Abu Dhabi: As the taxi took a sudden right turn into a side street, the driver in the car behind slammed his horn in anger and drove past, his frustration apparent.
The taxi driver apologised to this Gulf News reporter, who was a little angry at him at the time for not paying attention. But a short conversation later, it emerged that he’d had a tough few days which was affecting his concentration.
“I have received a few fines and my salary will be less this month,” said Saeed, the taxi driver.
It was an admission that altered the regular perspective on taxi drivers being negligent or reckless. After all, it is not uncommon for motorists or for people who use taxis frequently to get angry with taxi drivers for various lapses in driving. However, it may be worthwhile to spare a thought for them given the fact that it is quite a demanding job they try to do justice to.
Gulf News spoke with a number of taxi drivers in the capital to get a better understanding of their job and the stresses involved.
Taxi drivers have to meet a daily target of about Dh425 a day, for which they receive a 30 per cent commission. Their minimum daily target is around Dh200 a day, for which they earn no commission and a Dh800 salary at the end of the month. Targets and commissions varied slightly depending on which of the six taxi companies operating in Abu Dhabi they work for, excluding the airport taxi company. More info