Today, at Dubicars, we have a special topic for disabled people (people of determination). The Government of Dubai has always taken special measures to facilitate physically challenged individuals and assisted them in becoming active citizens of the country. It has made sure that such people are given priority everywhere so that no discrimination against them can ever arise.
Driving for the disabled is one such program initiated by Dubai Government to ensure that people with special needs or disabilities are given most convenient parking spots, and are provided with facilities like wheel chairs and ramps. This service has been properly categorised to offer better services to a variety of disabled persons. Let me enlighten you in detail:
Categories of the Disabled
Persons who face physical challenges are issued stickers of different colors, which when glued to their vehicles ensure that their needs are adequately looked after. These stickers come in four colors – namely Blue, Red, Green and Yellow – and are issued to people depending on the kind of disability they suffer from.
The Blue Card is issued to people with permanent physical disability from which they are not likely to recover. Such a card once issued is valid for three years and is subject to renewal thereafter.
The Red Card is issued to those people who suffer from complete physical disability from which they are likely to recover. These can include temporary injuries resulting from a car accident or any other event which impairs mobility for some time. The Red Card is valid for up to six months, depending on the severity of the disability.
The Green Card is issued to buses and vehicles which are allocated to transport physically challenged people, or are owned by Not for Profit Organizations that look after such people. Such a card is valid for one year and is subject to renewal depending upon the renewal of trade license.
The Yellow Card is only issued to tourists or visitors who suffer from some kind of physical disability. These persons have to get their medical reports attested by their respective embassies before submitting them in the UAE to acquire the special parking permit. The Yellow Card is valid for individual’s entire stay in the UAE.
How to Apply for the Special Permit Applicants for the special parking permit need to follow the below mentioned steps in order to get their card.
- Person with the disability should appear in person at the Front Desk of RTA Deira Traffic Department (Al-Ittihad Branch) along with the required documents.
- After verification of these documents, the Front Desk will guide the person to Driver Licensing manager, Director of Licensing Department and Assistant Director.
- The above mentioned personnel will verify the identity and documents of the disabled individual and guide him/her to the data entry officer. Organizations/Companies seeking a Green Card are only required to submit the application form along with the complete documentation.
- The data entry officer will then issue the requested category of card.
This process is hassle free and does not require any kind of fee.
Following is a list of documents required for each kind of permit.
- Medical report of the handicap from a center of special needs or government hospital and attested by Ministry of Social Affairs
- Vehicle Registration Card of the disabled or his/her first-degree relative
- Medical report of the disabled, which is attested by the Ministry of Health
- Vehicle Registration Card of the disabled or his/her first-degree relative
- Takamul Application
- Medical report of the disabled which is attested by his/her respective embassy or any other diplomatic entity
- A proof of permit from the home country of the disabled
In case the physically challenged person wishes to drive his/her own vehicle, it is now possible to acquire a driver’s license. These licenses are issued after the individual has completed a special driving course for the handicap at one of the driving schools in the UAE.
Disabled Driver Training
Disabled Driver Training is offered by Emirates Driving School, which has developed specialized vehicles to suit the needs of physically challenged people. The school trains those who wish to drive their own cars instead of their relatives driving them around the country.
Following is the text describing the procedure of enrolling into Emirates Driving School to learn driving on adapted vehicles.
- Visit the Physical, Medicine, and Rehabilitation Department of the Rashid Hospital to get your driving assessment done. You can also reach the department on this number: 04-2192551 (8AM to 2PM). If you have a legitimate health card, the assessment shall cost you AED 250, however, if you do not have one you will need to get one made for AED 360 at the same hospital.
- Collect your medical report at the given time. The report is usually charged at AED 260.
- Apply for the RTA approval letter at the Emirates Driving School itself.
- Once you have been deemed feasible for driving by the RTA, your letter will be sent to the Emirates Driving School and they will contact you for training registration.
- Once you have submitted the required documents, you will be given a driver’s license after successfully clearing the training program and subsequent test.
- Original medical report issued by Rashid Hospital
- RTA approval letter in case you applied for the approval directly
- Two copies of your passport
- No Objection Certificate from the sponsor
- Original Emirates ID Card or a copy of the transaction receipt of the same
- Original, computerized license if you hold a driving license in your country
- 5 Passport size photographs
The above procedure shall give you access to your own driving license if you do not wish to be driven around by a relative. Once acquired, you can apply for the special parking permit with the RTA.
Terms & Conditions for Special Permit
The following conditions apply to acquiring the special parking permit in the UAE.
- This service is limited to UAE nationals and expatriates who have a vehicle registered in Dubai
- These permits shall not be issued to vehicles registered under a company
- The car must be in the ownership of the disabled applicant or his/her first-degree relative
- The car can only be used for the physically challenged individual, and should not be run if he/she is not occupying the car. In that case the driver shall be fined.
- Each card is valid for a certain time after which it must be renewed. Card renewal procedure is almost similar to that of the first time acquiring.
Alternate Transportation for Physically Challenged
The UAE, and especially Dubai, is very responsive towards people with disabilities and has thus put facilities at all levels to make them an integral part of the country’s economy. Apart from the special parking permit that disabled people are issued, such people can also conveniently use UAE’s public transportation, which caters to special needs. Metro bus and special taxi services are only a few to mention.
Dubai’s metro stations are particularly designed for physically challenged people to provide them with quick and hassle free access to smooth public transportation. The most basic facilities, which were put to test a couple of years ago, include services like Braille and tactile guidance paths for the visually impaired. All stations possess separate washrooms for the physically challenged, while dedicated spaces for wheel chairs on trains are also available.
The government has also provided wheel chairs to the Metro station to make it easier for a handicap to reach ticket counters. These stations are further equipped with lift facility with screens at different locations for better guidance.
Since many of the physically challenged individuals are fearful of traveling on trains and buses, there are still many other dedicated services for them. UAE offers a number of private taxi facilities dedicated to transporting disabled people and are equipped with modern technology for increased convenience.
A few years ago, six Mercedes-Benz Vito vehicles went into service, offering unique transport facilities for the physically challenged. Apart from accommodating a passenger on wheel-chair, these vans can take four more passengers and their luggage and are highly convenient in usage. The Special Needs Taxi is another service dedicated only to handicapped. These are actually high-roof vans with doctored cabins to accommodate disabled people easily. The Special Needs Taxi can be booked a day earlier by contacting the Dispatch Center at this number: 042080808.
These facilities are designed keeping in view the international standards and offer maximum convenience to the physically challenged people living in the UAE. These services are equally open to all UAE citizens and can be acquired without any nuisance. However, for people who still prefer to take personal cars to their offices or any other places, the special parking permits offer a lot of convenience. They not just ensure that the physically challenged individuals are given a parking spot closest to their buildings, but also guarantees access to ramps and wheel chairs. Hopefully, this guide will have answered all of your queries regarding acquiring a parking card and should have informed you about the abundant handicap facilities that exist in the UAE.
We wish you a happy driving experience!
Photo credit: Khaleej Times