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12 June, 2007

Salik salik salik


Everyone from the Head of Dubai police down to the lowliest taxi driver knows that the Dubai road toll is a complete crock of shit.

So why is Sheikh Mohammed allowing it to go ahead?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an easy one. Money. But if, as seems likely, it turns out to be chaos, expect a pretty rapid climbdown. Remember the last smoking ban anyone?

12 June, 2007 09:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could it be anything to do with the dreaded word "finance"? TRA announces today a AED45bn investment plan, but they have no revenues to speak of. The metro is on time, but almost certainly not on budget. And the current road building programme will be running to billions. Salik is likely to be a sticking plaster over this haemorrage of cash, but without a revenue stream, TRA would be unable to finance these plans. Prediction: TRA to issue bonds in the near future, or will securitise Salik revenue, with some international banks. Spend borrowed money today, and tomorrow will be fine. In sha'Allah.

12 June, 2007 09:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not just pave over the creek? Or indeed, pave over all of Dubai, so that cars will be able to circulate freely without ever stopping, since there won't be anywhere to actually go to...

12 June, 2007 11:20  
Blogger CG said...

I am not convinced that money is the main reason.
Me thinks that this is a personal issue. Maitha holds the key, and I am quite sure that we will never find out.
I am hedging my bets that this will start fine, and through the summer, but come September it will be shelved.
I also anticipate a major shift in management......

12 June, 2007 12:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salik is an accident waiting to happen! Everyone, and I do mean everyone, knows it will cause major problems on Dubai's roads. One thing it will do for sure is ease congestion at Garhoud Bridge and the other toll exit. It could very well wind up being the biggest boondoggle Dubai has seen. Imagine how much money the city will lose when only 20-40% of the population uses Salik, while the rest clog the toll-less roads. Gawd, perish the thought.

12 June, 2007 12:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elementary… the Mo one dips into the coffers of TRA and other departments, the more they have to reach into our pockets. It is a very slick slick slick way of milking us baqarahs.

12 June, 2007 13:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly what happens in dictatorships. No planning, no thought, nofeasibility study, no parliament to discuss these things, no objections heard from the public.... just ONE man deciding ! and he can overnight change his mind !
It's been ok so far because Dubai has been a collection of few streets put together by foreigners... but as it grows shaky Mo will need to consult people more and more before he suddenly has a "vision"!!! loool

12 June, 2007 14:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People were able to reverse plans for the open beach development, so should be able to do the same this time by sms, honk to say no to stameping elephants

12 June, 2007 14:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HH SHk. Mo. Has allowed the project because research has shown that the road toll system will generate over 1.1 billion Dirhams in the first year of operations alone (using only the 2 points i.e. Garhoud and Shk Zayed Rd).

12 June, 2007 15:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are 3 sure things in life:

1 Salik

2 TAXES (which are not far away)

3 Death

I am far from an economist but you cant keep splashing cash around on infrastructure without raising revenue.

Dubai is like heroin, once your hooked its hard to get away from it. Once they introduce income tax people will not leave in there droves because they have made a life for themselves in Dubai. If they do leave they are only going to a country which invevitably has taxes already...

Road tolls is just the start i am afraid to say!!

12 June, 2007 16:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still dont get one thing, how would having a toll system on Garhoud help the traffic in the whole of dubai? For all it would is make it worce at Makoom bridge and Shindiga.

What were they smoking when they came up with this?

12 June, 2007 16:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think road tolls are a fantastic idea, just not in the middle east.

As long as the tolls are used to cut congestion and subsidise public transport then the more tolls the better.

Tolls have been a hugge success wherever they have been tried, and even newyork is thinking of having one.

Now for the second part on why its not good for the middle east. Simply the money will be squandered by the rulers. There simply wont be any new investment, the money will probably be used to build some villa for the new whore he found somewhere, or one of those new Airbus A-380. You know the two story ones that carries 700 people.

The oil money in the gulf is more than enough, its just that its squandered.
Already when sheikh mo travels he uses two jumbo jets. The other one is cargo configured for his luggage, and horses. If you also want to see where you money goes, visit the Dubai yard, you will see the worlds biggest yacht being built.

12 June, 2007 16:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow...blaming one man for all this. Do you really think this is only a one man show?

True, this Salik thing for the moment, looks like the people who can afford to pay the fee will enjoy few kms without too much traffic and all the rest can go to hell. But at least, something is done. It is a trial and error is part of human evolution...oooops there is no evolution.

12 June, 2007 20:27  
Blogger rosh said...

If there is no Salik or alternative revenue for the Dubai government - then there may not be increased roads or highways or infrastructure i.e. its growth could be limited and may not meet UAE's growing needs, in which case, people will complain there isn't sufficient infrastructure in place.

