Everything You Need to Know About NOL Cards

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With the increasing demand for public transport, the government of Dubai introduced NOL cards in 2009. Whether you are a tourist visiting the city or a resident, traveling becomes easy with public transport. Moreover, Dubai has one of the most advanced public transport systems in the world and it aims at providing comfort to the commuters. The automated payment systems through NOL cards can make it even more convenient for the public to save time and effort by digitally paying for the tickets. A single NOL card can be used for varied land and water public transport such as metros, buses, water ferries, taxis etc. Read the article below to find more about various types of NOL cards in Dubai, their pricing, top-up limits, and validity.

What is an NOL Card?

NOL card is an electronic payment card that pays for your trips on public transport throughout Dubai. It is a contactless card that holds funds in the form of prepaid credits. You can pay for rides across various public transport like:

  • Buses
  • Trams
  • Metros
  • Abras
  • Dubai water bus
  • Taxis 
  • Ferries

You need to check-in and checkout at the electronic gates at the metro stations and bus stations. The cards can be digitally recharged using debit/credit cards or mobile payment applications. You can purchase or top up an NOL card from ticket offices and ticket vending machines across metro stations and bus stops in Dubai. If you are a regular NOL card user, you need to be careful about the balances to avoid any inconveniences. Based on the uses and top-up limits there are different types of NOL cards in Dubai. 

Types of NOL Cards Available in Dubai

There are different types of NOL Cards in Dubai and the pricing depends on the type of card you choose. The initial expenses for silver and gold NOL cards are similar, however, the trip cost may vary significantly, based on the type of card. The minimum cost per trip for the silver card is AED 3 whereas, it is AED 6 for a gold card per trip.

NOL Red Card

The Dubai Metro Red Card is designed for commuters who require a temporary pass. It is the greatest NOL card in Dubai for tourists. It is suitable for visitors and tourists who plan to stay in the city for more than three days. The card can be used in the metro, buses, and trams. Other RTA modes of transportation, such as ferries, and taxis, are not covered by the Red card. Users who have a Red card can commute via one mode of transportation at a time. The details of the red NOL card are mentioned in the table below.

Particulars

Price

Price for purchasing red NOL card

AED 6

Credit available on purchase

AED 4

Red NOL card top-up limit

Can be recharged for up to 10 journeys or 5 daily passes

Validity of NOL Red card

90 days

NOL Gold Card

Gold NOL Cards are special NOL cards for travelers who wish to use the gold class seating in public transportation in the UAE. Similar to a silver card, the gold NOL card is valid for 5 years. However, the pricing for travel is double the normal cost of travel in public transport. Here is a price list for Gold NOL card in the UAE.

Particulars 

Price

Price for Gold NOL card

AED 25

Top up balance on purchase

AED 19

Gold NOL card top-up limit

AED 1000 for unregistered users

AED 5000 for registered users

Card Validity

5 years

Personal NOL Card

Providing some of the best offers, Personal NOL cards bring the facility of balance recovery in case you lose your card. It also allows you to enjoy concessions on public transport fares including secure online services for credits and top-ups. You also get a monthly pass for the personal NOL card. The cost of the card varies based on the zone the card covers. You can also avail passes valid for 90 to 365 days. Here is a price list for Personal NOL cards in Dubai.

Particulars

Price

Price for purchasing Personal NOL card

AED 70

Top-up Balance on purchase

AED 20

Personal NOL card top-up limit

AED 5000

Monthly Pass amount

For all zones AED 350 

Special concessions are available for senior citizens, students and people with determination

Maximum Validity of the card 

5 years

NOL Silver Card

It is suitable for frequent travelers in the city. Daily commuters and workers can use silver NOL cards for any means of public transport in the city. The silver card is valid for up to 5 years and it can be used for both transportation and non-transportation services. The card has one of the highest top values. Following are the details of Silver NOL cards in Dubai.

Particulars 

Price

Price of Silver NOL card 

AED 25

Top up balance on purchase

AED 19

Silver NOL card Top up Limit

AED 1000 for unregistered users

AED 5000 for registered users

Card Validity

5 years from purchase date

Personalized Gold NOL Card

This card is similar to the personal gold cards, except it allows you to ride the Dubai Trams and Metro in the Gold Class cabin. The fare for all other modes of public transit will be the same as the regular NOL Card. The details of the personalized Gold NOL card are given below.

Particulars

Price

Price for purchasing Personal NOL card

AED 80

Top-up Balance on purchase

AED 20

Personal NOL card top-up limit

AED 5000

Monthly Pass amount

For all zones AED 700 

Special concessions are available for senior citizens, students and people with determination

Maximum Validity of the card 

5 years

Who Requires an NOL card in Dubai?

An NOL card is mandatory for individuals above the age of 5 years to use public transport in Dubai. You can choose the type of card as per your requirements and frequency of travel. With the NOL card, you can travel across the city using any public transport such as the metro, trams, buses, ferries and more. 

How Much Does It Cost to Use Public Transport in Dubai? 

Dubai has the most advanced public transport system in the world. Places across the city are well connected via Metro lines, buses, trams, waterways and more. Despite being modern, the cost of traveling by metro is quite reasonable. However, the amount you pay depends on the type of card you have. The gold cards allow access to the gold class compartments and require you to pay almost double to charge that you pay normally.

How to Get an NOL card in Dubai?

There are several ways to get an NOL card in Dubai. The cards are available at all ticket offices of Dubai Metro and select bus stations. Following are the locations to purchase an NOL card in Dubai. 

  • NOL Silver Cards and Nol Red Tickets can be purchased from the ticket vending machines in Dubai.
  • NOL Silver Cards are also available via RTA Customer Service Centers and RTA authorized sales agents in Dubai.
  • NOL blue cards are available for purchase on the internet.

RTA/Driving License

Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai
Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Sharjah Transfer Car Registration
Driving License UAE Driving License in Dubai

How to Use an NOL card?

Once you have figured out which NOL card you should purchase. Here is how you can use an NOL card in Dubai. 

  • Before you use your card, ensure it has more than 7.50 AED in it.
  • To "check in," place your NOL card on the e-reader.
  • Wait for the green light to indicate that you have successfully crossed through the gate/entrance.
  • You must check out while exiting public transportation to verify that the accurate fare is applied.

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Key Takeaways

  • To use the public transport in Dubai, you need an NOL card. 
  • There are various types of NOL cards and you can choose one based on your travel frequency and requirements
  • The cards can be used for all public transport in Dubai including metros, trams, buses, ferries, taxis, etc. 
  • The cost of travel using an NOL card depends on the type of card you are using. 
  • To access the gold class seating, you need to purchase a gold NOL card. 
  • You can purchase NOL cards from ticket offices at metro stations, bus stations, ticket vending machines etc. 
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