So, you’ve been in Dubai for a while now, got your driver’s licence, and decided to take the first steps to getting on the road. You’ve selected a vehicle and are now looking into car insurance. But there’s one thing you’ve yet to research: Salik. You’ve heard taxi drivers talk about it, and your friends have filled you in on some basic information, but you still don’t really know what it entails. Don’t worry. This blog will help to address the blanks, so sorting out Salik in Dubai won’t “take its toll” on you!
What is SALIK?
Salik is the name given to the electronic toll road system in Dubai and means “open or clear” in Arabic. Based on RFID technology, it automatically deducts a fee when a toll gate is passed under. The Salik toll was launched by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (known as the RTA) on 1 July 2007 and is regulated by the UAE Government.
How does it work?
Based on Radio Frequency Technology, or RFID for short, Salik automatically deducts a fee when a toll gate is passed under and operates without toll booths or barriers, meaning traffic flow isn’t interrupted by the system. Each time you drive through a Salik toll gate, the in-built RFID technology, or Salik sensor, detects your vehicle and scans your Salik sticker tag, which should be affixed to the windshield of your vehicle. The relevant toll (AED 4 as at November 2022) is automatically deducted from a pre-paid account which you’ll need to set up when registering your vehicle to the scheme.
How many toll gates are there for Salik in Dubai?
Currently, there are 8 toll gates in Dubai, strategically placed along the highways and major roads, such as Sheikh Zayed Road, running south to north. The toll gates (in alphabetical order) are situated at:
- Al Barsha
- Al Garhoud
- Al Maktoum
- Al Mamzar South
- Al Mamzar North
- Al Safa
- DXB International Airport Tunnel
- Jebel Ali
How to set up Salik in Dubai
Setting up Salik is easy and can all be done online. Purchase a “Salik” tag through an authorized dealer or, more conveniently, online via the Salik website, and then create an account by providing your details such as Salik Tag number, mobile phone number and any other information requested. Confirmation of registration will then be sent via email and SMS.
Do I need to slow down when I’m passing through a barrier?
No, that’s the beauty of the Salik system: it was designed to promote normal, seamless traffic flow and keep roads open (hence its name). You should maintain normal highway and major road speeds, observing the usual limits.
What happens if I don’t have a Salik tag yet and I pass through a toll gate?
The good news is that generously, the system will allow you a grace period of 10 working days from the date and time of your first trip. In that time, you should ensure you purchase and install a valid Salik tag on your vehicle (or if you already have a Salik account, just buy and add the new tag to it). Comply within the 10 working days and you’re fine; however, failure to do so will result in the following fines:
- AED100 for the first trip passing a tollgate (after the 10 working days grace period)
- AED200 for the second trip (after the 10 working days grace period)
- AED400 for each subsequent trip (after the 10 working days grace period)
Note that each violation is limited to one recorded per day.
And what if I don’t have enough balance in my account?
It’s important to keep your Salik account topped up. However, don’t worry. If you do happen to pass through a toll gate with insufficient balance in your account, you have a grace period of 5 working days from the trip date to recharge your account. If you don’t you’ll incur a fine of AED 50 each day (if trips were made) per vehicle.
Can I avoid passing through Salik toll gates?
Sure, not an issue. Salik toll gates are only on the main highways so can be avoided by using alternative routes. Download the RTA Smart Drive App or visit www.rta.ae or S’hail App for more information.
Now you know the essentials about Salik, you can take to the roads knowing they’ll be free-flowing! Happy motoring!