Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

End of the road for Abu Dhabi's golden taxis

The last of the gold-and-white Abu Dhabi taxis will be off the road by the start of 2013.

ABU DHABI // Gold-and-white taxis will disappear from the streets of Abu Dhabi next year.

Fewer than 800 of the original 8,000 remain in the emirate, and the drivers' permits will expire on December 31.

Each cab is sponsored by an Emirati owner. Drivers pay the sponsor a monthly fee and keep the rest of their earnings.

TransAD started phasing out the taxis in 2007 and introduced franchise taxi companies. The authority will compensate licence owners, paying Dh1,000 to each for 25 years. Drivers can sell their licence to TransAD for Dh100,000 from next year.

TransAD will not offer any compensation to the drivers.

"But we are offering the drivers to join the franchises," said Mohammed Al Hosani, TransAD director of franchise and licensing.

Drivers who do not read Arabic or English will not be eligible to join, he said.

The old taxis are loved and hated by passengers for their personalised interiors and bargained fares. Drivers choose their own hours, their own lodgings and, often, their customers.

Passengers are urged to book taxis in advance to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions, said Mr Al Hosani. Currently, only 2 per cent of taxi rides are pre-booked.

Abu Dhabi has a fleet of 7,147 taxis that can be booked by calling 600 535353.

azacharias@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 An tenant in the Al Barsha area of Dubai has been sent a non-renewable contract by the landlord. Randi Sokoloff / The National

Dubai landlord refuses to pay back Rera fees after losing rent case

Keren Bobker helps a tenant who wants to know how to reclaim his RERA case fees and who has also been sent a contract with a “one-year nonrenewable” note.

 A customer looks at a large mock-up of videogame console Game Boy.  Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP Photo

Nintendo’s Game Boy at 25: hand-held legacy lives on

Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary Monday with the portable device’s legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans.

 Lewis Hamilton got off to an ideal start in the Mercedes at the Chinese Grand Prix. Cliva Mason / Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton completes dominant victory at Chinese Grand Prix

It is a Mercedes 1-2 as Nico Rosberg finishes in second place with Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso getting a podium place.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 The mother removes the noose with the help of her husband from around the neck of Balal.

In pictures: Mother forgives her son’s killer as he awaited his execution

An Iranian mother spared the life of her son’s convicted murderer with an emotional slap in the face as he awaited execution with the noose around his neck.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National