page | Salik | Salik phase
II | latest
Salik news | older
news | Salik how-to
guide | avoid the Salik fee | other
Salik Road Toll in Dubai, UAE
"Reports about the road tolls in Dubai are baseless as there are
no immediate plans to impose tolls either on internal roads in Dubai
or highways connecting other emirates," Maitha Mohammad Bin Udai, Chief
Executive Officer of the Traffic and Roads Agency at the RTA, said in
a statement issued yesterday. - Gulf News 14 September 2006. Less
than a year later, on 01 July 2007, the Salik road toll system was launched
RTA Salik Services Offices
- Abu Dhabi
- Al Ain - opening announced 09 August 2012
- Ras Al Khaimah
New Salik Tolls and Dubai Metro
- The Dubai Metro start date is 09 Septmber 2009. Rumours of more Salik toll gates are unfounded according to the RTA boss, Mattar Al Tayer, in a Gulf News report 03 September 2009. He said "We have no immediate plan to introduce Salik on more roads even after the metro launch," but didn't say how long after metro launch they didn't have plans for more salik tolls.
- The Gulf News said the reports were "baseless". Which sounds like dubaispeak for no more Salik on the day the metro starts but maybe sometime after that ...
Some time after that ...
- ... on 21 February 2011, Gulf News reported that two new locations in Dubai had been proposed as suitable locations for more Salik road toll gates, in Al Ghusais somewhere, and on Al Ittihad Road (Dubai-Sharjah highway) near the Dubai Police HQ.
- A scheduled or planned start date for the new toll booths was not known.
- An unidentified "senior official" (apparently from the RTA) was quoted in the report as saying "Though there is no immediate plan to have more Salik gates, we have already identified the locations to install more gates. The gates will be installed only if the higher authorities approved the plan and give green signal"
- Arabian Business reported on the same day that the RTA refused to comment on media reports it plans to add two Salik toll gates
General Salik information
Salik (pronounced Sa-lik as in cat, not car, and not spelt as Salek,
Salic, Salec, or Saalik) is the name given to the congestion charge
or road user fee system in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) starting
01 July 2007. Dubai's road users will have to pay a road toll or fee
of 4 dhs whenever driving past one of two checkpoints located on the
Sheikh Zayed Road at interchange 4 near Mall
of the Emirates (MOTE),
and Garhood Bridge (see the map
of Salik toll points in the forum topic). The
system as planned will charge a maximum of 24 dhs per day for those
users frequently driving past the toll stations.
The Salik road toll stirred up some passionate discussion in Dubai
with a senior
police official suggesting that the RTA (Roads
and Transport Authority Dubai) was premature with implementing the Salik
system. Residents put Salik at the top of
their whine list as the launch date approached, and there are a couple
of online petitions against (not for) the Salik road tolls. Many residents
are saying it's just a revenue collection exercise, not a traffic problem
solution. The RTA have said they expect to generate annual revenue of
about 600 million dhs from Salik. In October 2006,
the RTA said they had plans to develop 500 km of roads at a cost of
44 billion dhs (44,000 million) in Dubai, and traffic would flow smoothly
within 3 years.
As with anything new in Dubai, there were a few teething
problems that needed to be ironed out, or a complete shambles
in the opinion of some residents. Problems include major traffic jams
around the Garhood Bridge and MOTE intersections as people try to avoid
the toll gates, Salik tag shortages as the toll system was launched
(for residents, taxis and rental cars), delays in receipt of account
number required for online login, mobile telephones flooded with text
messages from Salik (along with spam from unrelated companies), unhelpful
instructions for motorcyclists, contradictory statements from various
authorities about Salik.
Accident potential increased with some drivers braking sharply before
the Salik toll bridge - presumably thinking it's a new speed camera,
or that they have to stop to pay the Salik toll somewhere, or changing
their minds about paying the Salik road toll and wanting to reverse
to the previous motorway exit - a typical Dubai
Driving maneuver. Stay alert and good
Adding credit to your Salik account - top up options
- Tel 800-72545 (800-SALIK) (toll-free in UAE).
