If you plan to rent a car in Abu Dhabi, you should familiarize yourself with the city’s new road toll system. Here’s all you need to know.
According to the Department of Transport (DOT), the new toll scheme is aimed to reduce peak-hour traffic congestion downtown. The government also hopes that this will encourage more people to use public transit and other sustainable modes of transport.
There are four toll gates positioned on each major bridge that connects Abu Dhabi to the mainland – Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Bridge, Al Maqtaa Bridge and Mussafah Bridge.
- How does the toll system work?
The Abu Dhabi toll gates work in a similar way to the Salik system of Dubai. But unlike Salik, there is no need to paste tags on the windshield. Instead, the electronic toll reads the plate number of the vehicle that passes through and deducts money from their prepaid account.
- How much will it cost?
Every pass will cost each vehicle Dhs4 during peak times on all working days. Peak times start from 7AM to 9AM and continue from 5PM to 7PM Saturday to Thursday. During off-peak hours, Fridays, and public holidays, each pass will cost Dh2. The maximum fee limit per day for a passing vehicle is capped at Dh16.
- Who is exempt from paying the toll?
The Integrated Transport Centre expanded the categories of Emiratis exempt from the toll charges. The list includes the elderly, individuals with special needs, retired personnel, families of the martyred, and families with low income. Public buses and emergency response vehicles are also exempted.
- How do I register?
Vehicle owners registered in Abu Dhabi were automatically added to the new toll system. They were notified via SMS of their account details.
Road users that are registered outside the capital are instructed to create an account through the DOT website before driving through the tolls. They also have to add a minimum of Dhs100 to their Integrated Electronic Payment wallet.
- Are there fines if I don’t register?
An unregistered vehicle is given a 10-day grace period. Passing through the gate after 10 days will result in a rising penalty of Dhs100 for the first offence, Dhs200 for the second offence, Dhs400 for the third offence, and could lead to a maximum fine of up to Dh10,000.
- What are the other violations?
Vehicles registered outside Abu Dhabi crossing a tollgate without sufficient balance can incur a Dh50 fine if the balance is not paid within five days. Tampering a license plate to evade payment could also result in a Dh10,000 fine.
- Where can I find out more?
Tourists are encouraged to be familiar with the new road toll system. To learn more, they can visit the ITC (Integrated Transport Center) website.
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