A Dubai Nol Card Travel Guide

A Dubai Nol Card Travel Guide

One of the best things about visiting Dubai is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on taxi rides to go around the city. 

In fact, there are plenty of transportation options for those who prefer to commute.

You have the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, Public Bus and the Palm Monorail to choose from depending on where you’d like to go.

And to make things a lot easier, you can pay for all these modes of transport with just a single card –the Dubai Nol Card! Let’s check out what it’s all about! 

What is the Dubai Nol Card?

What is the Dubai Nol Card
Image source: Gulf News

The Dubai Nol Card is a contactless smart card that contains prepaid credits to use for fares in Dubai’s public transport network.

The card’s name comes from the Arabic term “Nol,” which means fare and you can use it for the metro, tram, bus, monorail, taxi, abra, water taxi and ferry, and water bus.

You can also use the Nol Card to pay for paid parking facilities under the Dubai RTA and for entry in some museums, parks and attractions throughout the city. 

The Benefits of Using the Dubai Nol Card

The Benefits of Using the Dubai Nol Card
Image source: Dubai Standard

Here are some of the most important features of the Dubai Nol Card:

  • You can use it to make cashless payments.

One of the biggest benefits of having a Dubai Nol Card is that you only need a single card to pay for transportation, parking, attractions and even shopping.

The Dubai Nol Card is accepted in all public parks, the Etihad Museum and in more than 2,000 shops around the city.

This is beneficial if you’re a tourist since you don’t always need to carry cash around. 

  • You can easily use and top up your card.

Since the Dubai Nol Card is used widely in the city, you can easily find vending machines and offices where you can top up your prepaid credit.

The Dubai Nol Card is also very hassle-free to use because you just need to tap it on a Nol card reader and it will automatically deduct the fare or payment required.

If you’re staying in Dubai for a long time, you can also take advantage of weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual bundles with the card, which gives you unlimited travel privileges on all of the city’s public transport. 

  • You get to enjoy some privileges.

The Dubai Nol Card gives free travel to all people of determination who are using a blue Nol Card. 

On the other hand, residents and senior citizens who are UAE residency holders as well as students from all nationalities get a 50% discount if they’re using a blue Nol Card.

The Types of Dubai Nol Cards 

The Types of Dubai Nol Cards
Image source: Gulf Insider

There are different types of Dubai Nol Cards depending on the benefits that you’d like and how you’d want to use it:

  • Gold Nol Card

This is the card to choose if you want to be in gold class seats and cabins every time you travel around Dubai.

You can use the gold Nol Card on all types of public transport under the Dubai RTA and its concessionaires. 

The card is valid for 5 years with a maximum limit of AED 5,000 and an anonymous limit of AED 1,000. 

You can also purchase the Dubai Gold Card for only AED 25 with a credit balance of AED 19.

  • Silver Nol Card

This should be your card of choice if you’re traveling frequently around Dubai since it’s valid on all public transport under the Dubai RTA.

The silver card gives you access to regular seats on the metro, tram, bus and other forms of transport.

It’s valid for 5 years from purchase and has a maximum limit of AED 5,000 and an anonymous limit of AED 1,000.

You can purchase the Silver Card for only AED 25 with a credit balance of AED 19.

  • Red Nol Card

This temporary card is used mostly by tourists who will only be in the city for at least three days. 

The red Nol Card is valid for use on the metro, tram and bus, and its cardholder will only be allowed to use one mode of public transport at a time.

This type of card has a 90-day validity and a rechargeable use of a maximum of 5 daily passes or 10 journeys.

The card costs AED 2 and you’ll only be issued a temporary paper card upon purchase. 

  • Blue Nol Card

The Blue Nol Card is designed especially for residents and senior citizens from the UAE and students from all nationalities who will get 50% off on their trips.

It’s also given to people of determination who can ride the metro and bus for free.

  • Personal Nol Card

This type of card is like other types of Nol Cards, but it has the additional benefit of being able to recover your balance in case your Nol Card gets lost or stolen.

With a validity of 5 years and personal maximum limit of AED 5,000, the personal Nol Card can also be used for concessions on fares and for topping up using secure online services.

The card costs AED 70 with a credit balance of AED 20.

  • Digital Nol Card

To adapt to new technological advancements, the Dubai RTA recently launched the digital Nol Card that was originally a collaboration with Huawei.

Instead of a physical card, you can download the Nol Pay mobile app through the Huawei AppGallery and now on Google Play and Apple Store.

With the digital card, you can easily top up your balance through the app and link it with your digital ID account for identification.

The Nol Pay app also provides updates from the Dubai RTA for the convenience of commuters.

Fares for the Dubai Nol Card

Fares for the Dubai Nol Card
Image source: Bayut

Your fare on Dubai’s public transport will depend on the type of card that you’re holding and the zones where you’re traveling. The Dubai RTA has divided the city into seven zones, which are also divided into three tiers to determine fare rates.

