Throughout 2023, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, experienced significant success with its taxi services, including increased ridership and the use of its e-hail taxi service. Dubai’s taxi sector experienced substantial growth in 2023, clocking about 114 million trips and lifting around 198.4 million passengers annually. This annual trip count is the highest recorded over the past 15 years.

“The annual growth rate in taxi trips from 2022 to 2023 was as much as eight per cent, underscoring the sector’s key role in Dubai’s public transport network. October 2023 saw an unprecedented surge, with taxi trips hitting ten million. Known for their vast coverage, Dubai taxis traverse over 500 kilometres on average every 24 hours,” says Adel Shakri, Director of Planning and Business Development, Public Transport Agency, at RTA.

Last year, 1,160 taxis were deployed to increase the size of the city’s taxi fleet, raising the total to approximately 12,532 vehicles. Notably, 10,388 of these taxis are environmentally friendly, comprising a mix of hybrid and electric cars, accounting for 83 per cent of the entire fleet. These taxis are operated by 27,900 drivers working in two shifts. The e-hail taxi service Hala Taxi reported a significant uptick, with 39.8 million trips made in 2023, marking a 27 per cent growth from 2022. This surge underscores the extensive and rapid shift in consumer behaviour, from traditional street hails to electronic bookings, over the year.

Furthermore, the efficiency of Hala’s service saw notable improvement, with the average Actual Arrival Time for electronically booked taxis reaching customers in Dubai dropping to 3.6 minutes in 2023, an improvement from the 3.9 minutes recorded in 2022.