Carpooling is the new way to travel on the UAE’s busy roads
As any UAE driver faced with the daily hurdle of Sheikh Zayed Road or Abu Dhabi Corniche in rush hour can confirm, the country’s congestion problem needs all the help it can get. The new metro service may have helped absorb some of the traffic from Dubai’s over-populated road network but more needs to be done if the city is to accommodate a growing number of car users.
For this reason, authorities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are encouraging a burgeoning trend towards carpooling, a system that not only helps to reduce the number of vehicles on the road but also offers a cost-effective and social means of transport.
Carpool Arabia is a new organisation designed to enable just that – a cheap and easy way of getting from A to B while the driver gets to make some money from the journey and enjoy some company on the way. Drivers visit the site to select their route, set the time and establish a price and meeting place. Costs vary but a short trip from, for example, Al Barsha to Al Sufouh in Dubai might cost in the region of AED4 per seat while a longer journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi comes in at around AED30 per seat. Prospective passengers, meanwhile, simply search for the ride they need, select a driver and then pay them directly.
A peer review system used by the Carpool Arabia site allows users to vet one another via online profiles and post comments about fellow drivers and passengers. Ladies can also choose the women-only search criteria.