- Send SMS from mobile phone (see below).
- Log in to your Salik account online (pay by credit card).
Latest news about the Salik road toll in Dubai
Salik charges for Dubai taxis - 06 December 2012 press release (and conflicting news reports ... as usual)
- From mid January 2013, Salik toll charges will be automatically added to Dubai taxi fares ... unless or until the RTA changes their mind again. Taxis were charged Salik tolls when the system was introduced in July 2007, then exempted from December 2008.
- Eisa Abdul-Rahman Al Dosari, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency, was quoted in the press release as saying "The decision will be applied gradually as RTA concerned staff will be working on upgrading taxi meter systems of a specific number of taxis on daily basis starting from the mid of next month."
- 05 Dec 2012 - the Khaleej Times reported that The Public Transport Agency of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Wednesday announced that it has decided to reapply the toll charge for cab rides.
- 05 Dec 2012 - the Khaleej Times reported that The Roads and Transport Authority CEO has said the organisation has not decided whether the Salik toll will be charged by cabs or not, despite media reports to the contrary.
- 03 Dec 2012 - the Gulf News reported that Taxi users will no longer be exempt from the Dh4 toll when crossing Salik gates beginning January 1, (01 January 2013).
09 July 2012 - Top up Salik by mobile phone (again)
- A new Salik top-up by sms service was announced by the RTA (there was a previous service using the mpay system announced in October 2008).
- According to Engineer Maitha Bin Udai, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency, "The new service is so simple as it only requires the customer to write in the text message the following data, and in the following order: Number of Salik Tag, Salik Account Number and Salik PIN; and then send these contents to the service-dedicated number 5959 ..." (quoted in the Khaleej Times). The report didn't say how to enter the amount or how you would pay it.
Sunday 23 November 2008 - Dubai Taxis no Salik charges
From 02 December 2008, Dubai Taxis will be exempt from all Salik toll fees (so passengers should not pay either - watch out for taxis trying to tell you otherwise). Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari, CEO of the RTA Public Transport Agency said:
"Exempting taxis of Dubai Taxi Agency and franchise companies from Salik charges contributes to upgrading the level of taxi service." The press release from the RTA said they "announced its decision to exempt all taxis from the toll fees (Salik) starting the 2nd of December 2008", however it's not clear if the RTA definition of "all taxis" includes taxis that are not part of the Dubai Taxi franchise. One report the next morning in The Xpress said "The exemption, however, does not apply to taxi units registered in other emirates."
Monday 20 October 2008 - Top up Salik by mobile phone
The RTA says you can now top up your Salik account by mobile phone, if you've signed up to the Dubai e-government mPay service which was launched a few days previously in October 2008. Sign up at mPay website (mpay.dubai.ae): free registration, receive an email with activation code, send SMS with activation code to 4488 from the mobile phone you registered, and you'll receive a PIN number to use for all mPay transactions (not just Salik).
Salik phase 2
Thursday 28 August 2008 - no Salik charges at night on Maktoum Bridge
- No Salik tolls will be charged from 2200-0600 (until 0900 on Fridays) on the Maktoum Bridge as the Floating Bridge is closed during those hours, according to the Xpress newspaper.
- The single trip charge for passing under Al Barsha Gate and Al Safa Gate is if the second gate is passed "within a specified normal time required to do cover the distance" according to the RTA Salik website FAQs, and you're going in the same direction through both gates. Unhelpfully, that "specified" time is not specified. The Xpress report quoted an unnamed senior official as saying "motorists will not be charged an additional Dh4 if they pass a second gate within an hour of passing the first gate on the same journey" which sets things up for a pleasant dose of Dubai Irony. During rush hour, traffic can slow to a crawl between Al Barsha and Al Safa with a possible journey time of more than 1 hour, resulting in a double Salik toll charge for getting stuck in the very traffic jam Salik was supposed to alleviate.
