Dubai offers free parking, taxi fare discounts for tourists with special needs

  • Tourists with special needs or people of determination (PoD) can avail of free public parking across Dubai for up to three months. They can also get special permits to enjoy 50 per cent discount in taxis.

    These were confirmed separately on Thursday to Khaleej Times by officials from Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Taxi Company (DTC).

    Speaking at the 4th Accessible Travel and Tourism International Conference, Osama Al Safi, RTA director of Parking Department and head of Friendly Organisation for PoD, said PoD tourists can use public parking across Dubai for free, similar to the privilege provided to senior Emiratis and PoD residents.Digital parking permit

    Applying for free parking can be done online via RTA’s website or app, or in-person at any RTA customer happiness centre. The RTA has digitised free parking permit services since August last year, allowing PoDs to no longer have to print and display the permits.

    The free parking for PoD tourists, however, is temporary and limited for up to three months per application.

    Discounts in taxi fare

    Meanwhile, PoD tourists can also avail of 50 per cent discount in taxi fares across Dubai, according to Abdullah Ibrahim Al Meer, acting Chief Business Transformation Officer at DTC. “They (PoD tourists) just need to apply for a Sanad card, a smart card issued by the Community Development Authority (CDA) for PoD residents and tourists,” he noted.

    DTC first announced wider coverage for taxi fare discount earlier this week. Previously, only dedicated taxis or those designed for wheelchair users gave discounted fares. But now, PoDs — particularly those with non-motor disabilities — can book regular taxis through the DTC App and enjoy the reduced fare.

    Founded in 1995, DTC is the biggest taxi operator in Dubai. It has a fleet of about 7,000 taxis and it currently holds about 44 per cent market share.

    How to get Sanad card

    As for PoD tourists, Al Meer noted they must avail of a Sanad card to avail of the 50 per cent fare discount.

    According to Community Development Authority (CDA) website, the validity of Sanad cards for PoD tourists is based on their visit duration.

    Application can be done online and the requirements for getting a Sanad card include an e-copy of the visit visa issued by Dubai, passport copy, e-copy of medical report or disability card from home country, and a recent photograph.

     

    Source: Khaleej Times