Taxis from Dubai malls could cost you more
Dubai - Normal flag fall (starting fare of meter) during morning hours is Dh5, and at night it is Dh5.50 if you hail a taxi from any other place
Night time shopping and enjoying your spare time at shopping malls until they close could cost you more if you are a taxi commuter in Dubai.
According to a commuter who hailed a taxi from a hypermarket in Al Qusais, the flag fall while hiring a cab from a shopping mall after 10pm was found to start from Dh9 and it increases every hour after that. If a taxi is hailed from the mall after 11pm, the meter starts at Dh10.
Normal flag fall (starting fare of meter) during morning hours is Dh5, and at night it is Dh5.50 if you hail a taxi from any other place.S.B., an Indian national and Dubai resident, told Khaleej Times that she was shocked when the taxi driver refused to let her in before agreeing to the starting fare.She said: "I took a cab from Lulu Hypermarket in Al Qusais at around 10.30pm. As soon as I got into taxi, the driver drew my attention to the meter, which showed a minimum fare of Dh9. As I had no other option, I continued my journey."Usually I pay around Dh13 to reach the Dubai - Sharjah border near Sahara Centre. But this time it cost me Dh18."
A driver who has been working with Dubai Taxi for the last three years, on condition of anonymity, said the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) decision to charge more from shopping mall customers is affecting them badly.He said: "See the crowd there. All of them are waiting for a taxi. But none of them are willing to pay Dh9. I tell customers in advance of the change as I don't want to cheat them."
He said the RTA is trying to help Uber and Careem services indirectly by raising the flag fall at night.'Don't be surprised next time an Uber taxi stops in front of you on the road to offer a lift," the cabbie said. Customers who hail taxis from other parts of the emirate need to pay only the normal Dh5.50 flag fall at night.The RTA has however refuted the claims. "There are no changes in the meter rates or tariffs for the taxis," said Abdulla Al Mahri, Director, Transport Activities and Monitoring, RTA
"The flag fall for taxis hailed on streets commence at Dh5, and from 10pm to 6am it is Dh5.50. However, the fares of taxis dispatched from the dispatch centre vary.
The meter for a taxi dispatched from the centre starts at Dh8. During peak hours - from 7am to 10am and 4pm to 8pm - the flag fall goes up to Dh12. And between 10pm and 6am it goes up to Dh9.
"However, if there is a high demand at malls for taxis the mall management informs the dispatch centre, and in such cases, the taxi is considered a dispatched taxi, and the flag fall of Dh9 becomes applicable.Should any customer find any discrepancy in the fares, they are welcome to lodge a complaint through our call centre on 8009090 by mentioning the taxi number,"Al Mahri added.
RTA's clarification on despatch taxis
> How can taxi customers identify taxis at malls are despatched or not?The indicator or (roof top light) indicates if the taxi is booked through the despatch centre or if it is hailed on the street .
> Is there a disclaimer on the website or in the taxi?
Yes, there is a sticker placed in every taxi about the rates applicable for the services based on the hours and types
.> Do taxi drivers inform the customer when they enter the taxi that the fee will be based on a despatched rate following the request from mall staff?
Yes, if the customer does ask about the rate, the driver is trained to inform the customer about the rate as applicable on the meter.