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.
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?
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
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
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.
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
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 Card||Silver Nol Card||Red 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 Pass||AED 50 - 1 zone
AED 80 - 2 zones
AED 110 - 3+ zones
|7-Day Gold Pass||AED 100 - 1 zone
AED 160 - 2 zones
AED 220 - 3+ zones
|30-Day Regular Pass||AED 140 - 1 zone
AED 230 - 2 zones
AED 110 - 3+ zones
|30-Day Gold Pass||AED 280 - 1 zone
AED 460 - 2 zones
AED 700 - 3+ zones
|90-Day Regular Pass||AED 330 - 1 zone
AED 550 - 2 zones
AED 830 - 3+ zones
|90-Day Gold Pass||AED 660 - 1 zone
AED 1,100 - 2 zones
AED 1,660 - 3+ zones
|365-Day Regular Pass||AED 1,060 - 1 zone
AED 1,770 - 2 zones
AED 2,670 - 3+ zones
|365-Day Gold Pass||AED 2,120 - 1 zone
AED 3,540 - 2 zones
AED 5,340 - 3+ zones
Where to Get the Dubai Nol Card
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.