UAE: Iconic 1980's yellow-and-white taxis stage comeback in Abu Dhabi; have you seen them yet?

Apart from the colour branding, other features and specifications remain the same as the existing silver cabs

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 1 Dec 2023, 4:42 PM

Last updated: Sat 2 Dec 2023, 8:00 PM

Are you hitting the road for the Union Day holidays? Do keep an eye out for the yellow and white taxis on the streets of Abu Dhabi. Yes, the iconic taxis of the 1980s are staging a comeback with modern-day facilities. And as many as 100 taxis are operating on the mainland, said an official from the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport.

“This yellow and white colour was the brand for taxis a long time ago. We are bringing it back as part of the 52nd Union Day celebrations,” Ateeq Al Mazrouei, Director of the Planning Department at the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), told Khaleej Times while showing a fleet of hybrid taxis smarting the yellow and white colour stickers.

Apart from the yellow and white colour branding, other features and specifications remain the same as the existing silver cabs.

Al Mazrouei noted that the initiative is an opportunity for people who used to ride those taxis to relive their old memories, and for the new generation to get a peek of the past.

“These taxis are a reminder of the changes that have taken place from the past to the present. Back in the 90s, the service was very basic. Now, you can book your taxis through an app or call centre, pay money through alternative ways like cards and apps, and more facilities,” he said while recollecting his rides on the taxis in the 90s.

Al Mazrouei said there are about 100 yellow and white colour taxis operating on the streets of the mainland, and also the Sheikh Zayed Festival.

“Currently we have only 100 taxis. We have a QR code inside the taxis to conduct a survey. We will get feedback from our passengers. They can also contact our call centre at 600 53 53 53 to give their views. And depending on their feedback, we will decide if or not to expand the fleet or just stay with 100 taxis,” Al Mazrouei added.

The old yellow and white colour taxis are already grabbing attention on the streets among a flurry of new-age silver cabs.

“I remember travelling in old taxis. They had a manually operated metre. We could share the taxis and travel from point A to B for a few dirhams. But taxis now are better organised and offer so many facilities. So, I like the yellow and white colour, and thankfully, it's coming with all new facilities in it,” said Zeyad Masri, a long-time Arab resident.

“This looks handsome. I will surely be taking a ride on these,” Abubakar Sesay, another expat noted.

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