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Dubai Metro Nol card tickets and fares

Thursday 02 October 2014 (UAE)   
 
   
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Dubai Metro Nol card tickets and costs

Dubai Metro ticket fares and cost structure were announced on 22 July 2009 by the RTA boss, Matter Al Tayer. Passengers will need to buy one of 4 different colored cards, called Nol cards, to pay for Dubai Metro trips.

Nol card expiry - the first Nol cards issued in Aug 2009 are due to expire in Aug 2014 - silver, gold, and blue Nol cards have a validity period of 5 years. Nol cards can be used after the expiry date while there is balance remaining but cannot be topped up, a new card must be purchased.

Nol Cards can be used for fare payments for Dubai Taxis from early 2013 according to news reports 23 October 2012. The Khaleej Times quoted Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dosari, CEO of the RTA Public Transport Agency, as saying "People will be able to use the Metro, buses, all water transport services and taxis with the Nol cards by the beginning of next year." Update: system not in place in 2013, maybe early 2014 according to 20 Dec 2013 report with the RTA saying "... and we should be able to roll out the first batch of taxis with Nol connectivity in the next few months."

  • Public Transport Day free travel - on all Dubai public transport (metro, bus, water bus, but not taxis) for Nol Card holders on Thursday 01 November 2012.

Monthly passes for Dubai Metro (or 30 day passes if previous information about duration is still valid) will be available (at last) from Friday 12 August 2011 - AED 100 for travel within 1 zone, AED 180 for travel within 2 adjacent zones, AED 270 for travel in all zones. An Emirates ID card is required if you want to buy a monthly pass.

Confused about Dubai Metro fares? If you don't want to try and figure it all out, just buy a Silver Nol Card at ticket booth or machine for 20 dhs, then swipe it at the reader when going through entry and exit turnstiles. All the calculations will be done for you and deducted automatically. The card automatically limits total charge for a day at 14 dirhams, unless you use buses, so don't worry about trying to find a day pass. After the first day you'll probably need to recharge it if you want to use the Dubai Metro again - 50 dhs or 100 dhs should be enough for an average week if used regularly. Or a month if used occasionally.

  • Nol is a Farsi or Arabic word meaning "fare" or "transport cost".
  • Nol cards can be loaded with credit and then swiped across a machine somewhere to gain entry to a Dubai Metro train, and again on exit to calculate the cost of a single trip. The trip fee will be deducted automatically.
  • Or for monthly passes (30 days in fact but the term "monthly pass" seems to be used frequently), the cost will be deducted from the Nol card credit, but the Nol card still needs to be used to enter and exit the metro stations - monthly passes available from Friday 12 August 2011.
  • Sales of the Silver Nol cards (for standard fares and adult travel) were launched on 20 August 2009. Red Nol cards and Gold Nol cards available on Dubai Metro start date of 09 September 2009. The RTA said Blue Nol cards (personalised with user's photo) might be available by November 2009, and monthly passes later in 2009, or early 2010. Update: students, senior citizens, and special needs travellers had to wait until March 2011 for Blue Nol cards.
Limited edition Nol Cards
  • To commemorate the opening of the Dubai Metro Green Line, the RTA has issued 10,000 limited edition silver and gold class Nol cards (press release 05 September 2011).
  • The cards feature a special commemorative logo.
  • Cards available at Dubai Metro stations while stocks last.
Blue Nol Cards for Dubai Metro and monthly passes

Update 12 August 2011 - Dubai Metro Monthly Pass (Blue Nol Card) how to apply:

  • Note that a Blue Nol Card is not the same as a Monthly Pass, but you need a Blue Nol Card to apply for a Monthly Pass, or apply for both at the same time.
  • Go to a metro station and ask for a monthly pass application form. Don't forget your Emirates ID card to show them.
  • Fill in the form and submit with 2 photographs of yourself, along with the fee payment for one month (see table below).
  • Card will be sent by post, apparently within 3 weeks.
  • Card then needs to be activated at any metro station before starting to use it.

