By Habiba Basiony, Staff Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: For all taxi passengers in Dubai who wonder why they end up in Deira after asking to go to Dubai Media City, the answer may lie in how the drivers are getting trained.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) currently requires all taxi drivers in Dubai to undergo training and final evaluation.
Engineer Yousuf Al Ali, chief executive officer of Dubai Taxi Corporation said: “The courses at The Driver Training & Qualification Institute focus on several aspects: safety, friendliness, cleanliness, quality of driving and knowledge.”
With such concentrated efforts to educate the drivers, why are they still getting lost?
Gulf News asked eight drivers if they were familiar with the Ismaili Centre, a public cultural landmark in Bur Dubai, and a building in Jumeirah Lake Towers. Only one knew these landmarks.
Having navigated the streets of Dubai for about a year, a driver who asked to be named as Ali, explained: “I only spent two days on location training with my company and two or three more sessions with the RTA. I have some education but for someone new and they don’t have good speaking or reading [skills], how can they learn locations in such a short time?”
An official from National Taxi, who requested anonymity, explained that apart from training, the best way for drivers to learn routes was through the practical experience of actually driving in the city.
A taxi driver is subject to retraining only if more than 15 complaints are recorded against him, according to National Taxi officials.
When Gulf News asked residents how they felt about their taxi journeys, the major complaints raised were on their dangerous driving and poor customer service.
Nida Amadani, a female resident from Jordan said: “They drive at very high speeds and when you tell them to slow down they ignore you. They also take a longer way and ignore your directions.” More info