Salik Dubai news archive
Salik news archive
For more recent news, see the Salik road toll page.
Sunday 20 January 2008 - no Salik Tags available and Garhood Bridge Salik toll gates moving
- Several reports of a shortage of Salik Tags with people saying that they are not available at Abu Dhabi petrol stations, and few or no petrol stations on the way from Abu Dhabi to Dubai had Salik tags in stock. The RTA helpline was apparently as unhelpful as ever, saying that they had no reports of shortages, and those who wanted to complain should come to the RTA in Dubai (a trip that could involve driving through a Salik toll point).
- Similar complaints were heard from visitors from other emirates, and Oman.
- More complaints about the online recharge facility slow or not working.
- To test things out, we bought a Salik tag in December 2007. Almost 2 months later, we still haven't received an SMS with Salik account details.
- The Salik gates on the way, or after, the Garhood Bridge will be moved to the top of the new Garhoud Bridge says Engineer Maitha Bin Adai, CEO of the RTA Traffic and Roads Agency.
Tuesday 01 January 2008 - Salik is a success
A couple of days after the RTA seemed to imply the implementation of Salik was a shambles, by cancelling fines, they then said Salik was a success with a 20% reduction in traffic congestion on the Garhoud Bridge and Sheikh Zayed Road, and 50% some days. Presumably that means if you took an hour to cross the Garhood Bridge from the Trade Center before Salik (a 5 km trip), it now only takes 48 minutes. Joyful news indeed.
29-31 December 2007 - Salik fines waived
- The RTA said they would waive Salik fines from 01 July to 31 October for all motorists, whether or not they had registered with Salik, as a "goodwill gesture". Dubai residents who had diligently followed RTA instructions and abided by the Salik rules, fumed. Salik-busters were delighted.
- The RTA backed down the next day and said only registered Salikers would have their fines waived. Non-registered Salik users would still be whacked. Motorists who'd registered with Salik still fumed and demanded refunds of all the Salik tolls they'd paid, in blogs and newspaper letter pages.
- The RTA also said motorcyclists would be completely exempt from any Salik charges until 31 December 2007, whether registered or not. Any motorcyclists who have paid a fine can fill in a form at the RTA to claim them back. The RTA still didn't say where motorcyclists should stick their Salik tags ... some motorists had a suggestion though ...
Monday 10 December 2007 - Salik expansion again
- Emirates Business 24/7, a new UAE business newpaper launched 09 December 2007, reports that the Salik system is due to expand, based on comments from an anonymous RTA official that an expansion was under review. Which sounds the same as what was reported in November 2007.
- The newspaper report says electronic Salik toll gates will be installed on Al Khail Road, Al Ittihad Road, Business Bay Bridge, Emirates Road, Maktoum Bridge, and in Shindagha Tunnel by 2009. The following year, more Salik tollgates will be installed on additional Dubai Creek crossings that are still to be built.
Saturday 08 December 2007 - Emirates Islamic Bank provides Salik payment
Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB) now allows their customers to make Salik payments at branches, online, and via ATM machines. At least, they say they do.
Wednesday 28 November 2007 - RTA makes no comment on Salik expansion
Arabian Business asked the RTA about the Salik expansion rumours and received a "no comment".
Sunday 25 November 2007 - Salik expansion coming?
- A UAE Arabic newspaper carried a report that an expansion of the Salik toll gates was being studied with additional toll points possibly located at Business Bay Bridge, the Floating Bridge, Maktoum Bridge, Shindagha Tunnel. The report was based on an internal RTA letter to their Salik committee asking them to study and report on a Salik phase 2 proposal. The RTA would not comment on the story.
- In August 2007, the Arab News (a Saudi based paper) carried a story of Salik expansion rumours, which the RTA denied at the time.
Wednesday 21 November 2007 - Dubai Taxis to ask for Salik exemption
Emirates Today reported that the Dubai Taxi company CEO, Abdul Aziz Malik, was going to ask the RTA to exempt taxis from Salik tolls on the basis that empty taxis are still charged, so they cause traffic congestion by trying to avod Salik toll gates. He said an exemption would fit with the RTA's motto of "smooth and safe transport for all". Dubai Taxi is part of the RTA, so you'd expect Mr Malik probably won't be put on hold for too long when he makes the call.
Monday 19 November 2007 - School buses charged Salik tolls after all
The Khaleej Times reports that school buses are being charged Salik tolls after all, despite the RTA originally saying that school buses would be exempt. The newspaper report quoted an RTA official saying that the matter was under investigation and a decision would be made on whether or not to exempt school buses, but didn't explain why the RTA had reneged on their original exemption.
