4 types of Dubai Nol cards explained: Fees, 50% discount, premium access

Not all Nol cards are created equal — here are the details that can help you decide which one is perfect for you

By Laraib Anwer

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Published: Sat 9 Dec 2023, 3:23 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Feb 2024, 4:45 PM

Are you a student who is still paying the full price for daily commute between home and school/university? Or maybe a tourist visiting Dubai on a short trip, confused on which Nol card to get.

Dubai's RTA has a variety of options when it comes to Nol cards that suit everyone's needs and provide a range of amenities. These pieces of plastic don't just come in handy while travelling, but can be used to pay for multiple services across the city.

From costs to modes of transport these can be used for, here is a guide to choosing the perfect Nol card for you.

1. Silver card

The most commonly used card is the Silver Nol card that numerous commuters use on a daily basis. This is referred to as the 'regular' card, and can be used in RTA transportation and non-transport services.

Cost: To buy a new silver card, a fee of Dh25 is required to be paid upfront. This includes Dh19 credit.

Max balance: Anonymous users can fill their cards up to Dh1,000, whereas registered users (personalised cards that are linked to Emirates ID) can charge up to Dh5,000.

Validity: 5 years

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2. Gold card

Passengers who have Gold Nol cards get access to a separate cabin inside the metro and tram. These rides cost double of the regular fare, with access to all modes of RTA transport — similar to the Silver Nol card.

Cost: To buy a new gold card, a fee of Dh25 is required to be paid upfront. This includes Dh19 credit.

Max balance: Anonymous users can fill their cards up to Dh1,000, whereas registered users can charge up to Dh5,000.

Validity: 5 years

3. Red ticket

Tourists or residents who might not frequent the metro as much can go for a temporary option — the red ticket. This is a paper disposable ticket that can be used for only one mode of transport at a time. Customers who purchase this can use it for only RTA services like the metro, bus and tram.

Cost: It costs Dh2 to purchase one ticket.

Max balance: The ticket is rechargeable for a maximum of 10 journeys or 5 daily passes.

Validity: The ticket is valid for 90 days or 10 trips.

4. Personal card

The Personal Nol card — or what one would refer to as the 'blue' card in layman's terms — gives certain groups of people a 50% concession in fares.

Unlike the other two cards, the personal card is linked to the Emirates ID, which gives users the ability to recover their balance in case their card gets lost or stolen. Additionally, users can secure online services for top-up credit. This card gives access to all modes of transport provided by the RTA.

Cost: The personal card costs Dh70 with an additional payment of Dh20 credit.

Max balance: Users can top up to Dh5,000 using these cards.

Validity: 5 years

Wondering if you are eligible to get a Personal Nol card? Here are the groups of people who can avail this service:

  • Students (From ages 5-23)
  • People of determination — this includes both residents and tourists.
  • Social affairs beneficiaries
  • Senior Emiratis and senior expats (senior citizen - above the age of 60)

What documents are required to apply for a Personal Nol card?

Students: School and university students must present a copy of their valid Emirates ID along with a personal photograph with a white background. An official document proving they are a student in a UAE school or university must also be submitted.

People of Determination (resident): People of determination have to submit a copy of the valid Emirates ID along with a white background. A copy of the People of Determination card or Sanad Card should also be provided.

People of Determination (tourist): Tourists looking to get the personal card need to submit a copy of their passport or ID card along with a personal photograph with a white background. An official document issued by competent authorities in the applicant's country stating that the person is a Person of Determination or requires special assistance has to be shown as proof.

Senior citizens: Those above the age of 60 need to show a copy of the valid Emirates ID along with a recent personal photograph with a white background.

Social affairs beneficiaries: Those eligible under this category are required to submit a copy of the valid Emirates ID, personal photograph with a white background, and an official letter or document from the Community Development Authority confirming the customer is entitled for social assistance.

Adults: Adults looking to get a Personal Nol card must submit a copy of their valid Emirates ID and a personal photograph with a white background.

Those applying for a Personal Nol card have to wait for up to 4 working days from date of submission to get their card if done through online channels. The process time for Zoom shops on the other hand is instant.

Public transport users also have the opportunity to personalise their silver or gold cards and link it to their Emirates ID.

Looking to top-up your Nol card? From metro stations to solar top machines, here is a guide on where users can recharge their Nol card.

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