- Expect some confusion and traffic jams around the Safa Park interchange and Al Maktoum Bridge on 09 September 2008 as Salik Phase 2 kicks in and confused or un-Saliked drivers try to reverse, suddenly attempt to exit SZ Road, or just drive in circles. It shouldn't be as bad as the shambles when Salik Phase 1 started but stay alert.
Tuesday 27 May 2008 - More Salik gates at Al Maktoum Bridge and Safa
So finally after months of rumours of Salik expansion plans, denials
of rumours, and "no comments" from the RTA, they announced that
they had installed 2 new Salik toll gates on the Al Safa Park Bridge
(interchange 2 on Sheikh Zayed Road) and at the Al Maktoum Bridge. Don't
panic just yet, the gates won't be activated until 09 September 2008
according to the press release from the RTA.
The RTA also said if a car goes through the both the Al Barsha toll
gate and the Al Safa toll gate on the same journey, there will only
be a single charge of 4 dirhams. How slow or fast you have to go was
not specified. So if you stop to fill up at a gas station along SZ Road
between Salik toll points, does that still count as a single journey?
- Mattar Al Tayer, the RTA boss, said "A pioneering project, Salik has
proven to be highly efficient since its inception as a unique solution
to resolve traffic issues."
- The RTA press release reported
that a study showed how successful phase I of the Salik road toll had been,
had been reduced "at toll areas by 25% and lowered the duration
of the journey on Sheikh Zayed road by 50% and increased the average
speed from 40 to 80 km/hour."
Erm, is there anyone managing an average speed of 80 km/hr between
5pm and 7pm on the Sheikh Zayed Road from Mall of the Emirates to
the Garhood Bridge? Expect to see a few grumbling letters in the newspapers
over the next few days. What do you think? Say something here - Salik
Sunday 03 January 2008 - Dubai residents say they don't want more Salik
Arabianbusiness.com, a UAE business magazine and website, conducted
a survey which saw the majority of respondents saying they didn't want
more Salik toll roads. A result which is unlikely to surprise anyone,
except perhaps the RTA. What was surprising was that 16%
of those surveyed wanted more Salik toll gates as soon as possible.
Then again, perhaps the surprise was that so few voted in favour, after
all, according to a 29 January 2008 report in the Khaleej
Al Tayer, the RTA chief, said
- "The fact that Salik has done wonders by reducing traffic congestion
by almost 30 per cent on Garhoud Bridge and Shaikh Zayed Road
cannot be denied. People are happy and are praising the toll system,"
Tuesday 29 January 2008 - Salik expansion plans again
Following on from August, November, and December reports of Salik expansion
plans, several newspaper reports appeared, commenting on the possibility
of the Salik toll system expansion. A definitive statement was supplied
to the Gulf News by the RTA boss, Mattar Al Tayer, who said "I
can't say 'yes' or 'no' on the second phase of the Salik toll system
on Dubai roads," which clears things up nicely.
said that the current Salik system was being evaluated and possible
future projects were being studied, and so you aren't left wondering
what that means, this is what else he said to the Gulf
News and the
- "But it does not mean that Salik is being introduced on other roads,"
- "We have not taken any decision on the implementation of the
second phase of the Salik. The toll system is in fact part of a series
of integrated solutions worked out by the RTA to tackle traffic congestion,"
- "We will inform the public if there is any decision on introducing
the second phase of Salik but so far there is no plan,"
- "We are looking at different
options. The RTA is presently studying the phase 2 and 3 of the project.
We would be announcing the decision soon,"
Sounds like it is definitely a certainty that the second phase of the
Salik system could possibly be under consideration for future implementation
in the fullness of time should the circumstances deem it to be necessary.
Archive of older news has been moved to the Salik
Dubai news page.