Blue Nol Cards update 10 February 2011 press release: The RTA announced that Blue Nol Cards and monthly passes would be available starting in February 2011 (which might mean March or April or later given the history of optimism displayed in previous RTA announcements). Mr Abdullah Al Madani, CEO of the RTA Technical Corporate Support Services Sector, said "The new categories of the blue Nol Cards will be issued in phases starting by students cards where the system will be upgraded starting on February 7th in a process that lasts three weeks,"

Update 28 February 2011 (RTA press release): Blue Nol Cards can be applied for from 15 March 2011 online at the RTA NOL Card website www.nol.ae, at Dubai Metro stations, and at Dubai Public Bus stations according to Mohammed Al Mudharreb, Director of the RTA Automated Fare Collection Department, who said "Applications for the new cards from the designated categories: school and university students, seniors and special needs, will be received as of 15 March 2011 through the Nol Card portal (www.nol.ae). Applications can also be received at the metro stations and public bus stations in Dubai ..."

And from February 2011 news reports and press releases ...

  • Blue Nol Cards and monthly passes available for 50% discounted travel for Senior Citizens (UAE Nationals only), Students (full-time at accredited institutes in UAE only, and only those aged 5-23 years), and free travel for Special Needs passengers with permanent disabilities (only those with special needs card issued by the UAE Ministry of Social Affairs).
  • An Emirates ID card is needed if you want to buy a monthly pass. Gulf News reported on 18 August 2011 that Mohammad Yousuf Al Mudharreb, Director of the Unified Automated Fare Collection Department at the RTA, said "It is an absolute must to present a valid national ID card in applying for a Monthly Pass. This is RTA policy."
  • Non-UAE national (expatriate) resident senior citizens cannot make use of discounted travel passes for the Dubai Metro and other public transport.
  • Period of validity for student Nol cards is 5 years for students up to 14 years of age, 4 years for students aged 15 years, 3 years for students aged 16 years, 2 years for students aged 17 years, and 1 year for students aged 18-23 years.
  • A new "Combi Card" will be issued - an Emirates NBD credit card with a Nol card chip so you can use your credit card like a Nol Card (but no, you can't use a Nol Card like a credit card). RTA and Emirates NBD signed an agreement in 2010 to develop the Combi Card. Unknown if any other bank credit cards will have this facility.
  • Upgrades to the Nol Card system mean the NOL Red Card can be used for all public transport services in Dubai - the metro, public buses, water buses, and for parking fee payment. Mohammed Al Mudharrab, Director of Automatic Fare Collection, said (or someone else did, the press release wasn't clear) that "The Department will also upgrade Nol Red Ticket to make it interoperable in all public transport means regardless of the purchasing outlet as this ticket is currently valid only in the outlet from which it has been bought; which means if it is bought from a metro station, it will only be valid only for the use on the metro, and so is the case with public buses and the water bus,"
Discounted Dubai Metro travel

Information based on RTA announcement as reported in Emirates Business 24-7 on 20 September 2009. Date which discounts come into effect not supplied.

