout of toll from your account.........
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Salik for motorbikes

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 17:31

Thanks for that update Jim :). I just found an old Wheels magazine with that information also...

From the 13-19 July 2007 edition (issue 122) "Staffroom":

Finally, the suspense is over. For the past two weeks, we have been bombarded with queries from puzzled bikers about Salik tags. Initially, the RTA had suggested that two-wheeler users need not buy the regular car tags.

All indications were that there would be different tags for motorcycles. However, none of the retail outlets were selling tags for bikes, even after the system became operational earlier this month. Naturally, there was some panic and confusion from us bikers.

But trying to get an official repsonse has paid off. This was the comment: "The toll system is applicable for motorcycles as well. For customers who would like to register their motorbikes, we request that they buy the regular Salik tags. They will need to fill in the application form and attach a copy of the vehicle registration. However, they don't have to affix the Salik tags if the bike doesn't have a windshield. The system will deduct the toll by identifying the number plate." Salik SMS messging and re-charging of your Salik account are also the same for bikes.
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Re: Salik road toll

Postby bumba » 03 Dec 2007, 17:53

Aaarg help... I still have not received my account info from Mr. Salik. I had purchased my salik way in advance anticipating the mad rush for last minute salikers buying their tags... I have tried calling the salik help line and what a waste of time... think the longest i was on hold for was about 15mins before i got fed up and hung up.... so the next option was to e-mail them at CustomerService@salik.ae ... so i send the e-mail and great i get a response within 24 hours.. Wow was I amazed that they replied within such a short time... so i reply with the details they ask for.... expecting a response after sending my mail i still wait... it has been 6 days now waiting on a response.. Don’t people know its good e-mail etiquette to respond within 3 days of receiving the e-mails... 8O

so my question is does anyone have any contact details/ e-mail addresses of any of the salik big boys who I can send my e-mails to... who can take action and resolve this!!! I wonder how many other people are in the same satiation as me. and I have been using the salik tolls on almost a daily basis since the birth of salik tolls... I wonder how many fines I have... hahaha

Regards

Bumba
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Re: Salik road toll

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 17:54

That sounds like a common enough story. I would suggest you just keep trying to call them. Relying on emails is probably not going to be enough :(. Good luck...
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