Tuesday 23 April 2019 (UAE)

Salik Road Toll Dubai

traffic jam at trade center roundabout Dubai
salik logo
map of Salik toll points on Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai
approach to salik checkpoint

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 in Dubai.

List of Salik toll gates in Dubai (total six as of 15 April 2013)

Salik updates, FAQs, and notes

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), start date 01 July 2007. Dubai road users have to pay a road toll or fee of 4 dhs whenever driving past one of several checkpoints on the Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Creek bridges, Al Ittihad Rd (Dubai to Sharjah highway), Airport Road, and any further new Salik toll gate locations. The system charged a maximum of 24 dhs per day for frequent toll gate users, but after the number of toll gates increased to six in April 2013, and the number of freqent users increased, the RTA removed the daily cap in July 2013, presumably to take advantage of additional revenue generation.

Prior to and during the launch phase, the Salik road toll system 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 were a couple of online petitions against (not for) the Salik road tolls. Many residents said it was just a revenue collection exercise, not a traffic problem solution. Whilst the RTA obviously does collect revenue from Salik, it is worth comparing what they spend on road infrastructure compared to what they collect.

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 common Dubai driving maneuver. Stay alert and good luck.

Lost Salik PIN code, account number, mobile phone, tag numbers

Note that Salik have designed their website so it doesn't work properly in browsers other than Internet Explorer (for example trying to change dates and other settings on form submissions). If you have a problem, try using IE. Which is potentially a security risk, but at least they seem to have fixed (in 2013) the payment system so it works on browsers other than IE.

Adding credit to your Salik account - top up options and online payment website

RTA Salik services offices

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 100 dhs.

  1. Go to a branch of Dubai Islamic Bank or Emirates Bank, or an ENOC, EMARAT or EPPCO service station to open a Salik account.
  2. 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.
  3. You need your car registration card and a photocopy (some or 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 credit.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 low.
  6. 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 (72545).
  7. 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

  1. Well, one method is simply not to bother with the Salik tag. You won't be prevented from driving through the toll gates, nor will the police or anyone else chase after you, 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 or RTA decide it's worthwhile to come and find you. This method is not recommended.
  2. Catch a bus or taxi, or the Dubai Metro.
  3. Ride a bicycle in Dubai (but it's a bit risky, and very hot in summer). Or walk. Or skateboard.
  4. Use someone else's car (if it's without a Salik tag, it doesn't matter since it's the owner that gets fined).
  5. 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:

Other Salik information

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.

Latest news about the Salik road toll in Dubai

New Salik Tolls and Dubai Metro
Some time after that ...
Salik road toll increase 4 to 5 dhs per trip (Dec 2013)
Salik surcharge for rental cars illegal (Dec 2013)

Rental car companies in Dubai usually charge customers an extra dirham as an administrative fee for each Salik trip they make.

Salik daily cap or limit no more (July 2013)
New Salik toll gates (April 2013) - Phase III
Salik charges for Dubai taxis - 06 December 2012 press release (and conflicting news reports ... as usual)
09 July 2012 - Top up Salik by mobile phone (again)
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
Tuesday 27 May 2008 - More Salik gates at Al Maktoum Bridge and Safa Park

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, near Business Bay) 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?

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.

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 Times, Mattar Al Tayer, the RTA chief, said

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.

He apparently 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 Khaleej Times.

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.

Last update Tuesday 24-Jun-2014
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