Saturday 06 October 2007 - Salik still having teething troubles and how to use Salik for free
- The Gulf News successfully tested a theory that pressing a 1 dh coin against the Salik Tag resulted in no Salik toll fee being charged (and then advised motorists not to do this). The RTA said that if a toll fee is not read from the Salik tag, the number plate of the vehicle is recorded and the fee will be charged.
- Salik fines have been waived for the first 15 days apparently, rather than the first week as reported 28 Sep 2007.
- Some motorists without Salik tags say they have not seen any fines recorded. The RTA says all violations have been recorded, but how long it takes for a fine to end up with the driver is unknown, and the system may be suffering from technical glitches.
Friday 28 September 2007 - Salik fines waived
The head of the RTA, Mattar Al Tayer said Salik fines have been waived for motorists who didn't have Salik tags in the first week of operation - "We have waived all the fines imposed on motorists who used Salik gates without Salik tags during the first week of July," (reported in the Gulf News).
Thursday 20 September 2007 - Salik online recharge system available
- The RTA says that Salik users can now add credit to their Salik accounts online using a credit card, e-dirhams, or via direct debit from your bank account. Minimum recharge amount is 50 dhs.
- Salik subscribers can also check their balance online, and number of toll gate crossings. Personal data can be updated and financial statements printed out.
- Another option for checking accounts is through the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system by dialling 800-72545.
- All the above options are what Salik users are supposed to be able to do. There are, however, still complaints from some users that data is inaccurate ie credit top-ups not showing up, low credit warning messages being received despite having enough credit, and so on.
Wednesday 12 September 2007 - more traffic cones directing you to Salik toll gates
More of those traffic cones appeared on the Sheikh Zayed Road, after the Trade Center Roundabout in direction Garhood bridge - if you're in the left hand lanes, you're stuck there all the way to the Garhood bridge. This caught out a few motorists, forcing them to use the Salik toll gate.
Tuesday 11 September 2007 - Traffic jams are your fault
- Continuing in the same vein as Salik account problems being your fault last month, the RTA has said traffic jams in Dubai (of which there were many this week) are your fault also, with Mattar Al Tayer, the RTA boss, saying "Some drivers deliberately ignore driving and traffic rules, others are just drunk, while some are illiterate and cannot read the variable road signs.This is our biggest problem in Dubai". The drunk driver comment might have been prompted by a car following some alcohol-inspired navigation and driving off the Floating Bridge a few days ago when it was closed. Mr Al Tayer also said that motorists on the Garhood Bridge are now happy after the introduction of Salik.
- Garhood Bridge motorists this past week have been left scratching heads and looking for their reverse gear with several apparently confusing lines of cones on the Bur Dubai side leading drivers in directions they didn't want to go. Mr Al Tayer's point about illiterate drivers appears to have some validity, since large signs over the Sheikh Zayed Road do say "Keep Left" for the Garhoud Bridge.
- Dedicated public bus lanes are due to be introduced by the end of 2007 (there was more news of this sometime in August).
Thursday 06 September 2007 - Traffic congestion will disappear "soon"
- A Gulf News report has the Head of the RTA, Mattar Al Tayer, reassuring us that traffic jams in Dubai will soon be a thing of the past, and asks residents to be patient. For another 3 to 4 years while road development is in progress.
- The new Waterbus service is reported to be under-utilised with only 10% occupancy during the day.
Monday 03 September 2007 - Salik works so well, everyone uses it
A problem that was forecast to occur, has come to light as more schools open up this week after the summer holidays. So many people have started to use Salik, that there are traffic jams on the Salik routes. The Garhood Bridge was reported to be choked up yesterday. The RTA suggests parents send their children to school on school buses.
Sunday 02 September 2007 - Bus lanes and credit cards
- Public buses may get dedicated Bus-Only lanes.
- Not related to Salik, but another irritation for Dubai's motorists, is the news that EPPCO, EMARAT, and ENOC service stations (all the Dubai based ones) will add a surcharge for purchases made with a credit card. ADNOC remains free of surcharges, at least for now.
Thursday 30 August 2007 - Coming soon to a phone near you ... Salikman
- The RTA Salik department is reported to be phoning Salik users who have not been charged any toll fees, to enquire about their accounts. So it appears that they are trying to resolve charging errors. At least the ones which mean they're not getting money.
- There are continued reports of Salik users not being charged, and Salik non-users being charged. The obvious explanation is that the Salik database has Salik accounts mixed up. The RTA explanation a couple of weeks ago was that it was your fault for not filling in the form properly.
