Free Wi-Fi coming to Dubai's taxis

Posted: 07-Dec-16 10:04

Many of Dubai's red-roofed taxis will soon feature free Wi-Fi and touch screens. With tourism in the city expected to grow in the coming years, the move was initiated to make the city's taxis more efficient and passenger-friendly. Additionally, an RTA smartphone app will allow passengers to rate their driver, a move intended to improve customer service in public transport.

Free Wi-Fi coming to Dubai's taxis

Many of Dubai’s taxis will have free Wi-Fi as of this December, as well as interactive LCD screens. The move is part of the Dubai Government’s plan to turn Dubai into one of the world’s “smartest” cities, and comes as the city is rapidly becoming a major travel destination.

Free Wi-Fi and interactive touch screens won’t apply to all of Dubai’s taxis, however. Only Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) taxis will have the high tech perks. For visitors traveling to Dubai for the first time, DTC taxis are easily identifiable by their signature red roofs. So if you want to be connected during your taxi ride through the city, be sure to look for the taxis with the red roofs.

The touch screens will serve a practical purpose, allowing passengers to calculate cab fares in advance and to complete a customer satisfaction survey. DTC hopes the surveys will improve customer service, a major consideration since Dubai hopes to continue to draw international travellers. The screens will also allow passengers to view videos about the city’s major attractions.

Taxis aren’t the only public transportation to be equipped with Wi-Fi. The Public Transport Agency announced this week that over 100 intercity buses will be upgraded with highs-speed Wi-Fi.

Taxis in Dubai are relatively inexpensive and with few exceptions, is the quickest and easiest way to navigate the city. Rush-hour traffic slows things down considerably, and there may be waits near major shopping malls. Most taxi drivers speak at least minimal English, but English-speaking travellers to Dubai are advised to give addresses in relation to nearby landmarks. Downloading Google Maps can be helpful for both passengers and drivers. Taxi fares are based on distance rather than time.

In keeping with Dubai’s image as an innovative and technologically advanced city, the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has developed a smartphone app which will allow travellers to plan their trip and book a taxi through their phone. The app gives passengers the ability to monitor the progress of their trip, check for the shortest route, and to leave feedback for their driver. 

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