Every country has its system of toll collection. Through toll collection, the government gets the necessary revenue to maintain the infrastructural facilities of the region. Typically, the toll is collected based on the type of vehicle and seating capacity.
Salik is the automated toll collection system of Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). It was first launched on 1st July 2007. The word "Salik" stands for "open," which denotes the free-flowing traffic system of the Emirate.
Salik tag is a tag that is required to drive your vehicle in Dubai. Having this tag lets you drive freely in the Emirate without stopping at any of the toll booths.
The first step after purchasing a vehicle is to get a Salik tag. You can purchase a Salik tag either online or through an authorized dealer.
If you opt to rent a car in Dubai, your car will come with pre-installed Salik tag. All Salik charges will be paid by your car hire agency and will be billed to you separately.
Click on purchase a tag under Salik service.
Now enter the T.C. number (in your license), Emirate, plate category, plate code, and number.
Enter your details.
Once done, you will receive an OTP.
Enter the delivery location.
Verify the details entered and make payment.
You will receive a confirmation via SMS.
Usually, the Salik tag will be dispatched within five working days.
You can also purchase Salik tags from authorized dealers like ENOC, Emarat, Epco, and Adnoc petrol stations. In addition, Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD bank also sell Salik tag.
Once you receive the tag, you should affix it on the windscreen of the vehicle.
If you purchase the Salik tag online, the cost is AED 120. The amount includes AED 50 for the tag, AED 50 as a toll balance, and AED 20 as a delivery charge.
If you purchase the tag through an authorized dealer, you need not pay the delivery charge. Thus, the total cost will be AED 100.
Click on activate a tag under Salik service. You need the Salik tag number, your mobile number, and T.C. number to register a tag.
Next, enter all the details like the registration details, vehicle details, and profile details.
Verify the details entered and upload the documents.
Now check the details and confirm submission.
The Salik tag is activated.
You can also activate the tag through the customer happiness center, Salik app, or call center.
The toll gates in different parts of Dubai are equipped with Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID). When a vehicle passes through the toll gate, this technology detects the vehicle and scans the Salik tag affixed on the windscreen. Then, the amount of the toll will be automatically deducted from your Salik account balance.
There are currently six toll gates in Dubai - Al Safa, Al Barsha, Al Garhoud Bridge, Al Makhtoum bridge, Al Mamzar, Airport tunnel.
Every time you pass a toll gate, an amount of AED 4 is deducted from your Salik account. If you do not have enough money in your Salik account, you will be fined. Thus, it is essential to recharge the Salik tag at the right time.
Like you purchased the Salik tag, you can recharge the tag either through authorized dealers or online. If you are recharging through the authorized dealers, remember to keep the account number handy.
You can do online recharge through the Salik website, Salik app, kiosk, banks, epay, and RTA app or website. Usually, you will receive a message from RTA if your Salik balance is low. You can keep up to a maximum of AED 50,000 in your Salik account. If your vehicle does not cross the toll gate for some time, the balance will remain for five years.
If you cross the toll gate without a Salik tag in your vehicle or do not have sufficient funds in your Salik account, you will be charged a fine. The fine for driving a vehicle without a Salik tag is AED 100 for the first trip, AED 200 for the second trip, and AED 400 for the subsequent trips.
If you cross the toll without sufficient funds in your Salik account and recharge the account within five days, you need not pay any fine. This is because the amount of toll will be deducted from your account after recharge. But after the five-day grace period, the fine will be AED 50 per day.
You cannot transfer the Salik tag from one vehicle to another. If you have purchased a new car after selling another one, you should deactivate the tag in the old car and remove it from the car's windscreen. As for the new car, you should get a new tag.
You can deactivate the Salik tag through the smart Salik app, Salik website, Salik customer service location, or phone the Salik call center.
It would be best if you deactivated the Salik tag at the time of selling the car. Similarly, if the tag is lost or stolen, then also you should deactivate it without delay.
The primary purpose of the Salik tag is to ensure the free-flowing of vehicles without stopping at the toll gate. Thus, once you install a Salik tag in your vehicle, you travel freely on the road without stopping in between. This helps to save time.
Besides, you need not carry cash with you for paying the toll, as the toll amount is automatically deducted from your Salik account.
Vehicles that people of determination drive are exempted from Salik. In addition, military and police vehicles, school and college buses, public buses, and ambulances are exempt from Salik.
Having a Salik tag is a mandatory requirement for car owners in Dubai. Otherwise, you will have to pay a hefty amount as a fine. Thus, as soon as you purchase a car in Dubai, you should get the car registered with Salik. As Abu Dhabi has also started a toll gate system from 2nd January 2021, you can refer to our comprehensive guide on Abu Dhabi toll gate to know more about the system.