Transports in Ras Al Khaimah
Since there are no buses or trains in Ras Al Khaimah, taxis are the main and very popular form of transportation. Luckily, taxis are very convenient, ubiquitous and inexpensive. At the time of writing, there are still some privately licensed taxis offering their services around the city; however, these taxis will disappear from the streets by December 2009. They are being replaced by vehicles owned by three companies: Al Hamra Taxi, Al Arabia Taxi and Cars Taxi. All taxis in Ras Al Khaimah operate by meter and their starting fare is 2.50dhs and 3dhs after 10pm. The running charge is 1dhs per kilometre for the first 10km, and 1.25dhs for each kilometre after that. Other emirates have higher rates. Additionally, Pink Taxis driven by female drivers are launched to accommodate the needs of women.
Taxis can be pre-booked by phone, although some taxi call centres might just give you the phone numbers of a few taxi drivers. Taxis can be found outside main hotels or shopping centres, or simply flagged down on the street.
TAXIS OPERATOR: 800 1 700
Al Hamra Buses run from the RAK Public Taxi and Bus Station (Al Faisal Rd) to UAQ, Ajman, Sharjah and Dubai. In the middle of 2009, they replaced a previous system of shared taxis and mini–buses. The buses leave daily, from around 7am, then run every hour until 8pm. Scheduled departures can be delayed if there is not sufficient amount of passengers. The buses go to the main bus stations.
You might return from these emirates using the service of the similar companies in the other emirates. Usually the last bus leaves at around 9pm. Ask the drivers for details. The one-way fee is 20dhs per person to Dubai and Sharjah, 15dhs to Ajman, and 10dhs to Um Al Quwain. In the future the service will be also extended to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
By the end of May 2010, RAK Transport Authority (RAKTA) will launch first local bus service within the Emirate. The central bus station will be placed in the Al Nakheel area and at the RAK Public Taxi and Bus station. This service will offer three routes that will run every hour but more routes will be added in the future. The routes will be operated by 14-seat buses and the one-way fare will cost 5dhs. Air-conditioned bus stops will be set up in the most popular areas of Ras Al Khaimah.
First route will start at the Jumbo intersection in Al Nakheel and end in Sha’am. One way trip will take around 80 minutes and will have eight stops. Second route will start at the Jumbo intersection, will follow Airport Road to Khatt and then further south to Adhen and Al Tawain. It will be an around 90 minutes trip. Third route will run between Ras Al Khaimah and Al Jazirat Al Hamra.
RAKTA also announced plans to launch in the future a fleet of air-conditioned passenger boats, called ‘aqua buses’. They will operate on the RAK Creek and will link Manar Mall with other locations.
RENTING/LEASING A VEHICLE
If you are on a short visit, hiring a car is probably the best way to see the whole country and go to some remote areas of Ras Al Khaimah. Prices for car rental vary depending on the size, quality and type of car; however, you should expect to pay from 150dhs for a day for a standard car and from around 250dhs for a 4 Wheel Drive (4WD), and more in the high season, from November until March. Remember to ask whether the price includes unlimited mileage, off-road driving for 4WD, insurance, collision damage waiver (CDW), delivery and collection fees, and check how many drivers are allowed to use the car. During high season, it is necessary to book a car in advance to avoid disappointment.
Leasing a vehicle for a longer period is quite popular and often practiced by companies and residents. Many people rent a car for the first months after their arrival. It gives them time to arrange all necessary documents required by banks to grant a car loan, such as the residence visa, the UAE driving licence or three months worth of bank statements. When leasing a car you will not have to worry about insurance, car maintenance, or service, since the rental company will take care of that for you. However, leasing a car can be costly affair; you should expect to pay at least 1,500dhs per month for a small car in a good condition and much more for a bigger one.
CAR RENTAL COMPANIES IN RAK AND THE UAE
Most of the big international rental agencies are located in Dubai. Some, however, together with numerous local ones are also present in Ras Al Khaimah. Many small companies are situated along RAK Main Road and Oman Road, but you can find many more around the city. Most of them will provide small cars as well as 4WDs. Full insurance is usually provided and the cars can be collected at any place in Ras Al Khaimah, or at either Dubai or Sharjah airports. Furthermore, all hotels can arrange a rental car upon your request.
Guide section: Transports
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