Dubai announces deadline, exemptions for e-scooter permits


E-scooter riders in Dubai aged 16 and above will be able to secure free permits by logging on to the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) official website by the end of April.

"The process involves attending training courses and passing an online test," explained Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA.

An awareness campaign will be held, with those having local or international driving licences exempt from securing the permits.

Only those with the RTA permits will be allowed to take to the roads, the authority reminded, adding that dedicated cycling tracks in 10 districts will be open from Wednesday, April 13, for e-scooter riders.

The initial phase will cover "Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Internet City, Al Rigga, 2nd of December Street, The Palm Jumeirah, and City Walk," unveiled Al Tayer.

"It also covers safe roads and tracks within specific zones at Al Qusais, Al Mankhool, and Al Karama, in addition to 167-km long tracks designated for bicycles and scooters across Dubai, excluding the cycling tracks at Saih Assalam, Al Qudra and Meydan."

He explained that these districts were selected based on strict safety studies, adding that "the joint operation of e-scooters is restricted to four companies - two international (Tier and Lime) and two local (Arnab and Skurtt), which will deploy at least 2,000 e-scooters".

Meanwhile, riders must only use dedicated parking slots, or face fines of AED 200.

The slots will be provided at key tourist attractions, and around public transport stations "to encourage use of electric scooters on first and last-mile trips".

Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, praised the efforts of the government and confirmed they are working with the RTA to ensure traffic laws are strictly met.

From specifications of the e-scooters/e-bikes to "avoid battery burn accidents" to specific safety gear for the riders, the authorities had earlier issued a host of guidelines.

The move is in line with the resolution regulating use of e-scooters endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council. And, supports the efforts to make Dubai a bicycle-friendly city. 

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