RTA living ‘Smart City’ dream with new apps

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53 services being provided via eight applications

By Dhanusha Gokulan - Reporter

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Published: Tue 16 Sep 2014, 12:30 AM

Last updated: Thu 26 Oct 2023, 2:44 PM

The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) on Sunday launched five new smart apps and a website that will offer 30 RTA services to customers. The apps are up for download (free of cost) on iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phones. With these new apps, the total number of smart services offered by the RTA is now 53 via eight smart apps.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, unveiled the launch of the new package of smart applications which enables users to complete their transactions via smartphones.

The new smartphone applications cover five sectors: Drivers and vehicles smartphone app; smart parking app in Dubai; business sector services app which enables business men to review tenders, request for placing ads, rent metro outlets among others; Salik smart app, which enables customers to inquire, top up balance, and display trips; and the public transport app. Each of the five apps have to be downloaded separately onto the devices. However, a common username and password can be used to gain access into any of the app. “If the user has a Dubai Smart City initiative username and password, he can use the same to avail RTA’s services,” said Abdullah Al Bastaki, Director of Information Technology. The apps are available in both English and Arabic.

“Launching these apps comes in implementation of the initiative of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city of the world within three years,” said Al Taye. It also falls in line with the directives of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the custodian of the smart city initiative.”

Notably the most impressive app would be the smart parking app, which according to RTA officials, is being developed into a format where car users will be directed to a free parking slot in parking lots across the city, depending on the area you are in. “It is still in development, we are planning on making an announcement on the availability of the facility in the app before the year ends,” said Abdulla Al Madani, CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services Sector. “We are hoping to use sensor technology to locate free parking space. As of now, the app provides the user information in an interactive map service of the local area parking codes,” added Madani.

Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Licensing Agency and head of team supervising the implementation of the integrated road map to migrate to the smart government team, said: “The key smart services which will be launched are the vehicle ownership renewal service, driver’s license renewal, payment of fines, issuance of vehicles/drivers-related certificates, recharging NoL cards, checking NoL balance, in addiction to launching the second generation of the m-Parking service, which enables motorists to pay their parking permit via text messages or credit cards.” Bahrozyan added that the smart services also includes various salik services (such as a the balance inquiry, trips display and vehicle enquiry) in addition to business sector services, all of which serve customers, be in UAE nationals, residents, tourists, special needs, companies and institutions, in addition to all users of road and public transport means.

“Users of RTA’s services can now completely avoid going to customer service centres, unless necessary,” said Al Tayer in a Press conference announcing the launch of the apps. He added: “Smart mobility is one of the key pillars of a smart city and when planning and implementating the projects, RTA assigned priority to the comfort and welfare of the people of Dubai.”

RTA had launched the Dubai Smart City programme, which consists of three sub-programmes: Corporate smart porgramme, smart transport programme, and smart traffic and roads programme. Al Tayer said: “The plan includes implementing a total of 22 out of 100 initiatives and projects at the level of the Dubai Government departments and entities.”

Features and benefits

Drivers and vehicles app

According to Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, the drivers and vehicles smart application is the fastest means to provide real-time data including texts, numbers, images, signatures or sites through the GPS system. “The app automatically synchronises data and stores it in the database so that users can access data even when they are offline. The smart apps offer real-time customer data checking by scanning the barcode, a unique feature unavailable in many smart apps,” said Bahrozyan. Users can avail 10 services namely, issuing replacement of lost or damaged driver’s license; applying for driving license, issuing driver-related certificates (such as a traffic file in Dubai traffic system), issuing driving experience certificate, referring the customer to medical examination to verify his ability to drive, applying for replacement of lost or damaged vehicles ownership, etc. Behrozyan said: “People who have multiple vehicles can register details of all vehicles with the app. Car users who need to renew their registration can do it over the app, unless the vehicle is over three years old. The new registration date sticker will be sent to the user via courier. The app also recommends a general list of insurance companies to the people who are looking to renew their insurance contract as well.”

Services available:

Application for vehicle ownership renewal and number plate change

Application for buying a distinguished number plate

Enquiring about offences and paying fines

Vehicle ownership or non-ownership certificate

Issuing of a replacement for lost or damaged distinguished number plate ownership certificate

Smart Parking app

As far as vehicle parking is concerned, Bahrozyan said: “This app provides nine services and we are currently working on developing a system that can direct users to free parking slots, using sensor technology. The announcement for the same will be made in the latter half of next year.” A variety of parking services through the smart phone apps and Tab PCs available in the app stores of smart phones with the most commonly used OS including iOS and android.

Services available:

Automatically identifying the area code and displaying a map illustrating paid parking zones in Dubai with the possibility to locate the location of the parking lot in order to indentify the applicable zone code

Paying parking fees via credit cards without paying of deducting extra service fees, in addition to the possibility of paying parking fees through text messages.

Possibility of paying parking fees for vehicles licensed in other Emirates without the need to register for the service

Providing an easily accessible record of previously used e-tickets

Seasonal cards purchase and renewal service will be available starting November

Fines payment (from November)


Abdullah Al Bastaki said that the salik app also offers nine services. The app services can be availed on the website as well.

Services available:

Balance inquiry

Trips display: displaying salik trips of a certain vehicle for a specific period

Enquiry about offences

Vehicles Enquiry: You can inquire about vehicles using your salik card number or vehicle number plate. You can also display all vehicles listed in your account

Creating new salik electronic account

Recharging salik account using ePay

Recharging salik

Recharging friends’ account

Adding a new vehicle to a registered account


Detailing on the Nol card smart services, Al Bastaki said: “Public transport application enables customers to check their Nol cards balances; obtain and follow up personalized Nol cards balance; obtain and follow up personalized Nol card applications; converting Nol silver/gold cards into personalised card to benefit from Nol services and protect their balance and top up Nol cards through credit cards.

Business Services app

A work in progress, the business services app or the corporate services app allows users five services. Users can access current and future tenders, review tender procedures, apply for building construction and demolition permit, requesting commercials in the Dubai metro; requesting rental or retail outlets in the metro station and replacement of taxis, school buses and luxury vehicles (limousines).

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