Bottom line, reality check - til July 1st we pretty much drove the fantastic roads and highways of Dubai/UAE for FREE.

I'd call for salary increases with this added cost of living, that's the viable way to go forward - this is my opinion.

12 June, 2007 23:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they need to generate income for all their new infrastructure projects, shouldn't they be first trying to cut some of their more ridiculous costs.

- the expensive palaces, the crazy stables, the private jets.

Shouldn't the comfort of many be more important than the comfort of one.


13 June, 2007 00:41  
Blogger screwed.mind said...

I think the very discussion of this topic is moronic. This is to the people debating a tax-free toll-free society. come on guys, open your eyes, UAE is not a land of magic neither the Shaikhs are economic geniuses.

When the population increases exponentially, a society has to introduce all this shit in order be able to keep working(adding to the fact that there are really huge pockets to be stuffed). Myself, got my ass off UAE few months back(oof lucky me!); leaving now in a European country with freaking taxes but hey, I have social security, I have proper medical coverage and I don't need to worry about my greedy land lord knocking on my door(well they never do this part themselves even) asking for a two digit percent increase. So beat it, there would be tolls, there would be taxes and VATs, just it needs proper amount of time for a proper context to implement it.

Do you really think those Shaikhs are just stupid and they don't know there is a traffic problem?! Have you ever asked yourself how come billions of dollars have been invested in free hold properties but not in infrastructure and roads? Answer is simple, population is now cornered, there is no alternative, if you need to pay toll, beat it you have to pay it.

To me, UAE was a rich man's land, spending without worrying earning and I wasn't simply that type. If you're not this type either, you're just destroying your nerves. Plan and get out, it's always a win for you whenever you do it. From the other side, someone younger, less experienced and bedazzled by all tantalizing so called attractions will fill your position, and guess what, he would be you after few years. This is what keeps UAE going...Exploiting people's hope.

13 June, 2007 00:52  
Blogger flamin said...

Good question. From what it looks like, they don't really care and I'm sure they anticipated the public response to this pending catastrophe. They know that the public doesn't have a choice but to pay--Dhs 4 for the stupid toll or Dhs100+ instead as a fine?

Sucking out people's blood to fund their fancy dreams. That's just it.

13 June, 2007 03:01  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Clearly salik is a revenue raiser, no one could dispute that. And in all honestly, I don't have a problem with a road usage tax, particularly if it encourages people to use greener modes of transports.

Why I do have a problem with salik as a road tax is:

1. There is no alternative transport for people to use yet

2. It is a very heavy burden on the poor in a country with no minimum wage

3. In a city now gridlocked for several hours a day, there has been no attempt to use salik as an anti-congestion measure (eg reduce or remove the toll at off-peak times)

I would support salik if:

1. It was introduced AFTER the metro opens

2. It was implemented in an anti-congestion, anti-pollution way, with reductions for off-peak travel, and perhaps reductions for those sharing cars or using hybrid cars

13 June, 2007 03:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ rosh:
Bottom line, reality check - til July 1st we pretty much drove the fantastic roads and highways of Dubai/UAE for FREE.

Huh? What do you call the hefty registration/renewal fee we pay every year for our vehicles?

Like the vet on SZR once said to me “they have fancy terms for tax in UAE… ‘service charge’, ‘documentation charge’, ‘processing charge’, ‘fee’.”

13 June, 2007 08:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why cant they make one lane a toll road all the way from Garhoud to Sh Zayed Rd. They could charge it much higher than Dh 4. This way anyone who really wants to get somewhere fast has to pay for it.
This system is used in California called the Express Toll.

13 June, 2007 08:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD, you're forgetting that carpooling is illegal, don't you remember the campaign that they ran last year?

13 June, 2007 10:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rosh said:

"I'd call for salary increases with this added cost of living, that's the viable way to go forward - this is my opinion."

Sure, mate. I'd contact your union representative if I were you. All our wages are going to go up, just like they go up every year to meet the spiralling rent costs and plunging value of the currency... Oh no, wait a second...

13 June, 2007 11:29  
Blogger EyeOnDubai said...

Hi Secret

Did you catch the GN snippet on Salik last week - a spokesman claimed that one of the objectives was "to encourage car pooling". Wonder what Dubai Police made of that...


13 June, 2007 11:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look at the smal-ad posted on the Dubai Expats site....

are they insane to make porn in Dubai? or are the sandlands hoping to become a porn 'hub'?

