Dubai cabbies thrilled with nameplate honour

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Dubai - RTA also offers complimentary air tickets to select drivers to bring their families on visit visas.



By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 7 Jul 2021, 5:48 PM

A number of hero cabbies whose names have been featured on top of their taxis by the RTA, say they feel happy on being acknowledged for their role keeping the city moving during the pandemic peak.

Muhammed Ishtyaque Alam is one such driver. “The nameplate on the top of the taxi is the result of my hard work,” said the Indian cabbie from Bihar. “Hi, Mr Ishtyaque. How are you doing?..... is how passengers greet me now, and I feel much obliged” says Ishtyaque. “It is indeed an honour”

“I have witnessed Dubai growing into a megacity. Localities such as Barsha Heights, Dubai Marina, and Downtown Dubai were in their infancy,” reminisced the cabbie who landed in Dubai in 2000, when the number of taxis plying Dubai’s roads were way fewer.

Ishtyaque believes that his vehicle was the third in the entire RTA fleet to have his nameplate on top. “It feels great to be associated with the RTA. I have received hampers and prize money from the company a couple of times for my performance and good conduct,” he added.

RTA has fixed name stickers of franchise companies as well as Dubai Taxi Cooperation on the vehicles to recognise outstanding drivers and reward their efficient and professional performance.

Najib Hussain, a Pakistani expat driver who came to Dubai in 2006 and began driving for the RTA subsidiary National Taxi, is another to be honoured by the RTA.

Najib says customers never fail to start a conversation with him. “It feels great to have me called by my name. This initiative by the RTA is something to be praised,” Najib said.

Najib was a bit surprised when he was called to install his nameplate on the top of his taxi. “I did not know why I was called, but felt happy when I came to know it was because of my efforts during the Covid pandemic and my good performance,” Najib said.

The RTA looks to encourage and motivate drivers with initiatives and incentives such as the Traffic Safety Award launched nine years ago, which recognises honest drivers who have performed excellently every month. About Dh2 million is budgeted each year to reward outstanding drivers.

RTA also offers complimentary air tickets to select drivers to bring their families on visit visas, as part of the Traffic Safety Awards contributing to their psychological and family stability.

ayaz@khaleejtimes.com


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