Tuesday 28 August 2007 - Rumours of more road tolls denied
- The Saudi-based Arab News carried a report that the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) denied yesterday's rumours of more road tolls being introduced.
Monday 27 August 2007 - More road tolls coming
- There were reports, or rumours, that The RTA had started work on eight new Salik road toll gates in Dubai, including Shindagha Tunnel, Maktoum Bridge, Floating Bridge, Business Bay Bridge, Emirates Road, Al Khail Road, and Nad Al Hamar Road.
- The RTA announced the widened Emirates Road will open on Friday - the section from Sharjah to Al Awir intersection.
Sunday 26 August 2007 - Government schools start again
- Traffic jams everywhere as UAE government schools start up again. If you're a lucky one with a Salik tag on your car, you should be fine, as long as you stay on the Sheikh Zayed Road. Unfortunately, there are no schools or residential areas actually on Sheikh Zayed Road so everyone will have to enter and exit at some point. The ones near the Salik toll points are especially choked up.
- Watch out next week Sunday, and the following Sunday, as all the private schools start up after the summer holidays. Possible solutions include skipping school, buying a helicopter, or carpooling (not that it will alleviate traffic jams that much but with a bit of luck someone else will drive and you can watch a movie).
Thursday 16 August 2007 - Dubai Water Bus starts again
- The first WaterBus service was launched (again) between Al Gubaiba Station in Bur Dubai and Al Sabkha Station in Deira. Three more routes will start up in September. The original first Waterbus service was launched last month but stopped a day later because captains couldn't see properly.
Wednesday 15 August 2007 - RTA blames Salik users for not receiving account details
- The RTA says it's your fault if you didn't get an SMS with your account details because you probably filled in the form incorrectly. The RTA didn't say if any of the data from the 600,000 applications might have been entered incorrectly into their system when it was transferred. What do you think? Add your comments to the Salik discussion.
Friday 10 August 2007 - Special Salik lanes on Al Ittihad Road
- Al Ittihad road from Garhood Bridge towards Sharjah has two lanes blocked off for the use of Salik tag holders only, up to Al Mulla Plaza. Excellent say Saliktites delighted with the reduced journey times from Dubai to Sharjah. Not at all say the drivers in the other lanes which are even more choked up now. The RTA said the barricades would not be permanent.
- A statement from the RTA said "Traffic coming from the Al Rabat Road and going north-bound to Sharjah on Al Ittihad Road is prohibited from using the tunnel under the intersection of Maktoum-Airport Road and Al Ittihad Road. Also, traffic coming from Baniyas and going towards Sharjah on Al Ittihad Road driving to the right of the concrete barrier is prohibited from entering the tunnel under the intersection of Al Ittihad Road with Abu Hail-Al Quds Road (Al Qiyada Tunnel),".
Thursday 09 August 2007 - Emirates Road expansion
- The Emirates Road expansion will be ready for use by early September according to the RTA with extra lanes between Sharjah and the Al Aweer interchange.
Wednesday 08 August 2007 - Salik tag shortages again
- There are shortages of Salik tags according to a Gulf News report that found some service stations and banks with no Salik kits. But the RTA said they hadn't received any complaints and have a hotline people can phone to get alternative directions to un-Saliked routes.
Tuesday 07 August 2007 - Taxis charging double Salik fees
- Sharjah taxi drivers are reported to be charging passengers a double fee of 8 dhs for using a Salik route to Dubai. The first 4 dhs is to get to Dubai, the second is for the taxi so they can use a Salik route back to Sharjah. Taxis from one emirate are not allowed to pick up passengers in another emirate in the UAE, which seems to be an unusual way for the authorities to reduce traffic congestion. Sharjah taxi companies said their drivers are only supposed to charge a one-way Salik toll-fee.
Monday 06 August 2007 - Floating Bridge causes boat problems on Dubai Creek
- The Floating Bridge has helped reduce traffic jams in Dubai according to the RTA. Not for boats according to boat owners on the creek who cannot now fully use the waterway while the bridge is in operation (from 0600 to 2200).
- Salik has helped reduce traffic jams in Dubai according to the RTA. Not really say those who get snarled up at the Al Barsha exit of the Sheikh Zayed Road where three lanes of traffic come to a standstill as everyone tries to exit before the Al Basha Salik toll gate.
Saturday 04 August 2007 - Salik website improved but no recharging yet
- The RTA announced improvements to the Salik website which did not seem to include a recharging facility yet. According to their press release, Engineer Salah Mohd Al Marzouqi, Director of Intelligent Traffic Systems, said, "The RTA is negotiating with several financial institutions to add the recharging service on Salik's website."