Using the Salik toll system
Open a Salik account, put the Salik sticker on your car windshield
(inside!), charge up your Salik account like a prepaid phone, and every
time you drive past a toll point, the toll fee will be automatically
deducted from your account.
Remember to bring a photocopy of
your car registration when applying for your Salik tag. Salik tag costs
- Go to a branch of Dubai Islamic Bank or Emirates
Bank, or an ENOC, EMARAT
or EPPCO service station to open a Salik account.
- Fill in an application form to open a Salik account. The Salik application
form is available at locations given above, also online at the Salik
website but don't bother downloading it, since you'll have to fill
in another one when you buy your Salik kit.
- You need your car registration card and a photocopy (some/all
locations will not make a copy for you), and money - 100 dhs
to get a Salik tag for your car which includes 50 dhs worth of toll
- If you own more than one car, you register them on the
same account but you still need to buy additional
tags for each car.
- Your mobile number is needed so Salik can send you a text message
or sms with your account number, and when your credit is running
- Stick the tag carefully on your windscreen by following the instructions
in the Salik package (or get them from the Salik website, www.salik.ae),
and you're all set to go. Usually the Salik tag should be stuck just
below where the rear view mirror is attached (mount the Salik tag
on the inside of
the windscreen). Clean the glass first. Tinted windows will apparently
prevent correct reading of the Salik tag. BMW, Mercedes, Range Rover,
and Rolls Royce Phantom owners have to follow special instructions
for Salik tag location - see the Salik website (www.salik.ae) for
a document with the correct location of Salik sticker, or phone 800-SALIK
- When credit for Salik runs low, you'll be sent an sms reminder to
top it up - once at 30 dhs, once at 20 dhs, and once at 0 dhs. Recharge/top
up your Salik tags at the bank or petrol stations listed in item
1, also at bank ATMS, also online eventually.
Salik / RTA will send a PIN and account number to your mobile phone
for online access ... eventually.
How to avoid paying the Salik Road Toll
- Well, one method is simply not to bother with the Salik tag. You won't
get stopped from driving through the toll gates,
but you will collect fines that will catch up with you when
you register the car and/or leave the country, or sooner if the Police/RTA
decide it's worthwhile to chase you. This method is not recommended.
- Catch a bus.
- Use someone else's car (if it's without a Salik tag, it doesn't matter
since it's the owner that gets fined).
- Drive a route that doesn't go past the Salik
Road Toll. To get across Dubai Creek using a different route
than the Garhood / Garhoud Bridge with its Salik toll point, try:
- Al Shindagha Tunnel near the mouth of the creek - usually very busy.
- Maktoum Bridge (no Salik-free longer from September 2008) from Bur Dubai to Deira - usually very busy and
more so after the introduction of Salik. Congestion should
decrease when the Floating Bridge opens.
- The Floating Bridge - near Maktoum Bridge, was
supposed to be open by the time Salik kicked off but was delayed
a couple of weeks and opened on 16 July 2007. The crossing
is from Oud Metha Road / Riyadh St between Creek Park and Dubai
Courts, to Al Ittihad Road near Deira City Center. Hours of operation
6am to 10pm.
- Business Bay Bridge - new in 2007 and relatively uncongested.
- Ras Al Khor Road and Al Khail Road - join Emirates Road and go
around the back end of the creek. Not too bad but Emirates
Road can get choked up, especially closer to Sharjah at
- Once you're on the Garhood Bridge coming from Sharjah
direction, you cannot avoid paying the Salik toll charge - there
is an exit before the main Salik toll point after the Garhoud bridge
but it has its own Salik gate.
- To avoid the Mall of the Emirates toll point, exit Sheikh Zayed
Road (SZR) at junction 5 if coming from Jebel Ali, or junction
4 if coming from Dubai direction. To get around the Salik Toll
Station between junctions 4 and 5, either use Al Sofouh Road
(Al Sufouh Rd) on the coastal side of the SZR, or Al
Mafraq Road on the desert side of SZR. Bear in mind that you
might use 4 dhs worth of petrol for the extra distance covered,
and you'll be stuck in a traffic jam with all the other Salik
- XPRESS4ME on 28 June 2007 had a handy guide
of alternative non-Salik routes.