13 June, 2007 13:22  
Blogger Derrick Pereira said...

Well, the RTA can't remain quiet on the toll for too long... not when you've got the media, residents, business owners and even the police publicly against the initiative.

The ideal scenario would be for the RTA to delay the launch of Salik till after the alternate Metro / Water transport / New Bridges are opened and functional... but that's not going to happen. Chances are, they'll 'compromise' on the toll being 24hrs and only implement Salik during rush hour to appease the masses.

13 June, 2007 13:26  
Blogger Kalluvalayam said...

wait and see what is going to happen. for some time we will not use the salik. after then all will not bother about 8 dhs.

13 June, 2007 17:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dhs8 every day is Dhs2920 a year, which is enough to buy a return ticket to the UK.

Salik is completely doomed to fail. It looks like there is some sort of power struggle between the RTA and the Police and others. And anyway if it is a toll designed to cut traffic why the hell is it going to charge people all round the clock? That gives you ZERO incentive to use SZR at 3am instead of 8am.

Its a money making thing, and like most things in Dubai, they will introduce it to much fanfare, but it will come and bite them in the ass because they didnt bother to plan ahead.

Goal: Encourage people to use alternative modes of transport? Like what? *silence*

Goal: Encourage people to use SZR at less busy times. So why charge people at 3am? *uncomfortable silence*

They are quite honestly idiots, there is no other way of describing whoever dreamed up this disaster

13 June, 2007 18:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salik is to make the salary of RTA employees.

13 June, 2007 22:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the constant references to the ruler of Dubai in terms of the well being of that place? Does Tribal Chief Maktoum have to approve of every hiccup and fart before it's allowed to take place?

13 June, 2007 22:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many other countries will have sales taxes on almost everything and hefty income taxes. Those revenues are very important for such countries and a major source to maintain a quality standard of services and infrastructures.

Dubai don't have sales taxes on many goods on the market, and they also don't get taxes for income, which in some countries can be up to 45% of the annual income.

If you are complaining now about such toll charges, what you are going to do when they gonna implement income taxes here?

Toll charges will serve a purpose. What ever the purpose is, time will tell.

Regarding the question Why Sheikh Mohammed is approving this Toll charge? The toll charge was not a single person decision, and it will make lots of money which Dubai is in an endless need for. So, why would you think that such bull shit that will make big bucks from nothing will be disapproved by Dubai's CEO?

Income taxes are coming to the UAE, and sooner than what many people think, but what I really hope for is that a real democratic system that will serve the whole UAE's population (locals and expats) in a better and just way, comes first.

14 June, 2007 01:43  
Blogger hut said...

@ Anon 14 June 01:43

"If you are complaining now about such toll charges, what you are going to do when they gonna implement income taxes here?"

You are missing the point. Nobody is complaining about the toll per se. People are rightly complaining because Salik as it stands is a halfbaked idea.
Most people will agree that toll charges have a positive impact of reducing traffic at peak times if they are implemented at the right times with alternative means of travel in place etc.

That toll charges are also an additonal income stream for a municipality or government is a positive side-effect of reducing congestion. Or vice versa.

And btw., the more income streams the government has the more difficult it will be for them to make a case for a possible introduction of income tax in the future.

14 June, 2007 09:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Income Tax is an easy calculation here, when they bring it in we shall leave, my salary here is the same as in the UK but tax free, if they start to tax then I like thousands of others will just go home and pay tax. As for the road toll, who cares, nobody will pay it or the fines anyway; it will soon be scraped like most things

14 June, 2007 12:19  
Blogger Unknown said...

Origianlly Salik was to be spelled Salic.

They had to spend an additional AED 2.5 Million on printing to correct this.

The reason for the name change? Someone realized that Salic is an acronym for:


14 June, 2007 17:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nick

Your point is well taken, thanks.

However, as you might be able to see, my country's authorities don't need to make a strong case for almost everything they make. They will make their ears deaf toward the opinion of the public, completely ingore it and will repeatedly broadcast their awkward excuses like if the the public are just voice recording machines.

I lived in Canada for few years, and I remember the fuss that was made about the idea of introducing speed cameras on the highways. It met a great objection by the public and the idea was put on the shelf again. You don't see that happening so often in UAE.

I think decisions like this one should necessitate a live hearing, where the goverment and representatives of the public (locals and expats) question and grill the authority responsible.

It will be interesting to see that happening one day.

14 June, 2007 17:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi guys,
I know this is completely off the point, but I don't know how else bring this up, computer illiterate I'm afraid.

I recently saw Ocean's 13 the Hotel in it reminded me a lot of Burj Al Arab.

Like tacky solid gold cutlery similar to Burj's gold fixtures, prominent heliport, obsession with ratings.