- One improvement seems to be additional random charging for driving through a Salik toll gate - residents of Dubai are saying that Salik charges appear in their accounts for days when they have not driven through the Salik checkpoint, which implies that residents don't agree that it is an improvement.
Tuesday 31 July 2007
- An RTA representative said to the Khaleej Times that the online system for recharging Salik accounts was expected to be available by this week but should be available within the next week or so.
Wednesday 25 July 2007 - Floating Bridge closed, no cancer from Salik
- The Floating Bridge in Dubai was closed for two hours in the morning. "The bridge was closed for about two hours as part of the contingency plan to conduct some technical experiments during the peak hours so as to ensure that the emergency system works effectively using the smart traffic systems," said a senior official at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to the Gulf News. The Dubai Police redirected traffic without knowing why. "We do not know why the bridge was closed. We just diverted the traffic," said an official to the Gulf News, which seems odd considering the number of cars and personnel set to the bridge, and even helicopters and ambulances. The Gulf News also published a photo showing the Floating Bridge apparently damaged and sinking. "There was no problem or malfunction on the bridge. After the conduction of the technical experiment we noticed some minor issues, which were immediately tackled to reflect the RTA's commitment to surpass all types of difficulties that could hamper the traffic smoothness," said Maitha Bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads section at the RTA, according to a 7 Days report.
- Rumours that Salik tollgates could cause cancer were dismissed by the RTA, the Roads and Transport Authority Dubai. However, there was no further information on whether or not the RTA would be renamed as the RTMA (Roads, Transport, and Medical Authority Dubai).
- The same report implied that an RTA offical said the tollgates only use video cameras, but the RTA website says the Salik tollgates use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
Saturday 21 July 2007 - Taxis not using Salik, customers not paying toll fees
- Taxi customers have been complaining that taxi drivers refuse to take a route with a Salik road toll, instead doing odd things like driving through the MOTE (Mall of the Emirates) carpark to avoid the charge.
- Taxi drivers have been complaining that customers are refusing to pay the extra Salik toll fee charge when they do go via a Salik route.
Thursday 19 July 2007 - WaterBus stops operating, Salik helpline available
- The Water Bus that was operational on Monday is reported to be non-operational due to various issues - one of which was that the captain couldn't see properly. The RTA said they plan to start up the WaterBus service next month.
- The Salik toll system continues to please drivers using the toll roads with the shortened journey times but continues to frustrate users with text messages that provide incorrect Salik account information. On the bright side, the Salik helpline has freed up somewhat and you can now get through to ask about your Salik account.
Monday 16 July 2007 - Floating Bridge opens, WaterBus starts, Salik for motorcycles
- The Floating Bridge across Dubai creek (a non-Salik route) is reported to be open this morning. This should alleviate traffic on the Maktoum Bridge.
- The WaterBus is also being advertised as operational today, with ice-cold airconditioning explaining the iceberg marketing campaign the RTA has run for the past few weeks.
- Motorcyclists without windscreens have a solution to the problem of where to put the Salik tag. Wheels, a UAE car magazine received a response from the RTA saying that the Salik system would "deduct the toll by identifying the number plate" for motorcyclists without windshields.
Sunday 15 July 2007 - Catboy's Salik song, Emirates Road widening
- Sloasis feat. Catboy (a Dubai based radio DJ) released a Salik song, sung to the tune of "Don't Look Back in Anger", last week. It is reportedly taking the charts by storm although Simon Cowell apparently said "who?" when asked for comment. See www.catboy.net for a download (no longer available from when?).
- The RTA said they're widening the Emirates Road (a Salik-free route, for now) from 3 lanes to 6 lanes in each direction, which will cost AED 333 million, or about half the annual revenue expected from Salik. The section from Sharjah to Al Aweer is almost finished and should be ready on 26 August 2007 (it was started 25 Feb 2006). From Al Aweer Bridge to Arabian Ranches Roundabout is scheduled to be finished on 15 April 2008. No information on the route through Sharjah which will probably mean there will be an even bigger bottleneck at National Paints Roundabout.
Saturday 14 July 2007 - Salik not helping traffic in Dubai
- The Khaleej Times seems to think Salik has bombed - they say "With Salik failing to help ease the traffic situation in Dubai" after interviewing some Dubai residents about Salik. Some of whom are already lining up to catch the Dubai Metro. They'll be waiting a while, the first Dubai Metro train isn't scheduled to roll out until September 2009.
