- Salik is a cleverly designed free-flowing tolling system that works automatically.
- It is no wonder that a city like Dubai has ditched traditional ways of managing traffic and congestion charges.
- Whether you’re new to Dubai or have just bought your first car, we’ve got you covered.
If you have lived in or visited a first world country, chances are you’ve dealt with toll collectors and standard toll booths while traveling by car. It’s mundane, it’s manual, and you may be wondering why such toll systems haven’t been thrown in the mill of revolution. But one city has been doing things a tad differently over the last decade.
Enter Dubai, a city known for being one step ahead of the game, and where state-of-the-art everything has been made widely available. It comes as no surprise that it has long ditched the manual traffic flow management system.
Salik, Dubai’s automatic road toll collection system that has been initially put in place in 2007. Salik, which means “clear and moving” in Arabic, is an ultramodern cashless transaction, a free-flowing system that gives you the green light to move swiftly across highways without needing to stop your car at any point for manual road toll payment.
But sometimes, technology can get confusing. Whether you’re new to Dubai or have just bought your first car, we have broken it all down for you.
How Salik works
To use Dubai’s highways, all you need is a Salik tag that is linked to your prepaid Salik account. You can buy a Salik tag for AED 100, out of which AED 50 will be added to your account.
- Fill out the application form at any of RTA Salik outlets or apply online,
- Hand over the form,
- Hand over the required documents: copy of car registration card or a copy of the trade license for companies,
- AED 100 for issuing the tag, Salik credit and fees.
After verifying the information, you receive your Salik kit which contains the tag. Attach it on your windshield, and the system’s scanning technology called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) will automatically identify your vehicle when you drive through a Salik toll gate, deducting a toll of AED 4 from your prepaid Salik toll account.
After you have registered and installed the tag, you can start driving in the utmost peace of mind. All you need to do, however, is ensure that your prepaid account has enough money in it to cover your Salik charges. The most comfortable and most convenient way to avoid running out of money on your account is to set it up to Auto-Recharge. You can do this through your bank or the Mpay mobile app.
Recharging and managing your Salik account on the go
- You can top up your Salik account through a Salik recharge number (using a voucher purchased from any petrol station) or electronically via online payment, E pay payment gateway or the Salik mobile phone app, or by calling 800-SALIK (72545).
- You can recharge from as little as AED 50 up to AED 50,000 (recharging with larger amounts can come in handy for commercial users)
- A pin code is provided to you by SMS to access and manage your Salik account online. You need to set up your username and password on the website (salik.gov.ae) or Salik app.
The Salik etiquette no-no’s that will result in fines:
- Driving through a Salik toll gate without a Salik tag on your vehicle. This will result in penalties of up to AED 400 per day.
- Not keeping the relevant authorities informed whenever you change your plate number or decide to sell your vehicle – this may result in violation charges.
- Not maintaining sufficient Salik balance in your account/fail to recharge your account in 5 days after it’s due – this will result in a fine.
- Stopping or slowing down when you pass through a Salik gate. Salik is very cleverly designed, so just drive through and enjoy the ride!
In a nutshell, the two main Salik violations to watch out for
Insufficient funds (ISF Violation)
If you drive through a Salik toll gate with insufficient funds in your Salik account to cover the toll fee and you don’t recharge your account within 5 working days, you’ll incur an AED 50 violation.
Unregistered Plate (URP Violation)
If you drive through a Salik toll gate without a registered Salik tag on your car and you fail to buy and register one within 10 working days, you’ll get a fine of up to AED 400 per day.
P.S: There is a maximum of 1 violation per day if you travel through multiple times during the day.
Paying your Salik fines
You can visit any Dubai Vehicle Registration Department (only if your vehicle is registered in Dubai), or you can pay your Salik fines online at:
What if I damage or lose my tag?
You will need to pay for a new tag to replace it.
What if I hire a car?
All hire cars are already equipped with Salik tags.
The Salik system consists of a total of 7 toll gates across the city, where RTA (Road Transportation Authority) will deduct a road toll whenever you are driving past one of them:
- Al Barsha: Toll fee AED 4
- Al Garhoud: Toll fee AED 4
- Al Maktoum: Toll fee AED 4
- Al Mamzar south: Toll fee AED 4. You will be charged only once when passing through Al Mamzar south and north gates in the same direction within an hour.
- Al Safa: Toll fee AED 4
- Airport tunnel: Toll fee AED 4
- Al Mamzar north: Toll fee AED 4. You will be charged only once when passing through Al Mamzar north and south gates in the same direction within an hour.
Dubai is notoriously known for its busy roads and has therefore transcended time and space for better ways of managing traffic. Safe travels!