Did anyone else notice this?

15 June, 2007 01:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, How about the 20% of the profits from Salik going to Charity????

Would that make any of you happy?

Best Compliments,


15 June, 2007 10:06  
Blogger Dubai Jazz said...

Come to think of it, if salaries across town (of those who are potential users of salik) are to be raised by 720 dh each (that is 24 dh maximum toll per day multiplied by 30) ... will salik have any impact on the reducing the congestion then?

I don't mind salik, i just hate the 24 hours charging system (I actually think it is either stupid or mean, depends on the real intentions of those who have designed the system...)

15 June, 2007 13:01  
Blogger Dubai Jazz said...

people who slate salik have their different reasons:

1- The police says it should be applied all over town to have the congestion-reduction effect.
2- Business owners hates it because they think it is going to increase the operational costs of their businesses.
3- Cynics (like me) do not like just for the heck of it...

I am sure Shiekh Mohhamed is aware of the reproach salik is receiving, my hunch is that he's going to give the RTA people (those whom he had selected himself very carefully), he's going to give them a chance to experiment this thing. It quite easy to relinquish the whole system afterwards, at least then, it would have covered its initial costs..

15 June, 2007 14:06  
Blogger rosh said...

DJ - to be honest and in all fairness, I think there will be more congestion with salik, partly (and primarily) because people would use familiar routes to avoid paying for salik.

However I see the following reasons why salik can help:

- people will seek out alternatives, for whatever is it they do. For instance it won't be mom and the dad (in separate cars) dropping off individual kids to schools. Perhaps they'll use school buses for a change or each take a turn? I am not saying school buses is the solution in this instance - however I know several folks who takes joy (again - nothing wrong with that) to drop their child off to schools when they have a school bus right at their door step, to save on costs.

- likewise, carpool i.e. the husband/wife and/or with partners or friends from work. take turns.

- I also think it shall reduce the number of people driving into or around Dubai for after work drinks & to socialize - pool it & save on traffic and salik.

The past three months whilst driving from SHJ to DXB I’ve found alternative routes. Yes these is much distance to cover, but there wasn’t much traffic most of the way. Business Bay bridge to/from work was practically empty whilst parallel Garhoud was bumper to bumper?

I think we should venture beyond and look at alternatives. How about giving salik the benefit of the doubt for once? If it does not work, am sure they’ll remove it – but what if it did work and we never gave it a fair chance?

15 June, 2007 20:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This site was launched in January, Will be interesting to see if anybody uses it.


15 June, 2007 20:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little off the topic but i would not even use the metro if they are going to be run and operated by the locals as they will crash them and kill not 1 not 2 but hundreds at a time .

16 June, 2007 14:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...- likewise, carpool i.e. the husband/wife and/or with partners or friends from work. take turns."

Note: other than husband/wife or family member, this is illegal. Courtesy of RTA.

16 June, 2007 14:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to the 600 buses with "drivers who can drive" that were to be brought in???? Wait forget that.....just PAY the toll. NO alternatives, no car lifts, no car pooling. Next we will have increased car registertion fees for sure.

17 June, 2007 13:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salik: The senior life-sciences officer on battlestar Galactica.

17 June, 2007 14:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best way to show that salik is irrational is not to use at all rendering its operation economically unviable. Perhaps then light will dawn on the authorities.

Its difficult but worth a try.

17 June, 2007 18:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Car pooling is illegal? Why? I cannot think of one good reason. Thank God I'm leaving this godforsaken sandpit and its third world ways.

18 June, 2007 18:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I urge you to somehow 'stick ' it at the top of the blogpage so that everyone who visits your blog is aware of what a complete utter shambles this whole 'salik' thing is.

I live in Karama , Bur Dubai and work in Jebel Ali. So my residence and place of work are both in the emirate of DUBAI. So I'm already paying the high rents, the high water , the high electricity charges , besides living, working and spending in the EMIRATE OF DUBAI. and Yet the Dubai authorities see fit to charge us , the middle class majority and in fact penalise us for working being IN DUBAI , With their introduction of SALIK.

Currently I take approximately an hour to go from my residence to Jebel Ali in the mornings but almost 2 to 2.5 hours on my way back in the evenings. I sometimes use Al Khail road which reduces my journey time by about 30 mins. LAtely i've found that AL Khail is also taking the same amount of time almost 2 hours .

How will my travelling time now be cut if I pay Dhms 8 every day???

The cars not paying the toll will arrive from various roads and again congregate at the world trade centre underpass ( tailbacks of 6-8km everyday even now) and it will possibly be even worse .I foresee tailbacks right up to the exit just after the AL BARSHA gate.

so what purpose exactly will this toll serve?

can someone from the RTA answer us??

or is the AED 600Million ( today's newspapers)blinding them to the misery of the common man on the roads today?

