It’s happened to all of us. Trying to direct a taxi to your house without the help of a translation app can lead to some pretty broken conversations.

Thankfully, the Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) Public Transport Agency has set up a new initiative for recruiting taxi drivers in Dubai which includes improved English language education as well as behavioural tests.

The RTA has said it expects about 5,000 prospective drivers each year to sit the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) as well as a psychometric evaluation.

Amideast, the company administering the assessments, revealed that drivers’ English is being tested before even coming to Dubai, with the drivers being evaulated in their own country before being given the option of a resident visa.

The psychometric assessments will also be offered by Amideast to make sure that the prospective drivers possess the right professional attributes.

The assessment is done online and measures the driver’s initiative, responsibility, teamwork, customer service skills, problem-resolving abilities and resilience.

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Dr Yousef Mohammed Al Ali, CEO of the Public Transport Agency at the RTA, said that the ultimate objective of the move is to “standardise and overhaul procedures and conditions for recruiting cabdrivers at franchise companies”.

“The RTA is seeking to bring happiness to all customers, especially users of taxis; a vital sector with implications on the tourist profile of the Emirate. Dubai is increasingly shaping into a global tourist attraction and a premier hub for a variety of business events, activities, conferences and exhibitions attracting business leaders and participants from all corners of the world.”

If all tests are passed and the driver is hired, they will then have to undergo 22 days of training.

Current drivers will receive three days of training every two years.

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Images: Getty