If you’re a long term resident of Dubai, you’re no doubt familiar with Salik and have an account set up already.
But for newcomers to Dubai, read on about what Salik is, how to set up your Salik account and why you need to set it up if you’re driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Salik is an Arabic word for ‘open’ and is used when referring to the toll gate system in Dubai. Up until 15 October 2019, Salik gates were only present in Dubai (the first gates went up in 2007). But now there are toll gates in Abu Dhabi (read our guide to how to set up Salik in Abu Dhabi).
The good news is that setting up a Salik account for use in the UAE is straightforward and can be done in a few minutes. Another great thing about Salik in the UAE is that it is an automatic system – you don’t need to queue up anywhere to hand cash over to a teller.
How to set up Salik
Set up your Salik account on the official website: https://www.salik.gov.ae/. You can choose to get your Salik tag sent to you via mail or you can pop into any fuel station in the country to setup your account and get a tag straight away. We recommend the latter option.
You’ll then be given details on how to register your Salik tag with your Salik account.
Be prepared to pay 100 AED for the Salik tag: half is for the tag and the other half goes towards the prepaid balance in your Salik account.
You’ll receive notifications when your account is active and when you can start driving through UAE toll gates with your Salik tag.
Each time you pass through a Salik gate, 4 AED will be deducted from your account. (car rental companies charge more – typically 5 AED) Once your balance goes below 30 AED, you’ll receive an SMS to top up. You can continue driving until your balance goes lower but we recommend topping up automatically to avoid violations. The only exception to this is for the two Al Mamzar toll gates on Al Ittihad Street. If you travel through both of these in the same direction, within one hour you will only be charged once (AED 4).
How to recharge Salik
When it comes to recharging or topping up your balance, there’s a few different ways to do it. Salik recharge online is super easy and is what Autodrift recommends, let’s check out the options:
- Via App is quick and convenient and can be completed via the Smart Salik App, Dubai Now App and RTA App.
- Via the Salik website: https://www.salik.gov.ae/
- Most service stations across the country
- Or calling the 24-hour Salik self-service number on 800-Salik (“72545”)
If you happen to have a low balance and you pass through a Salik gate, don’t panic! You’ll receive a notification and will have 5 days to top up and pay for any outstanding tolls. Failure to do so will land you a 50 AED fine! There is a maximum limit of one fine per day if you travel through multiple times during the day but we don’t recommend trying this out.
A few things to remember:
- You can have multiple Salik tags but only need 1 Salik account. So for a family with 3 cars, you would need 3 Salik tags but they can all be from the 1 Salik account.
- If you sell your car, you must remove the Salik tag and deactivate it. You will need to get a new Salik tag for your new car.
- There is no such thing as ‘Salik free timing’ all gates operate 24 hours a day. Although it may be worth remembering the timing for the Al Maktoum Salik Gate corresponds with the timings for the Dubai Floating Bridge. So that means if the Floating Bridge is closed, the Salik Gate on Al Maktoum will be free.
If you found this useful, you may also want to check out our guide on how to renew Dubai driving license.