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A conversation with Dubai Taxi #RTA

A conversation with Dubai Taxi #RTA


I think that the RTA does a pretty reasonable job with managing Dubai Taxis. There are a couple of flaws in the system though that I think they might need to sort out to make the experience a bit better. My conversation with the customer centre on Thursday is a prime example. I am doing this post so I can explain to RTA on Twitter what I meant when I tweeted "there is a flaw in your system". Quite rightly they wanted more information and this is the best way to get that through to them.

So here is the conversation:


Me: Can I book a taxi for 7.15 pm

Dubai Taxi: No ma'am we do not take any advanced bookings from 4pm on Thursday (forget till what time - I think its 10pm)

Me: Oh then what do I do?

Dubai Taxi: to be safe, call 40 mins before you need the cab and you should be fine.

Me: so if I call at 6.30, I should be fine? Yes


Me: I would like a taxi at 7.15pm

Dubai Taxi: We don't do advanced bookings and taxis should take between 20-40 mins to arrive. Do you want me to book one now.

Me: will it be 20 mins or 40 mins? I don't want it to arrive too early.

Dubai Taxi: If you are in (my location) then perhaps safer to book now for 7.15.

Me: Okay then book the taxi.

Dubai Taxi: We will call you when we have a taxi.

5 mins later.

Taxi driver: You ordered a taxi?

Me: Yes but I don't need it now

Taxi: When you need it? We are not allowed to wait for more than 10 mins.

Me: Then cancel it please.


Me: Can I order a taxi please

Dubai Taxi: But you already have an order.

Me: Yes but your taxi called me quite early and I was not ready. I asked him to cancel because he could not wait.

Dubai Taxi: Do you want me to rebook it now?

Me: Yes please.


Taxi: You ordered a taxi?

Me: Yes

Taxi: I am waiting downstairs.

You would think that this is the end of the story but wait for it.

Taxi: Your booking is cancelled so I cannot start the meter. Please wait while I call the office.

Taxi to Dubai Taxi centre: Please enable the booking - the passenger is in the taxi but I cannot start the meter

Dubai Taxi: (No idea what they said) but the gist of it was that there was a confusion between the two bookings.

So dear RTA, here is my suggestion. Why not take a limited number of bookings on a first-come, first-serve basis on thursdays, a few per hour which means that at least a few bookings are taken every hour. It saves so much to-ing and fro-ing and makes it smoother for everyone. And the same goes for shift changes at 4pm!

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My Real Life Hero: Ashish Panjabi

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