'We no longer have to look for shade': Dubai delivery riders thank RTA for rest stop project

Some bikers sometimes find themselves taking a break under a tree, at a mosque's veranda, or in a parking lot; with the upcoming centres, they say their work days will be easier


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Sun 5 Mar 2023, 5:22 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Mar 2023, 10:26 PM

With summer approaching, the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) upcoming rest stops in Dubai come as a relief to delivery riders who spend more than eight hours out on the streets every day.

Rider Muhammed Ansar says they usually get an hour-long break, plus a few minutes in between orders to catch their breath. During these windows, however, finding a place to rest could be a struggle as they are always on the move.

The RTA is now stepping forward to support these delivery heroes, who have become essential workers since the pandemic struck.

The authority on Sunday announced the plan to construct three integrated rest stops for delivery riders at strategic areas: at the Sheikh Zayed Road near the Festival Plaza at Jebel Ali Village; Port Saeed next to Al Muraqabat Street 22; and Ras Al Khor Industrial Area 2, close to Al Manama Street.

“These stops are much needed, and I pray the project happens soon. I am very thankful to the authority for this kind gesture,” said Ansar, who works for Noon delivery, serving customers in Dubai South and Jebel Ali areas.

Ansar starts his day at 8am and delivers over 15 orders throughout the day within a range of nearly 50km.

“[Besides an hour-long break,] I get to rest in between orders at times. We usually rest in our hub but only if we are nearby," he told Khaleej Times. "These RTA rest stops will be beneficial especially during summer."

When temperatures start hitting the highs of 35 degrees Celsius, searching for shade is necessary but could be a big challenge. Some bikers say they find themselves under a tree, at a mosque's veranda, or in a mall's parking lot.

Faiz Ullah Sarike, another rider, said: “I am glad that this summer we may have a place to rest. We no longer have to look for a shade all the time."

“Having a dedicated place for ourselves to rest makes us feel happy," he added.

At the planned RTA rest stops, basic services like maintenance and refuelling will also be provided. There will be restaurants, too, which are a big plus for the motorbikers.

“Sometimes, we encounter bike issues that we cannot repair on our own; so we'll have to take them to a garage," said Umar Ateeq, who has been a rider with Talabat for the last three years.

“However, if a maintenance facility is provided at these stations, it will help us get our vehicles repaired, while taking a break or even having a meal. This will save us a lot of time and ease our work," added Ateeq, who covers over 100km daily for delivery.

Since the sector started booming, the safety of delivery riders has been a priority of the RTA, with several initiatives launched to benefit the community. These included holding traffic awareness workshops for riders, issuing professional rider certificates, and rewarding outstanding service providers.

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