  • Special Needs passengers to travel free on the Dubai Metro.
  • Update 13 November 2009: A report in The National said "The Metro will be free for disabled passengers by February." Update, they almost got it right - March 2011 instead of February 2010 was when the RTA finally announced the Blue Nol Cards would be available.
  • Students (UAE nationals only - or maybe all UAE residents, expats included) and Senior Citizens (UAE nationals only, not expats) get 50% discount and 30 days of free travel.
  • Children under 5 years of age travel free and will not need a NOL card (it's not clear how they will get through the ticket gates though).
  • Loyalty Points system for rewards (sounds like Airmiles etc, will be handy if you want a free toaster or book voucher).
Dubai Travel Pass
  • The RTA announced on 13 December 2011 the launch of a Dubai Travel Pass (DTP) (called Terhaal) in partnership with DNATA for visitors and tourists to Dubai.
  • The DTP will contain 2x Nol Cards with AED 14 credit each, a map of Dubai, information booklets about using public transport in Dubai and interesting places to visit, telephone numbers for embassies and consulates in Dubai, phone numbers for Dubai Police and other emergency services, special offers for activities and shopping in Dubai, Dubai tour information. Also a mini city guide from Time Out Dubai?
  • Dubai Travel Pass available from first week in January 2011 from various outlets including RTA customer service centers; DNATA Travel at Dubai Clock Tower roundabout, Sheikh Zayed Road near Safa Park, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Palm Jumeirah; DNATA counters at some shopping malls in Dubai - Al Twar Mall, BurJuman Centre, Deira City Centre, Dubai Airport Terminal 1 Arrivals Hall, Dubai Airport Low Cost Carrier Counter, Mall of the Emirates, Mercato Mall, The Dubai Mall, Uptown Mirdiff, Wafi Center (locations according to the RTA website - other locations might include Dubai Duty Free shops at Dubai Airport, and hotels in Dubai ... maybe).
  • Cost of Dubai Travel Pass reported as AED 65.
Dubai Metro Nol cards
Nol card color Type Available Validity Cost Max Credit For use by
Nol Red Card   10 September 2009 90 days AED 2 10 journeys Infrequent travellers
Nol Silver Card epurse 20 August 2009 5 years AED 20 AED 500 Regular passengers
Nol Gold Card epurse 10 September 2009 5 years AED 20 AED 500 Hoi Polloi VIP travellers
Nol Blue Card epurse 15 March 2011 1-5 years AED 70 AED 500 Students, Senior Citizens
  • Nol cards can be purchased and recharged at Dubai Metro station Ticket Booths and Ticket Vending Machines, Dubai Bus Stations, RTA Customer Service Centers, and RTA authorized sales agents.
  • Nol cards also available at EPPCO and ENOC petrol stations, and Zoom convenience shops at metro stations according to an agreement signed between the RTA and Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) (14 September 2011 news reports).
  • There are 4 types of Nol cards - Red, Silver, Gold, and Blue. The Red Nol is a "Unified Paper Ticket", and the other 3 are a "Unified E-Card" with a rechargeable e-purse. The Red Nol is a credit-card sized piece of cardboard, the others are plastic.
  • Nol Silver and Gold card cost is made up of 6 dhs for the card and 14 dhs credit for travel.
  • Red Nol cards can be used for a maximum of 5 one-day passes or 10 single journeys within a 90 day period.
  • Monthly passes can be purchased, allowing unlimited travel on the Dubai Metro for 30 days (not always a month). Available from 2010 Q2.
  • Children under 5 travel free, children over 5 probably travel full price or get a student card. The RTA website says "Kids under 5 yrs or shorter than 90cm travel FREE on the Metro" which implies that short children over 5 years old can also travel free. But Dubai Logic might apply here, meaning that if you have a tall child under 5, you may be asked to buy a ticket.
  • Nol cards are also valid (and will be required after launch date of the Dubai Metro) for other public transport in Dubai - Dubai buses and Dubai Creek ferries/waterbuses.
  • From 30 April 2010 the RTA issued Blue Nol Cards instead of Silver Nol Cards as they had run out of the silver ones.
  • Special Needs travellers might get discounted travel with a Blue Nol Card. The RTA press release about Nol cards said "In future a discounted package will be made available for kids, students, elderly and special needs," but didn't give further details. Update 19 October 2009: discounted travel should be available from 2010 second quarter. Update again 10 February 2011: not until February or March 2011.
  • Eligibility for discounted travel is restricted to UAE National senior citizens but any nationality for students and special needs travellers (although restricted to UAE residence visa holders, and full-time students at accredited institutes only)? Gulf News report 28 February 2011 said Only UAE nationals qualify for the category of senior citizen cards as expatriates will not be issued this card. Age to qualify for the senior citizen travel card is 60 years and above. However, students and special needs discount cards are available for all nationalities.
  • Nol cards can also be used for payment at RTA car parks? Mattar Al Tayer said in 22 July 2009 press release "The Unified Nol Card, which will be unleashed with the start of passenger service of Dubai Metro, offers smooth & comfortable service to users of Dubai Metro, Public Buses, Water Bus and Paid Parking Zones."
Dubai Metro Blue Nol Cards
  • Blue Nol cards are personalised with photo for the use of the holder only.
  • Apply at metro stations, RTA customer service stations, and online from end of November 2009, cards will be delivered by courier.
  • To apply for a Blue Nol card, bring application form, proof of identity and 70 dhs. Application forms are available on the RTA website or at the ticket/RTA office.
  • Students need to show a letter from the institute at which they are studying.
  • Special needs passengers need to show a special needs card issued by the UAE Ministry of Social Welfare.
  • All applicants need to submit a photo (or 2).
  • Students and special needs passengers need to show passport or Emirates ID card.
  • Senior citizens need to show an Emirates ID card.
  • Card delivery by courier in about 15 days after application submitted.
Category Discount Photos Emirates ID Passport Other Nationality UAE resident Age
Student 50% Yes Yes, or ... Yes Letter Any Yes 5-23
Special Needs 100% Yes Yes, or ... Yes SN Card Any Yes Any
Senior Citizen 50% Yes Yes No?   UAE Yes > 60
Dubai Metro tickets, prices, and fares - all prices in AED (divide by 4 to get approximate $US value)
  • A combined day pass for the metro and bus services would become available, AED 14? At present the 14 dh day pass is only for metro transport. GN report 26 Sep 2010 said the daily pass will cost Dh14 for unlimited trips on the Metro and public buses all over the city.
Type of ticket/travel distance Nol card All zones < 3km 1 zone 2 zones 3 zones 4 zones 5 zones
Standard adult ticket price Red   2.00 2.50 4.50 6.50 6.50 6.50
Pre-paid standard adult fare Silver   1.80 2.30 4.10 5.80 5.80 5.80
Students (registered with Blue Nol card) Blue   0.90 1.15 2.05 2.90 2.90 2.90
Senior citizens (registered) Blue   0.90 1.15 2.05 2.90 2.90 2.90
Gold Class standard ticket Red   4.00 5.00 9.00 13.00 13.00 13.00
Gold Class pre-paid ticket Gold   3.60 4.60 8.20 11.60 11.60 11.60
Fare table from Dubai Metro information at www.dubaifaqs.com
One day ticket valid all zones Any 14.00            
30 day (or monthly) pass standard Silver 270.00 100.00 100.00 180.00 270.00 270.00 270.00
30 day (or monthly) pass students Blue 170.00            
30 day (or monthly) pass senior citizens Blue 200.00            
Disabled / Special Needs travellers Blue Free            