Other Salik information
- Salik tags cannot be removed without damaging
them which means you only get one shot at mounting the Salik tag
in the correct place. Don't try and install it when driving over
- Window tinting - The RTA say that Salik doesn't work
if your windscreen is tinted eg with V-Kool, but there are mixed reports
from drivers with some saying their Salik tags weren't read, and others
saying they were.
- Motorcycles are supposed to sign up and pay Salik
road tolls and the RTA were trying to figure out where motorcyclists
should attach their Salik tags if their motorcycle
doesn't have a windscreen. They didn't suggest the helmet as a Salik
tag location, and as of 29 June 2007 appeared to have given up trying
to find a solution
for motorcyclists. Although Wheels (a UAE car magazine) managed to
obtain a comment
from the RTA saying "However, they don't
have to affix the Salik tags if the bike doesn't have a windshield.
The system will deduct the toll by identifying the number plate."
- Manual toll payment of the 4 dh fee in cash through
a separate lane, if you don't have or want
a Salik tag, was reported in early June 2007 to be available. However,
there are no such lanes at the Salik
road toll locations.
- Salik timings are scheduled to be 24 hours per day
although there was some discussion about reducing that.
- Penalties for driving through a toll point without
enough credit, or without an active Salik account, will be a
fine of at least 50 or 100 dhs (increases daily to 400 dhs per
day for repeat offences) which will be waived if you sign up or credit
your account within 2 days of the offence. Balances can be checked
salik.ae or by calling 800-72545. You'll receive an sms if you collect a fine
says the RTA.
- Taxis are not exempt from the Salik road toll -
if you're a passenger, you'll have to pay the fee. Taxis are not subject
to the 24 dhs per day toll cap, according to the RTA in July 2007.
- Rental cars also have to pay the fee - rental car companies should
have an arrangement where they can bill you for the Salik toll charges
incurred during your visit. They may charge you an extra 10-25% administrative
fee. For long term rentals and lease vehicles, you may have to pay
the additional administrative fee, or install a Salik card yourself.
Ask what the arrangements are before renting or leasing.
- Visitors to Dubai with their own cars have to obtain a Salik tag
and pay Salik tolls (said
Mattar Al Tayer, the Executive Director
of the RTA in an interview with the press in June 2007).
- Vehicles exempted from paying Salik toll charges are Public and
School buses, ambulances, police and military vehicles, and vehicles
belonging to Special Needs institutes.
- If you sell your car, notify Salik to deactivate or deregister the
Salik tag. The new owner has to buy a new Salik Tag. Selling your
car with an active Salik tag may sound like a clever bit of marketing
but you're not supposed to, and remember that as it's your name registered,
you'll probably cop all the fines the new owner collects since s/he
has no incentive to top up the Salik card.
- Charges for the Salik toll card are 50 dhs for
new, replacement or transfer. If you lose the Salik card, or damage
it, or want to put it on a new car, you have to buy a new one. The
RTA won't give replacement Salik cards for no charge.
- Cancellation is 10 dhs (which you
have to do if selling your car), and to add an extra insult, they
don't refund you any leftover credit.
- Fines are 50 dhs - 10,000 dhs depending on the offence (the big
one is for "card
manipulation", otherwise it's 50-400 dhs).
- Contact the RTA (Roads and Transport Authority Dubai) for official
information about Salik - they are the organisation in charge of
implementing Salik. Tel
800-SALIK (72545) - Arabic, English, Urdu speakers available.
Visit the Salik
Road Toll discussion for more questions, answers and
news, or the new one for Salik
phase 2. Add your comments, ask your questions.