Every driver in Dubai is familiar with toll gates, or “Salik” scheme which has been in existence since 2007. These toll gates help you to avoid traffic jams by driving on the highway at a fee.
In a bid to reduce traffic congestion in the city, encourage the use of environmentally friendly transport options such as public transport and electric cars, the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport and Integrated Transport Centre has announced a new toll fee on four major bridges in Abu Dhabi.
Where will the new toll gates be placed?
The new road charge will come into effect on 15th October 2019 and will affect the following roads:-
- The Sheikh Zayed Bridge. This will affect motorists who commute from Abu Dhabi City to Khalifah City, Masdar, the airport, Shahama, Samha as well as Dubai.
- Mussafah Bridge. The new toll fee will be felt by those using this route to head to the airport or drop their kids off to school around the Mussafah area. Drivers moving from the Al Khaleeji Al Arabi Street to t he Mohamed Bin Zayed City should expect the toll fee.
- Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Bridge. Located along the Abu Dhabi – Al Falah Road, this route is popular amongst motorists who commute from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Those driving from Abu Dhabi City to Saadiyat Island, Yas island, Shahama and Dubai using this road will be affected by the new road charge.
- Al Maqtaa Bridge. This bridge connects Abu Dhabi city to Al Ain and Al Maqtaa and motorists who use it to get to the airport should be ready to pay the toll fee.
How much will motorists be charged for using the toll gates?
Abu Dhabi will not be implementing the flat rate AED 4 charged across all the seven toll gates in Dubai. Instead, toll fees will depend on off peak and peak times as well as the days.
Drivers will pay AED 4 for using any of the four toll gates on weekdays (Saturday – Thursday) during peak hours (7am-9am and 5pm-7pm). On the other hand, motorists who use the toll gates outside these times and on Fridays as well as during public holidays will be charged AED 2 off-peak fees.
If you use any of these toll gates frequently and make multiple trips through them on a daily basis you will only have to pay a standard maximum fee of AED 16 regardless of the times and journeys you make.
Special exemption will be made for public service vehicles, licensed taxis, ambulances, police cars, Ministry of Interior vehicles, armed forces and civil defense cars. In addition, motorcycle riders, electric cars, trailers and passenger buses ferrying at least 26 passengers will also be exempt from the toll charges.
How will the new fee be charged?
Unlike in Dubai where the Salik tag on each registered car activates the payment for every use of the toll gate, the Abu Dhabi toll fees will be charged through an online system. All vehicles registered in Abu Dhabi will automatically be registered on this system and motorists can pay their toll-fees through an e-wallet and top up whenever need arises. The online system will go live on 30th August 2019 and automatic registration of vehicles will be free of charge.
What of vehicles registered outside Abu Dhabi?
If your car is registered outside Abu Dhabi you will be required to register it in the new online system before 15th October 2019. Drivers of non- Abu Dhabi cars who use the toll gates will be given a 10-day grace period to register their vehicles and pay their dues.
Like all other traffic regulations in the UAE, you will be forced to pay fines if you fail to adhere to the new toll gate regulations and charges. Drivers who do not register their cars on the new online system within 10 days of using any toll gate will be charged AED 100 fine on the first day, AED 200 on the second and AED 400 on the third day. A maximum fine of AED 10,000 will be charged for this violation.
Even if your car is registered outside Abu Dhabi and listed on the new system, you must still ensure that you have enough balance in your account or e-wallet. All non-Abu Dhabi cars will be charged AED 50 fine for using the toll gates without sufficient balance. Ultimately, the new toll gates will affect your transport budget and you might want to sell your used car and opt for a more fuel efficient vehicle or even get a motorcycle. Wecashanycar offers the latest traffic news and updates to help you drive safely through the UAE. Follow our blog to stay updated.