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The new black-on-yellow plates are aimed at making it easier for riders to read taxis' numbers, officials say.
The new black-on-yellow plates are aimed at making it easier for riders to read taxis' numbers, officials say.

Dubai starts switch to clearer taxi plates

All the city's taxis will be fitted with new number plates after an order issued by the Roads and Transport Authority.

DUBAI // All the city's taxis will be fitted with new number plates after an order issued by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) yesterday. The move comes after the RTA received complaints from motorists and passengers who claimed they could not decipher the number plates when they needed to report them to authorities.

The new plates, which will be mandatory on all taxis in the emirate by January 2010, will bear black numbers on a yellow background, as opposed to the current white numbers on a black background. Some 10,360 number plates have been produced by the Marine Agency in the run up to their introduction with started on Tuesday. The RTA uses German technology to produce the plates, which are made of aluminium. The yellow paint is also reflective.

Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, the chief executive of the RTA's Licensing Agency, said the authority intended to add more colours to the taxi fleets. "The change is also in response to customer wishes who complained from the vague plates at certain times, particularly at night," he added. The city's five taxi companies have until the end of the year to install the new plates, said Mr Bahrozyan. However he added that he expected them all to do so this month.

The Dubai Taxi Corporation started installing the plates yesterday. It expects to have its whole fleet of 3,503 vehicles complete in two weeks, with 250 sets of plates fitted every day. Adil Mohammed, from Pakistan, who has been driving in Dubai for a year, said it would not make any difference to his fares. "I don't think it will attract customers but maybe it will be easier for speed cameras to spot us," he said.

eharnan@thenational.ae

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