A taxi in Dubai can have various-coloured roofs, but until recently, purple was not part of the palette.
However, now, purple-roof taxis can be spotted in the emirate. Where did these taxis come from?
The colour of the taxi roof indicates the taxi franchise, and recently, a franchise agreement was signed with another taxi company, City Taxi. The colour purple was selected to flag the new addition to the fleet.
“City Taxi is a new company franchised by Dubai Taxi. Currently, there are 35 taxis on the road deployed by the company,” explained Adel Shakri, Director of Transportation Systems at the Road and Transport Authority (RTA).
The cooperation with the taxi company is not entirely new, he explained. “Earlier, they provided taxis for the shared taxi scheme, a project which we experimented with a while ago. However, this project was cancelled, and City Taxi is now part of the regular fleet of taxis.”
The 35 taxis of City Taxi form an addition to the overall fleet, which sees regular expansions. Asked whether there will be more purple-roof taxis on the road in 2015, Shakri answered that this would depend on the taxi company itself.
“We are expanding our fleet this year and it is up to the companies to bid for this expansion. If City Arabia would like to expand, it can bid on the tender when it is announced.”
Currently, there are six companies making up the Dubai taxi fleet. Most taxis are operated under Dubai Taxi Operation (DTC), riding under the red roof.
There is Arabia Taxi (green roof), Metro Taxi (orange roof), National Taxi (yellow roof) and Cars Taxi (blue roof).
In addition, Dubai Taxi operates the Ladies and Families Taxi under the pink roof, and the Hatta Taxi, which can be recognised by its logo of two stones, depicting the defence fortresses used against invaders.
Airport taxis, which only operate from Dubai International Airport and recently, also from Al Maktoum International Airport, are distinguished by the airport logo on the front, left and right side of the vehicle.
Special Need Taxi, equipped and designed with travel comfort in mind can be spotted through the blue special-needs logo on the passenger doors and black window, but this taxi can only be booked through the Dispatch Centre.
The largest dedicated taxi fleet, however, is Hala Taxi, a service launched at the end of 2013 to respond to bookings made through the Dispatch Centre only. The black-and-white cabs now count 450 and cannot be flagged down on the street.
The total number of taxis has now come to 9,087, said the RTA.