x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Sheikh gives plate owners Dh26 million

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced a package worth more than Dh26 million would be handed out to owners of private taxi number plates.

Individuals who own plates hired to the Dubai Taxi Agency, which is part of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), will receive an average of Dh4,000 along with their annual payable dues.
Individuals who own plates hired to the Dubai Taxi Agency, which is part of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), will receive an average of Dh4,000 along with their annual payable dues.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday announced a package worth more than Dh26 million (US$7.08m) would be handed out to owners of private taxi number plates. Individuals who own plates hired to the Dubai Taxi Agency, which is part of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), will receive an average of Dh4,000 along with their annual payable dues. There are 6,542 privately owned taxi number plates, which are leased to the taxi agency by their owners.

However, it is not clear whether the handouts would directly benefit the drivers, many of whom yesterday held a half-day work stoppage in protest of what they say is an unfair penalty system. Mattar al Tayer, the chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA, praised Sheikh Mohammed's gesture as a "reward" for the owners of the public taxi number plates, many of whom have limited incomes.

"Such a reward is one of the several bounties His Highness used to offer to citizens," he said. "This payment will help them and their families lead a better life and cope with living requirements." Mr Tayer characterised the package as a "sheer reflection of the attention and follow-up by His Highness of the living and social conditions of his people, particularly those with limited income". He added that the gesture illustrated the ruler's commitment to ensure good living standards in Dubai.

@Email:mkwong@thenational.ae