E-scooters are to be allowed in 10 districts and cycling tracks from Wednesday as part of plans to extend the network of electric vehicles across Dubai.
Two thousand vehicles, operated by four companies, will be available for rent in areas identified as most likely to benefit from greater access to e-scooters.
Those without a full driving licence must apply for a free e-scooter permit and pass an online test, available online at www.rta.ae from May 1.
The network will cover a 167-kilometre stretch across 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.
Scooters will not be allowed on the cycling tracks at Saih Assalam, Al Qudra and Meydan, and users who fail to park their vehicles correctly face a Dh200 fine.
“The selection of these districts was guided by specific criteria,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority.
“This included 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.”
In October 2020, authorities began a trial run in five districts as part of wider efforts to slash congestion levels.
An extended network of electric vehicles forms part of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.
Launched in 2017, the strategy aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050 and reduce carbon footprint of power generation by 70 per cent.
The transformation towards greater use of electric vehicles, such as scooters, could potentially save Dh700 billion by 2050.
The operation of e-scooters on the specified districts is entrusted to four companies; two international (Tier and Lime) and two local (Arnab and Skurtt).
Their selection follows success in trials of more than 500,000 trips that proved the suitability of e-scooters as individual mobility means for short journeys, as well as first and last-mile journeys.
Riders of e-scooters and electric bikes must have a driving licence issued by the Roads and Transport Authority, or apply online for a free permit to ride e-scooters
The process involves attending training courses and passing an online test.
Dubai Police will monitor the transition, as more e-scooters take to the roads to ensure the public adheres to the motorway code and other regulations.
“This cements the government drive to rank Dubai as a bicycle-friendly city, considering bikes safe and eco-friendly mobility means over short distances,” said Lt Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police.
“Dubai Police is keen to ensure the compliance of road users with the applicable rules.
“It is our duty in Dubai Police to control the road, and ensure that cyclists, e-scooter riders and users of all other mobility means comply with the safety conditions to protect them as well as others against the risks of roads.