Friday 13 July 2007 - Salik website overloaded, extra Salik fee for rental cars, Salik poll
- The RTA responded to complaints about the Salik system by saying their website gets over a million hits per day, which some say illustrates they know as little about websites as they do about road tolls. The RTA did not explain how overloaded web servers were responsible for difficulties in accessing their telephone helpline but they did say they have given out a secret helpline number to rental car companies.
- Large rental car companies justified the extra 1 dh charge per Salik crossing by saying there are administrative costs involved and they don't know how many Salik toll fees their cars are collecting. We wonder why they don't use the secret Salikphone the RTA was talking about. Some small rental car companies said they are not charging Salik surcharges to their customers.
- ArabianBusiness.com are conducting a poll on their website in which so far about half the voters said traffic congestion was worse since the introduction of the Salik road toll system, a quarter said traffic flow improved and the remaining quarter said Salik had made no difference. As of this morning, a total of about 780 votes have been cast.
- The Garhood Bridge is still almost deserted.
Thursday 12 July 2007 - unexpected Salik account warnings
- SMS woes continue with Saliked motorists reporting warning messages even when they have surplus funds in their accounts. The RTA was unavailable for comment says the Gulf News.
Wednesday 11 July 2007 - Salik recharge problems
- More and more Salikians are wondering if they can be de-Saliked, as frustrations with their Salik accounts grow. Driving on traffic-free roads through the Salik toll gates is enjoyable but reported problems with recharging Salik accounts and incorrect balance messages are not. Another irritation is the noticeable increase in text message spam from various banks and shops in Dubai. An interesting coincidence.
- The Salik website theoretically allows you to recharge your account, but we suspect the one person who claims to have succeeded, possibly sent their mother 200 dhs via Gmail instead.
- Recharge facilities at service stations are convenient when working but sometimes queues slow things down, or the Salik recharging machines prove unable to cope and go on strike.
- Some motorists say they received balance warnings even though they haven't been through a Salik toll gate yet.
- The RTA admits there are problems but they're trying to fix the system.
- Meanwhile, the Salik telephone helpline still hasn't earned the 'helpline' moniker.
- If you haven't had your text message from Salik, then according to them, you can drive through the Salik gates without fear of penalty until the message comes through. If it's been more than a week, then you should try to contact Salik since there's a chance the message went to the wrong phone number. Good luck, we know that's not going to be easy.
- To best enjoy Salik, we suggest you recharge at service stations (if one fails, don't fight it, just go to the next one). Don't bother with the website, the Salik helpline, or email address for another couple of weeks while the RTA sort themselves, and their Salik system, out.
- Today's rumour is that the Gulf News and Etisalat are going to attempt to get the Salik website banned due to its similarities with Orkut, which was blocked this week because people were using it for improper liasons. Apparently, the fear is that Salik users can use other people's login ids, sent to them by mistake, for improper liasons.
Tuesday 10 July 2007 - Floating Bridge and Water Bus update
- The Floating Bridge will open next week, providing another toll-free route across Dubai Creek. It will only be open between 0600-2200 and connects Khalid Bin Al Waleed Rd in Oud Metha to Ittihad Road in Deira.
- The RTA also says they will start operating water buses on the creek from next week. Operating hours 0600 to 0000 (midnight) with a 10 minute wait between buses. The stations on the route followed are Al Sabkha, Old Deira Souk, Old Dubai Souk, Bur Dubai and Bani Yas. The RTA Water Bus is not the same as the 'Wonder Bus' - an amphibious tourist bus that drives on the roads and the creek.
- Salik rates a mention in the 7 Days 7 Wonders of Dubai list - as part of the Traffic Wonder.
Monday 09 July 2007 - Salik recharging at petrol stations only
- The Salik website is still not able to recharge Salik accounts but you can do so at petrol stations, and through Emirates Bank at branches and online. Not at Dubai Islamic Bank yet as far as we know, perhaps by the end of the week.
- Gulf News headline about the RTA and Salik this morning said "Telecom firms in talks for SMS recharge". And then in the same article said "telecom firms already allow their customers to recharge their mobile accounts by sending an SMS". Which doesn't make sense. But they didn't say how, and nobody else knows either.
- The Salik helpline will apparently, after 10-20 minutes, answer your call according to one resident in Dubai. Will not, say the other 399,999 salikified residents who hung up after 9 minutes.
Sunday 08 July 2007 - no cap on Salik tolls for taxis
- An advertisement from Salik seen in the Gulf News today, said that taxis will not be limited to the 24 dhs per day cap on toll charges. Which presumably means the RTA will collect all the extra toll fees the taxi companies thought they would be able to hang on to once a taxi hit the 24 dhs per day maximum.
