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whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

London
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whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

So I have just got back from my second visit to dubai, lat time I went was 2 years ago in July and I dont remember the taxi drivers being so miserable and rude. The best one is the refusal of taking me (and others from what I have read) to destinations that is under 15dhs.

I got this quite a bit, for instance I went to the marina mall, and was staying at the Marina byblos, which is only a 10min walk, however I had shopping, I mean waitrose shopping not lightweight pretty dresses or I would have walked back, and I got a look of such anger because I had such a short trip even though he could see the bags of shopping, the other one was I was at the marina walk, jonnny rockets to be precise which is quite a distance back to the byblos, alone with 2 kids one being aged 3 , half asleep at 10pm, and two taxi drivers refused to take me, the one that finally did explained that the taxi drivers do not like short trips, and this attitude especially seeing me as a single woman with kids at night is beyond me.

I was in the MOE and the woman in front of me went to get into the taxi, (she had lots of carrefour shopping) she told him where she wanted to go and he drove off, i asked what happened she said she has no clue, I asked if it was a close journey and she said reasonably so I can only assume this is why he just left her in the lurch, luckly the mall attendant took down the details.

I did say after my first visit I wouldnt go back (I prefer Abu dhabi) but as I found a cheap air fare i thought may as well, this business with the taxi drivers has ensured this recent trip will be my last. I did take the metro wherever possible to avoid the taxi drivers but sometimes this was not feasable...I thought the London minicab drivers were surly but Dubai is a totally different catergory.

Here and there
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for Dubai, Pissouri
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31. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

The post is 9 months old !

Kidderminster
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32. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

Interesting thread.... I am off to Dubai for the first time in a couple of weeks and we'll have to rely on taxis to get around.

I live in a tourist area of Turkey and here tourists often suffer from the same thing - rude, aggressive taxi drivers who basically behave like Mafia! It tends to happen more in tourist areas than big cities like Istanbul where I have never been refused a taxi.

I don't know exactly what someone in Dubai would earn, but I would imagine that taxi companies make enormous profits bearing in mind how cheap cars and fuel are. Whether this is passed on to the drivers is a different matter. Someone above said that 4 AED is not much, but that's 80p in UK money, and taking into account an estimated local average wage, that is probably worth the equivalent of £3 or £4 to them - I think a taxi driver anywhere should be delighted with that sort of tip for a short journey!

A lot of people in foreign countries have a notion that all tourists are rich and should be throwing their money around. It sounds like the taxi drivers should be grateful that people do not have to pay by far the highest per capita petrol prices in the world, as the Turks do, otherwise they wouldn't have the luxury of turning down business.

33. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

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Removed on: 07 January 2013, 08:35
Rome, Italy
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34. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

My experience as a woman traveler taking a taxi from the airport, you have to take the pink taxi and they are very nice....but really do not know where they are going! As well, we used a private driver to get around for two days and he never gave us his price....just told us that if God was willing I would reward him kindly for his touring service. The morning came that we were supposed to go to the airport and we were waiting out in the heat and called him many times...finally he picked us up (after being woken up out of a sound sleep) and ran to get us, we almost missed our flight. I could have been a horrible person and taken another ride to the airport, but didn't want to not pay him for his previous services. He was very sorry that he was late, I paid him well and all ended good. We did have an issue with the lines at the hotel by the Dubai Mall, people cutting infront of us after dinner one night to get back, but we were staying on the Palm, so each fare was high as the distance was far. Dubai has a mix of cultures and this is something to remember. They are trying to be another Vegas but have a long way to go! Expect the unexpected when traveling in strange places, but also know how to adapt to the local folks (not their rude behavior though). We will go back as it is a fun place to visit!

Rome, Italy
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35. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

It seems that they are being tested for something else now!

dubai-taxi.com/business-and-jobs/1090/taxi-d…

Rome, Italy
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36. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

They are stating that they are ranked 3rd in the world by TRIP ADVISER! Read this!

dubai-taxi.com/featured/1283/dubai-ranked-no…

Dubai, United Arab...
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37. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

Unfortunately there are an awful lot of taxi drivers out here who do not drive particularly well, and have no idea where they are going. The amount of them who go "I am new here, I do not know where that is" is quite frustrating - especially when I was very new to the region also.

Basically they cannot refuse to take you once you are in the taxi so I would just advise that you get in, then tell them your destination. If they refuse to take you, take their number down which is normally printed on the side of the car, by the seat belt, behind the front seats, and say I will report you if you do not take me.

Another thing they do which they shouldn't, is talk on their mobiles. After a taxi driver almost hit another car up the behind because he was on the phone, I do not put up with it anymore - I now say, excuse me, do not talk on your phone whilst driving, it is illegal and I will report you if you continue.

Another word of advice, have Google maps or the like on your phone so you can direct them, 9 times out of 10 they won't know where they are going.

It shouldn't stop you from coming here to visit, at all. Just be prepared and know what you need to do. Think about how cheap taxis are, they really have to take a lot of fares to make a poor wage and there are so many taxis out here, work is hard and long for them. I am never rude to them, even if they are to me. If they are rude, just know your rights, threaten to report them if you have to but just be stern with them. I have had the pleasure of being driven by some very lovely taxi drivers here.

Also, single Western females in particular, if you are in a taxi on your own, try your absolute best not to speak to the driver, pretend you are on your phone and if they ask if you are married, just say "yes", even if you are not.

Dubai, United Arab...
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38. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

It has to be said that a good number of taxi drivers tend to 'raise' the meter fare through - 1. take a longer route than necessary (this is quite common if they guess the passenger is new to Dubai) - 2. take irrelevant routes on the excuse 'sorry I am new - I don't know the route'. The second instance is absolute rubbish, since they could not employ cabbies who do not know the directions in the city. Most passengers would not take the trouble to complain because their time is precious. When you do, the drivers get a heavy penalty or even lose their job. Thus even a threat that you would complain would get the taxi driver's full attention.

Despite all of this, Dubai Taxi service looks to be reliable overall.

Dubai, United Arab...
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39. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

Totally agree - the threat to report is enough!

They do take the longer route if they can - that's where that Google maps on your phone comes in handy :)

Dubai, United Arab...
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40. Re: whats up with the taxi drivers?!?

Taxis in Dubai are cheap. They are cheap because the drivers earn very little (around USD 700 per month) and work very long (12 hours shifts etc.). They have to make a minimum turnover per day, if not they get a salary deduction and in the long run lose their job.

Most taxi drivers become taxi drivers only in Dubai.

There is no knowledge test. Hence a new taxi driver does not know the city. It has been announced that all taxis will receive GPS guidance systems. However it is always good if you know where you want to go, just in case the taxi driver does not know.

Sometimes taxi driver take the scenic route, sometimes they just take the route they know and not the shortest one.

All taxis are metered, so price is never a debate.

If you know that you take a very short ride, just enter the taxi first and then announce the destination. Accept that he will not be too happy, especially if he had to wait very long. Give him a nice tip for the short ride.

In general they are polite and helpful. But with the number of drivers you can have the occasional rude one.

Taxi are in ok shape.

Driving style is rather aggressive with not too much respect for laws and regulations.

Comparing Dubai to other cities, I like the taxi system in Dubai. Taking the price into account it is very good. Compared to other Middle East countries, the UAE has probably the best taxi system with the most consistent service.