Note that "pre-paid" in reference to tickets refers to pre-payment by loading Nol card with credit, not buying an individual one trip ticket before travelling. The actual "pre-paid" ticket cost is deducted automatically from your Nol card at the end of each journey. Confused? Don't worry about it, just press your Nol card on entry to and exit from the Dubai Metro station.

  • Dubai Metro Card and ticket prices in grey are not available until October 2009 or later.
  • Silver and Gold Nol card holders can buy standard class pre-paid tickets (pre-paid refers to charging the Nol card since the actual ticket price is not deducted until the end of the journey), and one or thirty day passes for standard class. Gold Class one and thirty day passes not available, or prices not available.
  • If a Nol Gold card holder uses it for travel on transport where there is no Gold Class (bus, ferry), then the standard class fare is automatically deducted.
  • Children under 5 years of age travel free. Older children should get a student pass or pay adult fares (not confirmed).
  • Monthly passes are valid 30 days which implies that monthly passes in the sense of one valid for a given month, don't exist. The 30 day passes will not be available until late 2009 or early 2010 according to some reports ... 26 September 2010 news reports said that monthly passes and new day passes would be available by December 2010 ... Update 08 August 2011 news reports - monthly passes would be available from Friday 12 August 2011.
  • Passengers riding in Gold Class without a valid Gold Nol Card or Gold Class ticket will cop a fine if caught (AED 100 or 200 in September 2009).
Dubai Metro Nol Card outlets for purchase and recharge
  • Emirates NBD bank branches (and eventually recharge via ATM, CDM, Online Internet Banking, and Moblie SMS Banking). An exclusive partnership with the RTA (announced 07 September 2009).
Nol card use for other public transport and parking in Dubai
  • The RTA announced on 28 February 2011 (press release) that upgrading of Nol card systems had been completed so that the cards could be used for all mass transit systems in Dubai including the Dubai metro, public buses, the water bus. They could also be used for payment of parking fees in public car parking areas in Dubai.
  • The same Nol card can now be used on all public transport systems accepting Nol cards (previously red Nol cards for example could only be used on the system for which they were purchased).
  • Nol cards cannot be used for taxis (until perhaps 2013 ... 2014), or in private car parking areas (at Dubai shopping malls for example).
Last update Wednesday 23-Jul-2014
Related pages
Related websites (new window)
  • www.nol.ae - Nol card and Dubai Metro information from the RTA
  • Dubai Metro website - list of different Dubai Metro websites, official and unofficial

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