- Salik recharge facilities are available at petrol stations and banks - you need your PIN number to add credit to your Salik account.
- Salik website for online accounts still seems to be struggling to cope with all the traffic (which is a little ironic when phrased that way - perhaps we'll see Salik web tolls introduced one day), with users reporting it to be slow to load and respond.
- The Salik password recovery feature on their website is still not functioning (you're not told until after you try).
- Some residents are also complaining of a noticeable increase in SMS spam from a variety of UAE companies since supplying Salik with their mobile numbers.
Saturday 07 July 2007 - no Salik news today
- Almost a week since the introduction of the Salik road toll in Dubai, and the first Salik-free (relatively) day in the news. What is reported is a repeat of previous news, and/or a summary of the week.
Friday 06 July 2007 - Salik registration issues and traffic report
- Car rental companies are worried about a build up of fines since they cannot check the status of Salik accounts while their customers merrily cruise through the Salik toll gates.
- Confusing reports about whether or not, and where, Salik users can top up their Salik accounts. Some meBank (an Emirates Bank subsidiary) customers say they can add credit online, other Salikers say Emirates Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank don't have the facilities to add credit yet, and the RTA says you can add credit to your Salik account at petrol stations.
- The RTA again says that Salikers who have not received their SMS with account details do not need to worry about getting fined for not having enough credit. But ...
- ... if you have not received your SMS with account details, it may have been sent to someone else. Some reports of unSaliked residents receiving an SMS with Salik account details (obviously not for them). Unknown whether this is due to a problem with the RTA's system, a data entry error by the Salik department, or a customer error in filling out the Salik registration form. With 200,000 Salik tags purchased in three days, it's not surprising there are errors. One problem is, if you have not received that text message, how do you know it hasn't been sent to someone else in error? The Salik helpline is still reported to be jammed.
- Sharjah traffic report since Salik was introduced is that traffic has decreased on Ittihad Road but increased on the Emirates Road, Gargash Road and Caterpillar Road.
- And in the meantime, the buses are collecting more passengers as drivers give up on navigating Dubai's traffic in their cars and find another way to avoid paying the Salik toll.
Thursday 05 July 2007 - Salik sending incorrect text messages
- Salik is not on the front page of the news anymore, although residents are still getting stuck in traffic jams around areas near the toll gate with the Salik toll avoiders causing overflows on roads not designed to cope with the increase.
- Some Salikians are reporting text messages informing them their credit is below 30 dhs after only one toll crossing. Other complaints are that there are still outlets with no Salik packs, and the Salik helpline is jammed.
- On the bright side, there are increasing numbers of Salikers happy with their new traffic-free drive.
Wednesday 04 July 2007 - Salik website problems, too many text messages, no rental car tags
- Today's rumour is that the Salik toll system only started working yesterday because some residents say their Salik account doesn't show toll charges from previous days. Probably another one of those wishful-thinking kind of rumours.
- Residents waiting for the text message with their Salik account number and PIN will be pleased to know that the RTA text messaging system appears to be working very well. Salik users reported a deluge of SMSs from the RTA from Monday evening until early Tuesday morning - individuals said they received tens, and in some cases more than 100 text messages, either informing them their credit was below 30 dhs or saying nothing useful. The RTA's Salik telephone number was, not surprisingly, busy.
- Many Salikers are saying they are having difficulties logging in to their Salik accounts at customers.salik.ae. Make sure the beginning of the URL says https://, not http://, and use the email address given when registering as the username to login. You cannot log in to your Salik account unless you've received an SMS with your PIN number, which is your password.
- Some rental car companies report that they still haven't received their Salik tags, and that the RTA has for the past few days kept promising them the Salik tags will arrive "tomorrow". The most surprising part of this news is that it sounds like the rental car companies believed that.
- The number of residents happy with the Salik toll system seems to be increasing. None of them live in Al Barsha or the Greens though, where residents are still blocked in by Salik avoiders.
Tuesday 03 July 2007 - no Salik tolls at night rumour, no Salik fines if no sms received
- In a meeting yesterday, organised by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), between the RTA and the Travel and Tourism Group, the RTA apparently said they were considering waiving the Salik toll charge between 10 pm and 6 am. This was denied by the RTA today.
- There were reports that the RTA delivered 400,000 Salik tags to sales outlets yesterday but the RTA's press release said they had delivered a total of 400,000 Salik tags up until yesterday. Maitha Bin Adai, the CEO of the "RTA's Roads and Transport Authority department" (isn't that just the RTA?), said motorists in Dubai had purchased over 200,000 Salik packs in the three days up until the launch of Salik.
