Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the General HQ of Dubai Police announced the start of operation of electric scooters on permitted cycling tracks in 10 districts across Dubai starting from Wednesday, April 13, 2022.

The step is taken in line with Resolution Number 13 for 2022 endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council, regulating the use of scooters in Dubai. It supports the efforts to make Dubai a bicycle-friendly city and culminates the huge success of the trial operation of the e-scooter that started in October 2020.

His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said, “The initial phase covers the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Internet City, Al Rigga, 2nd of December Street, The Palm Jumeirah, and City Walk. 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,” said Al Tayer.

“The selection of these districts was guided by specific criteria, such as high population density, special development areas, areas served by public transport and metro stations, the availability of integrated infrastructure, and areas with a high level of traffic safety.

“The joint operation of e-scooters on the specified districts is restricted to four companies; two international (Tier and Lime) and two local (Arnab and Skurtt), which will deploy at least 2000 e-scooters. The selection of the four operators follows their success in the trial phase and the achievement of a customer satisfaction rating as high as 82%. The results of the trial operation proved the suitability of e-scooters as individual mobility means for short journeys as well as first and last-mile journeys.

“About 500,000 journeys were made until the end of 2021. By the end of April 2022, RTA will launch through its website a link enabling interested individuals to apply for free to obtain permits for riding e-scooters on safe roads identified by RTA. The process involves attending training courses and passing an online test,” explained Al Tayer.

“Dubai Police is keen to ensure the compliance of road users with the applicable rules in line with the policy aimed to make Dubai the ideal place for living and doing business, the favourite and safest destination of visitors, and the city with the least carbon footprint worldwide. The step also contributes to realising the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. It is our duty in Dubai Police to control the road, and ensure that cyclists, e-scooter riders and users of all other mobility mean to comply with the safety conditions to protect them as well as others against the risks of roads,” added Al Marri.

Resolution No. 13 for 2022 of the Executive Council stated the technical specifications applicable to the e-scooter and bike, which include a white headlight, red and reflective light on the rear, horn fixed on the steering arm (T-bar), brakes on the front and back tyres, tyre size must be proportional to the size of the scooter, roadworthy tyres for the tracks specified by RTA, and the size of the scooter must be proportional to the size of its rider. In this regard, RTA calls on the public to select high-quality e-scooters to avoid battery burn accidents and frequent technical malfunctions.

The Resolution has set several obligations on the part of the e-scooter/bike highlighted by the compliance with the traffic regulations and riding the e-scooter owned by individuals and companies or rented for personal purposes only within the permitted areas and tracks declared by RTA. They must not ride scooters on tracks designated for walking or running. They have not to exceed the speed specified limits fixed by RTA for those tracks, and avoid riding any other type of scooters specified by RTA on safe roads without obtaining a driving permit.

RTA will launch an awareness campaign to educate scooter riders about the regulations, and designated locations for use as well as the importance of obtaining driving permits for e-scooter through RTA’s online platform. Obtaining this permit shall be a prerequisite for permitting the riding of scooters on safe roads in the announced areas. However, holders of vehicle driving licenses, international driving licenses or motorcycle driving licenses are excluded from obtaining such a permit.

The Resolution specified the obligations of the e-scooter rider to ensure full compliance with RTA’s security and safety requirements. They include wearing reflective vests and helmets, avoiding carrying riders on bicycles and electric bikes unless the bikes have separate seats for them, avoiding pillion riders or anything that causes an imbalance of the e-scooter, and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles and pedestrians.

It also states that cyclists should not use their e-bikes on roads with a speed limit of more than 60km per hour, and stick to safe driving and public safety conditions. They have to be cautious and refrain from actions that pose risks to the life and safety of the cyclist or others, such as hooking to a vehicle while biking, zigzag or one-handed cycling, unless for hand signalling.

Source: Dubai RTA