"A cab exclusively dedicated to women"... Here's an expression that could have caused controversy in the Hexagon or, more generally, in our Western countries. In Dubai, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates, cab service for women has been part of daily life for more than a decade. What could be more normal in a conservative country, where religion governs much of private life but also society at large.
Although punctuated by skyscrapers, futuristic architecture, posh neighborhoods and artificial archipelagos frequented by the world's greatest, Dubai has retained some aspects of its Arab and Islamic tradition.
In this handy guide, AS VIP shines the spotlight on the women's cab service in Dubai and the UAE. What is the pink cab in Dubai? How much does it cost to pick up in these female driven cabs for women? Where to find a woman cab in Dubai?
In the United Arab Emirates, public transportation remains rudimentary in light of the country's place in the international tourism arena. This is why cabs are still omnipresent in the daily life of Emiratis, expatriates and tourists. In the late 2000s, Dubai launched an unusual service in the Arab world: a fleet of cabs driven by women... for women, called "Ladies & Families Taxi". While some will pinpoint the lack of gender diversity, it should be remembered that neighboring Saudi Arabia banned women from driving until 2020.
In Dubai, the women's taxis can be immediately recognized by their bright pink color. They carry women alone or accompanied by their children all day long, but (almost) no men. Note: women who wish to take a "male" cab are free to do so. Also, men accompanied by their wives, sisters, daughters or mothers can also take a pink cab in Dubai, although this is relatively rare.
The "pink cab" service has been specially designed for women who do not wish to "mix" with men, a practice considered "sinful" by some believers and the conservative fringe of Emirati society.
"Our society is conservative and our women don't want to ride alone in a cab driven by a man at night or when they arrive at the airport at two or three in the morning," Ammar Bin Tamim, head of Dubai Taxi, tells Reuters. "We decided to launch this 'pink cab' service after receiving many complaints from women who no longer wanted to ride in cabs driven by men, especially at night."
Today, about 50 women's cabs operate in Dubai City and the emirate. They are mainly found on the side of the Dubai International Airport (DBX), in the terminal 2 dedicated to flights from other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Iraq. Female cab drivers in Dubai wear white headscarves (black in Sharjah) and pink hats and drive beige and pink cabs, contrasting with the red roofs of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) "mixed" cabs. The headscarf is also worn by immigrant and non-Muslim women who have chosen this profession.
For the past few years, Western women have shown a certain infatuation with pink cabs. Indeed, as they often land for the first time in the UAE, they prefer to be picked up by a woman for obvious safety reasons. This new "application" has given a new lease of life to the pink cab service, which is expanding every year in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other major UAE cities. It remains to be noted that these cabs are mainly driven by women from Jordan, Syria and the Philippines. "They received special training prior to the launch of the service," concludes Bin Tamim.
The women who drive pink cabs in Dubai generally have a self-employed status, a bit like Uber or Careem drivers. They are therefore paid by the race.
Following the success of the pink cab service set up by the Dubai Taxi Corporation, private companies offering private chauffeur services have launched offers exclusively for female customers.
Emirati women who opt for a female chauffeur service in Dubai are usually motivated by religious reasons. Indeed, according to the Islamic tradition, the meeting of men and women in one place is prohibited because it is considered a factor of temptation and provocation of carnal pleasure. Moreover, this separation is still strictly observed in places of worship.
For other women, the use of the pink cab in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is above all a question of modesty. Indeed, the country has kept a part of its conservative culture despite its galloping modernity.
Western women who may not be familiar with Dubai may prefer to be escorted by a female driver, whether in a pink cab or a private chauffeur service. Landing in a foreign country, sometimes at night, can indeed cause some fear, especially when you know that some hotels are more than a half-hour drive from Dubai International Airport (DBX). The fact of getting on board a cab or a vehicle driven by a woman can reassure. All in all, the pink cab is a safer means of transportation for women and children.
Some countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have been inspired by the UAE example. Egypt, whose tourism business is often plagued by harassment of foreign women, has launched a fleet of pink cabs and tourist transport driven by women. Similar initiatives have been launched in Jordan and Kuwait. In less conservative Arab countries such as Tunisia, Lebanon and Morocco, female cab drivers can pick up both men and women, and the vehicles they drive are indistinguishable from cabs driven by men.
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the pink cab service in Dubai charges the same rates as the other cabs of the Dubai Taxi Corporation:
The fleet of pink cabs is small compared to the so-called "mixed" cabs. This is why you will rarely find a free pink cab on the street. Women and families who want to take a pink cab usually have to book it online from the DTC app. However, pink cabs are available at the airport in front of terminals 1, 2 and 3, as well as at the exits of major shopping centers and hospitals. The number 04 04 80 808 has recently been made available to customers who wish to use the services of a cab for women in Dubai. However, the waiting time is usually long, even discouraging.
Whether it's for family, tourism or business, your stay in the United Arab Emirates will be an opportunity to discover a country out of the ordinary, where futuristic flashes set the tone for thousand-year-old traditions. This striking contrast will accompany you throughout your stay, whether in the large malls where luxury brands are jostling each other or at the bend of an alley in the old cities with their rustic character.
To sublimate your stay, AS VIP provides its woman chauffeur service in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the UAE. Step aboard your Mercedes Class V Pink. Your driver will greet you with a smile to take you to your hotel, Dubai Marina, Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah or elsewhere. Everything has been thought of to guarantee you a comfortable ride:
You will arrive relaxed and rested at your hotel in Dubai, your business meeting or your tourist destination!
The price of your ride in a Mercedes V-Class Pink vehicle depends on the distance you need to travel, the time of day and the type of ride (one-way or round-trip). Here are some examples of rides with a woman driver in the United Arab Emirates :
These prices include transportation, fuel, VAT and tolls.