- All the Salik applications appear to require manual processing and data entry. On the assumption that it takes 5 minutes to enter the data from one form (which is a bit of a wild guess), we figure that it would take 11 years for one person working 8 hours non-stop per day to enter all the data from 400,000 applications. To get the job done in a week will need about 600 people working the same hours. Anyone looking for a job? And if there was an data entry error rate of 1%, then there will be 4000 drivers with account problems.
- The RTA has said residents who are Saliked, but have not yet received an SMS with their account number, will not be fined for driving through Salik checkpoints without toll credit. At least, until they receive the account number SMS.
- The traffic chaos seen on Sunday has lessened substantially, with more Salikified residents (Saliktites?) expressing delight and amazement at the short journey times from Sharjah and other locations involving routes on the Sheikh Zayed Road through the Salik toll points. Other (un-Saliked) residents are saying that the number of complaints has fallen since they can't be bothered complaining any more.
Monday 02 July 2007 - Salik tags not received by taxis, traffic still chaotic
- Some traffic jams again around Dubai this morning except for free-flowing traffic on SZR and Garhood Bridge but much less chaotic than yesterday. More traffic on the Salik-tolled roads as those who managed to find a Salik tag yesterday join the other Salikers (Salikis? Salikians? Salikans?), which means fewer cars stuck in the traffic jams on other roads. See the 01 July 2007 news below for more details of badly affected areas.
- Taxi companies complained they could not use Salik roads because the RTA hadn't delivered their Salik stickers yet. The RTA complained it was the taxi companies fault. Customers complained they couldn't catch taxis.
- Bentley Continental, Aston Martin, and Jaguar XK series cars are also on the list of cars that need special instructions for attaching the Salik stickers. The cars are not listed on the Salik website document but you can get a leaflet at service stations ... James.
- The RTA said yesterday that the number of women working for them had increased to 183 with 26 women in senior positions, which has nothing to do with Salik, but it may not have been the best time to release that news.
Sunday 01 July 2007 - Salik system in operation from midnight, traffic chaos and other problems
- The Salik website now has a login page for registered users at customers.salik.ae where you can check your fines, view a list of your trips through Salik toll gates, and top up your Salik account. For first time login, username is the email address you gave them when registering, and password is the PIN number that Salik sent to your mobile phone. You'll be asked to change your password.
- Despite some residents expecting, or hoping, for a last minute reprieve, the Salik toll system started up as promised. One driver was waiting for the midnight start to be the first violater through the toll gate according to the Gulf News. Although he had a Salik tag, he was told it could be 10 days before it would be registered, which sounds somewhat contrary to information issued by the RTA so far.
- Emirates Bank said their customers can recharge Salik accounts through their internet banking service and meMOBILE SMS service. And anyone can recharge their Salik account at ATM and CDM machines by the end of the week. They also claimed they have Salik cards available at their branches, some of which are open till 8 or 9pm, there were bound to be long queues.
- As expected, toll-free roads providing alternative routes were chaotic in the morning, while Garhoud Bridge was relatively deserted. Business Bay bridge was apparently not too congested. Roads around the Al Barsha area were clogged with people trying to avoid the MOTE Salik checkpoint. Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road were reported to be busy but not too congested, except for around Souk Madinat and Al Sufouh. However reports are that many more unrelated routes throughout Dubai were horribly congested. Sounds like a good day to stay at home.
- A rumour doing the rounds is that none of the cameras are installed yet and Salik will take effect from 15 July 2007. Another rumour is that Salik will be dropped on 15 July 2007. These are more likely to be wishful thinking than rumours of any substance.
- Afternoon update - Traffic congestion during the evening rush hour with slow trips home from the office unless you used Garhood Bridge and Sheikh Zayed Road. Some examples of journey times (not confirmed) without Salik: MOTE to The Greens - 1 hour, Trade Center to the Airport - 1.5 hours, anywhere in Al Barsha - all day. And with Salik: Jebel Ali to Deira 30 mins (on SZR), Deira to SZR 15 mins, Sharjah to Dubai 20 mins, Mirdiff to DIC/DMC 30 mins.
- Some rental car companies still had not received their Salik tags, and the RTA said again that it was the rental car companies' fault for not applying sooner or correctly.
- Many more outlets were reported as having sold out of Salik stickers. The head of the RTA (Mattar Al Tayer) said they had sold 185,000 Salik tags by yesterday, while another official (Salah Mohammad Al Marzouqi) said they had sold 160,000 tags. There are 650,000 cars registered in Dubai.