19 June, 2007 14:18  
Blogger Curly said...

SALIK fail??


Take a quick look at 2 things that haven't failed (in London):

1. Poll Tax
2. Congestion Charging

People bitched and whined, but it didn't go away. In fact, the area where the congestion chrages were applied has now been extended. Yes, there is a much better public transport system - the annual use of which will cost the punter nothing short of 1600 pounds...

I am not defending it, all I a saying is that there will be an outcry and people will throw their heads and hands towards the eternal blue sky we have here and say "WHY??" - but is won't stop it...

19 June, 2007 15:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Massive jams at all interchanges before and after the toll gates. Most will squeeze to get to Maktoum bridge and the so called Floating bridge (which has no free flowing access. Trade Centre area will be a nighmare for sure & will even block clear roads to get to Garhoud bridge. Pay or dont pay you will get stuck. All the best

19 June, 2007 17:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curlytop - there are some aspects of the London congestion charge you didn't mention. Such as the fact that it doesn't operate 24 hours a day or at weekends, and that there are exemptions and discounts available depending on one's circumstances and where one lives. If those concessions hadn't been made, there is every chance that the charge *would* have failed in London.

You might also be interested to know that although traffic levels in central London dropped in the months immediately following the introduction of the CC, they are now almost back to their pre-CC state... meaning that the CC isn't reducing congestion any more, it's just making money.

Yes, public transport in London *is* relatively expensive, but consider UK fuel costs and London parking charges. Suddenly, £1600 for unlimited use of public transport for a year doesn't seem so excessive, does it?

20 June, 2007 02:43  
Blogger FaeLLe said...

A few of my ideas on why Salik is a good idea,

20 June, 2007 12:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can stop SALIK.
Let us all tell all our friends NOT TO VISIT DUBAI.Each person spends 10,000 on hotel emirates air tickets shopping and entertainments and other things.
So if we stop 1000 persons we make them lose 10 MILLION PER DAY.


AND by stopping trourism conferences exhibition visitors etc we are stopping crowding here.
COME ON FRIENDS LET US STOP SALIK .write to all ur friends telling them : Please my friend dubai has got too crowded we beg you not to come to dubai until salik is stopped.
IF dubai looses 10 million per day they will stop salik in one week

my friend , let us be positive and action oriented . let us not be like milked cows or sheep+people sheeple

22 June, 2007 00:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looking back a few years, paid parking was "supposed" to reduce parking trouble for and ONLY for deira . (Naif, bani sq, murshid bz etc) Free parking today can only be found in the police impounded car section

Sleek is ONLY for gharoud bridge and 4th interchange, and we hope this is a great success and replicated EVERWHERE

22 June, 2007 14:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @
22 June, 2007 00:12
Excellent idea, worth a try. All the best.

22 June, 2007 15:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suppose most the cars abstain from the using the stretch of Salik on SZR. Will RTA block other roads and force the ppl to use salik. There seems to be some desperation in the RTA to the get this thing minting money. Could it the that they have (experts that they are) used up all the budget and the coffers are near empty now?

22 June, 2007 15:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it worth paying the toll if you still cannot drive at the designated speed on the road. Will the users get reimbursement/compensation if the road still gets jammed even after the toll is charged?

22 June, 2007 15:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yearly 28 Million passengers enter dubai Airport.(Source is wikipedia with url given at the bottom. ) This is 70,000 per day .

Even if they stay for 5 days each on an average then they are an additional 350,000 people. In a city of normally 700,000 legal residents.

IF we can stop these people entering DUBAI until the METRO RAIL is ready then we will solve the traffic problem totally.

Instead of complaining of SALIK let us encourage all friends business contacts , suppliers , vendors , exhibition visitors , NOT TO VISIT DUBAI until we solve the traffic / salik / congestieon rust in dubai.

23 June, 2007 00:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SALIK - a BULLSHIT idea of some BULLSHIT minds, nothing else.


24 June, 2007 19:35  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Dubai carpool website mentioned says that paid for car share is illegal, car pooling is not. Salik might encourage people to consider car pooling but then it would help if the RTA and police clearly stated it was permitted ... except they don't always agree with each other when it comes to Dubai's roads.

26 June, 2007 08:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a BBC World journalist based in Dubai doing a story on Salik this week and want to interview a businessman/women about the toll system. If you are interested, please could you get in touch with me at Thanks

01 July, 2007 11:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I-ncome until we
K-ill you all

13 September, 2007 14:04  

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