The cost of catching a taxi in Dubai has risen.

While no official announcement has been made, a text message sent from the RTA to taxi drivers (and seen by 7Days) said that tarrifs are rising from Dhs1.71 per kilometre to Dhs1.82 (a six per cent jump).

Meanwhile, airport taxis have gone up from Dhs1.75 per kilometre to Dhs1.96 (a 12 per cent hike).

“There will be no change in commission but fuel surcharge will change according to the increase,” the text message also said. The increase was attributed to the deregulation and ensuing fluctuation of fuel.

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The starting flag-down peak hour rate for a taxi rose from Dhs3 to Dhs5 last year, while rates for booked cabs went up from Dhs6 to Dhs8 during off-peak hours and from Dhs10 to Dh12 in peak periods.

Peak hours are considered 7am to 10am throughout the week, and 4pm to 8pm between Saturday and Wednesday, or 4pm until midnight on Thursday and Friday.

When this price hike happened, the RTA pointed out that Dubai Taxis are still far cheaper than most services worldwide: “It is worth mentioning that the taxi fare applicable in Dubai is the cheapest among some of the world’s most developed cities, such as London, New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo and other metropolises”.

According to a study compiled by travel website CheapFlights last year, a cab trip to London airport costs approximately Dhs7.71 per kilometre, in Berlin it’s Dh12 per kilometre and in Moscow it’s Dhs4 per kilometre (which puts the price hike to Dhs1.96 in Dubai into perspective). Meanwhile, a taxi in Mumbai costs approximately 82 fils per kilometre, so is far cheaper than a Dubai taxi.

“There is indeed a hike in taxi fares,” an RTA official told the Khaleej Times of the recent rise. “However, it is a very small and subtle hike.” The official says that more details will be revealed by the transport authority soon.