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RTA’s road to sustainable mobility

With UAE announcing 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability’ under the theme ‘Today for Tomorrow’; Roads and Transport Authority Dubai is already paving its journey on the Sustainable approach, aiming to achieve Net-Zero emission from public transport in Dubai by 2050.


Through RTA’s vision – “World leader in seamless & sustainable mobility”, and its Strategic Goal “Sustainability”, RTA drives to support the developing policies and legislations, adopting technologies, innovations & world-class practices in roads & public transportation systems to support the Government’s vision of Dubai being a Sustainable City.

In the process, RTA is becoming the first government entity in the Middle East and North Africa to develop an integrated roadmap targeting public transport and its infrastructure. The strategy, consisting of 3 main Pillars with 10 initiatives, is estimated to reduce 10 million tons of carbon emissions and reduce operational costs by AED 3.3 Billion by:


  • Decarbonization of public buses – 100% by 2050
  • Decarbonization of taxis and limousine vehicles (Dubai Taxi Corporation, DTC)– 100% by 2040.
  • Decarbonization of taxis and limousine vehicles (other companies) – 100% by 2040.
  • Decarbonization of school buses in DTC – 100% by 2050.
  • Currently hybrid and electric taxis and limousine by DTC (currently 58%).

Integrated Mobility and Smart Solutions

RTA strives to raise the percentage of trips by public transport to 25% by 2030.  In 2022, the ridership of public transport means comprising the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, public buses, marine transport (abra, ferry, water taxi, water bus), shared mobility (e-hail, smart car rentals, bus-on-demand), and taxis (Dubai Taxi and franchise companies’ taxis) amounted to 621.4 million riders. The Dubai Metro alone  has carried over 2 billion riders since its launch in 2009. The annual ridership figures of public and shared mobility means as well as taxis are a manifestation of the efficient plans and programmes undertaken by RTA to provide diverse mobility options that cater to the needs of Dubai’s residents and visitors.

A well-integrated public transport network has played a key role in the growing number of commuters  while the growth also reflects change and evolution in the culture and behaviour of the community toward using public transport. RTA has launched packages of smart services to clients’ mobile devices to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world, including Integrated Mobility Transport Platform (S’hail), Smart Pedestrian Crossing Signal, Dubai Drive App, and Customers Loyalty Points Programme (nol Plus) enabling nol card users to earn points when using their cards in commuting aboard public transit means. For public transport commuters, RTA has partnered with local network providers to offer access to the S’hail app, without incurring data charges (Whitelisting).

The S-hail Integrated Mobility Platform in Dubai  offers customers access to the entire transit means in Dubai (metro, tram, buses, waterbus and taxis) , and includes Uber and Careem) through a single Application, placing Dubai amongst  the first cities in the world to develop such an integrated platform.

Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy

Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy aims to transform 25% of the total transportation in Dubai to autonomous mode by 2030. This is the most ambitious figure proposed by a government entity in the field of autonomous transportation worldwide.

The strategy is expected to bring a major annual economic revenue in several sectors by reducing transportation costs, carbon emissions and accidents, and raising the productivity of individuals as well as saving hundreds of millions of hours wasted in conventional transportation.

The 20 Minutes City

Dubai is planning to introduce integrated service centers with all the necessary facilities that allow residents to reach their destinations within a 20-minute timeframe on foot or by bicycle through facilitating sustainable pedestrian, bicycle and transportation trips across the City. The plan involves the provision of public transport station within 800m of 55% of the residents, thereby enabling  them to reach 80% of their daily needs and destinations.

Future Foresight

RTA has stepped up the pace of its foresight activity in 2018 and amplified its capability by creating scenarios for the future of mobility in Dubai in 2030 and 2071, being the first Dubai Government entity to undertake an in-depth study looking at more than 50 years into the future. The scenarios take into consideration the Government’s directions as well as external drivers of change and provide an input for RTA’s strategies and planning.

The scenario study also identified global and local trends in mobility and a set of initiatives and projects that will enable Dubai to take the lead in shaping the future of mobility. Many of these are being currently implemented, including the self-driving vehicle strategy, aerial taxi, and creating infrastructures that encourage users to opt for active and sustainable modes (walking, cycling, e-scooter).