What is Salik and how to register a Salik tag

First of all; What is Salik?

Launched in 2007, Salik is Dubai’s automatic road toll collection system which is currently in use around the Emirate of Dubai. Driving underneath a Salik gate with a Salik tag attached to your vehicle will automatically deduct AED 4 from your registered Salik account.

Salik is the Arabic translation for open or clear.

There are currently seven Salik gates in operation around Dubai;

  • Maktoum Bridge
  • Garhoud Bridge
  • Al Safa (Shaikh Zayed Road)
  • Jebel Ali (Shaikh Zayed Road)
  • Al Barsha (Shaikh Zayed Road)
  • Airport Tunnel
  • Al Mamzar North*
  • Al Mamzar South*

* There are two gates in quick succession, however, driving underneath both in the same direction within one hour you will only be charged once.

As of 2013, there is no daily limit. Previously, you were capped at AED24 a day (Six trips in a day would be charged, any trips after that would be free of charge), but that cap has since been removed.

To obtain a Salik tag, ensure you have the following documents with you;

  • A copy of the car registration card
  • Identification documents (Emirates ID is preferred, but a Passport also works)

As for companies who want to apply for a Salik tag for company vehicles, a copy of the trade licence is also required.

How much does it cost to get a Salik Tag?

There are two options when it comes to buying a tag. The first is going to a shop to buy one. Not every shop around town sells the tags, but they can be purchased from petrol stations and RTA facilities. Buying from one of these outlets will cost AED 100 and comes preloaded with AED 50.

The second option is to buy a tag online via the Salik official website. Here the tag will cost AED 120 but still includes the AED 50 balance. The additional AED 20 is for delivery charges.

Note: if using the online method, double check your area to see if delivery is possible.

Once firmly attached to the vehicle (the RTA say just under the rear view mirror on the windshield is the best place to stick it), you are now able to drive under any toll gates scattered across Dubai. From the date of purchase, you have ten days to attach the tag to your windshield.

Warning: Do not attempt to remove the tag once in place, in doing so you risk damaging the tag and will have to get a new one.

I ran out of balance! How do I top up my Salik account?

This can also be done in one of two ways; either with the same shops that sell tags or via the net.

If you choose to go to any of the shops, make sure you have the account number handy as it is required to top up. Recharging your balance online requires a credit or debit card.

The RTA will also send reminders to the registered phone number if the balance is to low.

To check your current balance, you can;

  • Use the Smart Salik app
  • Salik’s official website
  • Via the 24 hour number (800 72545)

The maximum amount of money you can have on your account is AED50,000.

If you don’t drive under a gate for some time, your balance will remain intact for up to five years.

Salik fines

If by chance you find yourself crossing underneath a Salik gate without a Salik tag, you have ten working days to register a Salik account for your vehicle, if you don’t register for one you will be fined.

You can check out all fines below:

Offence Fine amount
Insufficient funds in Salik account If recharged within five days, there is no fine and will be deducted from the amount topped up. After the five day grace period, violators will be fined AED50 per day

No Salik tag on the vehicle

100 AED on the first trip (after ten day grace period)

200 AED on the second trip (after ten day grace period)

400 AED on the third trip and subsequent trips after that (after ten day grace period)

To avoid any fines regarding number plates not matching the account number, make sure if a different number plate is attached to the vehicle, you should update the information before travelling underneath a gate. The same applies if ones phone number changes too.

If I sell my car what should I do with the Salik Tag?

If and when you sell your car, make sure you remove the Salik tag from the vehicle as the tag is registered to your account, not the vehicle itself. If not removed and the new owner drives under a gate, the person who the account is registered with will be charged and fined if there is not enough balance on the account.

Are there ways to avoid Salik gates?

Yes, there are alternative routes surrounding Dubai which are free of Salik gates.

From 10 pm to 6 am on weekdays, driving underneath the Al Maktoum no amount will be deducted from your account and from 10 pm on a Thursday night to 6 am Saturday morning (free all Friday), you will also not be charged the usual AED4.

Are there any vehicles exempt from Salik?

People of determination are exempt from paying Salik. Electric vehicles are not exempt although if you do plan on buying one, you get a free Salik tag until 2019.

Military and police vehicles are exempt as are ambulances, RTA public buses, school buses and college buses.

Taxi’s used to be exempt many years ago, nowadays if you take a taxi and travel under a gate, you will be charged an additional AED4 for your trip.

Do Salik Gates exist outside of Dubai?

No, Salik gates are only found in Dubai. Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi had considered implementing a similar system in the nation’s capital.

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