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28 February 2024

Illegal passenger transportation on the rise in Dubai; RTA launches crackdown


The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is continuing its campaign to crack down on the practice of providing illegal passenger transportation on private vehicles, against fares which are less than the applicable taxi rates; which amounts to a flagrant breach of transportation rules, be it within Dubai or from Dubai to other Emirates.

"The Public Transport Agency has set out new plans to tackle this phenomenon as of the start of this year," said Ahmed Al Hammadi, Acting CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency.

"The Agency has beefed up the Order No (1) for 2007 governing Passenger Transport Activity in the Emirate of Dubai, where new deterrent provisions have been added to curtail this practice; which include: Impounding vehicles used by offenders, levying hefty fines from them and repatriating or imprisoning the driver in case of a repeated offence. Moreover, fines will also be imposed on brokers who collect and direct potential riders to private vehicles providing this sort of unlawful transport," said Al Hammadi.

"The procedures we intend to adopt have been considered in response to the alarming rates of this phenomenon triggered by an upsurge in the number of illegal workers, increase in the number of tourists heading to the Emirate, and the lucrative gains made by these offenders. Statistics show that 2,050 offences were reported in 2010, and the number went up to 2,447 offences in the following year, and has gone even further to hit 3,479 offences last year; which warrants more stringent penalties to curb this practice," he added.

The Public Transport Agency has framed up policies to restrain this phenomenon since inception, by deploying competent inspectors to apprehend offenders in coordination with the Tourist Police, Dubai Police, Emigration and Passport authorities, driving and traffic department, and Dubai Courts in launching joint campaigns, running awareness workshops, and imposing stringent penalties to rein in this illicit practice," explained Al Hammadi.

He concluded by pointing to the gravity of this practice and the potentials of causing moral crimes and thefts that lack material evidences to help track down perpetrators, not to mention the drop in revenues of the transit means approved by the licensing authorities and franchise companies, and the distortion of the overall and urbanized appearance of the Emirate.