- A deluge of vitriolic messages and phone calls were fired in to radio stations today, complaining about Salik and especially the RTA (but we should remember that the general public are not "traffic experts" according to the head of the RTA). Many messages were from residents stuck in the new car parks created on some of Dubai's roads. It wasn't all bad though, a number of residents were delighted at having much shorter journey times along the SZR.
Saturday 30 June 2007 - Salik tags from ADNOC petrol stations
- The last day of toll-free motoring in Dubai. Expect gas stations to be busy with the last minute rush to buy Salik tags - if you can find one. If you can avoid driving anywhere near the Salik toll points tomorrow, do. Especially the alternative routes, which people will use to avoid paying the Salik toll charge.
- ADNOC FOD (the blue petrol stations you see in Abu Dhabi and other emirates except for Dubai) has been authorised by the RTA to sell and recharge Salik accounts in Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates. The news releases did not say when Salik cards would be available at ADNOC stations.
- Dubai rates as the most congested city in the Arab world says a survey by GulfTalent.com, completed amongst 5000 drivers in 14 Middle Eastern cities during May 2007. Average communting time per day ranges from 46 minutes in Jeddah to 1 hour 45 minutes in Dubai. Dubai also ranks at the top of the list for difficulty in finding a parking space.
Friday 29 June 2007 - motorcycles must use Salik tags
- Hertz, Budget, Diamondlease are reported to have received their Salik stickers yesterday, Thrifty were expecting them today. In an outstanding display of responsibility avoidance, the RTA blamed the companies for the delays, saying they had applied for their Salik tags incorrectly.
- Press reports today seemed to indicate that yesterday's rumours of different tags for motorcyclists, were incorrect, with the RTA saying motorcyclists should stick the Salik tags on the windscreen if they have one, and in the same way as other motorists if not. That unhelpful advice should result in many bewildered motorcyclists scratching their helmets.
- Salik tags for some cars need to go in slightly different locations - reported in the press as though it's a new thing but document has been available on Salik website for a few days at least.
Thursday 28 June 2007 - taxi windfall from Salik
- Someone figured out that taxis are on a potential windfall from Salik. Once they've clocked up 6 crossings in a day, they no longer have to pay since the maximum charge per day for each vehicle is 24 dhs. Even if taxis have reached the limit, they'll still charge passengers the 4 dh Salik toll fee. Taxi companies are saying they're not looking to make a profit. Er, right. Watch out for taxi drivers keen to make a detour through a toll gate even if your intended route wasn't going anywhere near one.
Wednesday 27 June 2007 - Salik teething problems
- More reports of outlets running out of Salik tags. The RTA says 140,000 have been purchased already but from the lack of Salik tags displayed on Dubai's cars so far, you would be forgiven for viewing that figure with a degree of skepticism. Another 60,000 are being delivered to outlets running short.
- There are also reports from purchasers that they have not received the activation code by sms. The RTA says don't worry, the Salik cards are activated automatically anyway.
- Motorcycles will possibly have different stickers which will be available in the next few days.
- If you work for the DCCI (Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry), you're lucky - they'll provide you with a Salik tag.
- Rental cars and Salik update: Avis said they'd provide Salik tags but charge an extra 25% per toll crossing (5 dhs) and Hertz said they'd charge 4.50 dhs.
Sunday 24 June 2007 - Salik launch delay rumour
- A Zawya Dow Jones report claimed that the RTA was going to meet to discuss and possibly defer the 01 July 2007 start date for the Salik road toll. But press sources in Dubai asked the RTA about it and were told that the 01 July start date is confirmed, and the ZDJ report was just a rumour. The head of the RTA reportedly said it was "fabricated". Of course, in Dubai, rumours occasionally turn out to be true.
- Some rental car companies were saying to ZDJ that they still haven't received their Salik tags yet.
- There are also reports of Dubai residents saying that service stations have run out of Salik tags.
General Salik information
See the Salik page for background, where to get a Salik tag, how to avoid the Salik road toll and other Salik related information. This page will have latest news about Salik road tolls in Dubai, UAE. Or visit the Salik Road Toll discussion for more questions, answers and news. Add your comments, ask your questions.
- See also the Salik road toll discussion to read more, and add your comments or questions.
- Looking for the official Salik website? It's at www.salik.gov.ae, not www.salik.com.
- Salik account login is at customers.salik.ae (use your email address the first time).
Last update Tuesday 24-Jun-2014
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