Tier 1  means that you’re paying only for one zone or less than 3 kilometers. Tier 2 means that you’re paying for two zones and Tier 3 is for crossing three or more zones.

Your fare for holding a Gold Nol Card will also be more expensive since you’re sitting in the first class or Gold Class cabin.

But if you’re using the Silver Nol Card, you’ll be paying the regular fare based on where you’re going. 

To give you a better perspective on the fare rates of Nol Cards, here are some sample computations based on the card that you have:

Gold Nol CardSilver Nol CardRed Nol Card
AED 6 - 1 zone

AED 10 - 2 zones

AED 15 - 3+ zones

AED 3 - 1 zone

AED 5 - 2 zones

AED 7.50 - 3+ zones

AED 20 - 1 day regular pass

AED 40 - 1-day gold pass

AED 4 - 1 zone

AED 6 - 2 zones

AED 8.50 - 3+ zones

If you’re staying in Dubai for an extended time or you’re planning to work or live in the city, you can also pay for weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual Nol Card passes.

These passes will give you unlimited rides on Dubai’s public transport based on the payment tier and zone that you choose to pay for:

7-Day Regular PassAED 50 - 1 zone

AED 80 - 2 zones

AED 110 - 3+ zones

7-Day Gold PassAED 100 - 1 zone

AED 160 - 2 zones

AED 220 - 3+ zones

30-Day Regular PassAED 140 - 1 zone

AED 230 - 2 zones

AED 110 - 3+ zones

30-Day Gold PassAED 280 - 1 zone

AED 460 - 2 zones

AED 700 - 3+ zones

90-Day Regular PassAED 330 - 1 zone

AED 550 - 2 zones

AED 830 - 3+ zones

90-Day Gold PassAED 660 - 1 zone

AED 1,100 - 2 zones

AED 1,660 - 3+ zones

365-Day Regular PassAED 1,060 - 1 zone

AED 1,770 - 2 zones

AED 2,670 - 3+ zones

365-Day Gold PassAED 2,120 - 1 zone

AED 3,540 - 2 zones

AED 5,340 - 3+ zones

Where to Get the Dubai Nol Card

Where to Get the Dubai Nol Card
Image source: The Filipino Times

The easiest way to purchase a Nol Card is through one of the ticket offices in all of the Dubai Metro and Dubai Bus stations.

Silver Nol and Red Cards are available in ticket vending machines and from RTA authorized sales agents.

Blue Nol Cards, on the other hand, can only be purchased online. 

How to Use the Dubai Nol Card

How to Use the Dubai Nol Card
Image source: Time Out Dubai

If you already have your Dubai Nol Card, you can follow these steps in checking in and checking out of public transport:

  • Checking In 

First, you need to make sure that your credit balance is at least AED 7.50 for the card to work. 

Go to the gate or entrance of your transport of choice and tap the Nol Card on the card reader. Once you hear a beep or “green light,” it means that you’re good to go. 

  • Checking Out

Upon arriving at your destination, head to the exit gate and tap your Nol Card again. ONce you hear the beep or see the green light, you’ve successfully checked out.

Your fare will also be automatically computed based on the number of zones that you passed and the amount will be deducted to your balance. 

Apps to Download When Commuting Around Dubai

RTA Dubai: 

This is the app that you should download to learn more about Dubai’s public transport network. You can also check your Nol balance, view your transactions and past trip history and top up your card. 

This app also lets you find parking, pay for parking and remember where you parked your car. It also allows you to check and pay for your violations on the DSG payment gateway. 

The RTA Dubai app also lets you book a taxi and check your Salik balance and top up your credit.

iOs | Android | AppGallery


This is a very useful app where you can find all of the Dubai RTA’s transportation services including the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, RTA taxis and Dubai buses.

S’hail is very user-friendly and it allows you to book a taxi to take you around the city conveniently. 

The app even provides real-time traffic updates, so you can decide better what type of public transport you should take or how you’d go about your itinerary.

iOs | Android


The app to use if you’re commuting around Dubai since it has all the schedules, fare rates and details of the Dubai public transportation system including the Dubai Metro, Tram, Bus and even Water Taxis.

iOs | Android

Nol Pay:

This is the official Dubai RTA app that allows you to use the Dubai Nol Digital Card. 

It’s designed to make your commutes easy by offering you information about the city’s public transport network and lets you pay for transportation with your digital card.

With Nol Pay, you can easily check your card information and manage it without going to a ticketing office or agent. 

You can use the digital card to pay for transportation, parking and for different merchant services that accept digital payment, and top up or add passes to your Nol Card using your mobile device.

iOs | Android | AppGallery

DTC Smart App

The DTC App is designed to help you reserve taxis and limousines, calculate your fare and track your flight path and reschedule your reservations conveniently. 

It also gives you options to choose from the best modern vehicles and whether you’d like a male or female driver.

The DTC Smart App helps you plan for transportation ahead, so you don’t need to worry about it once you land in Dubai.

iOs | Android