Taxi drivers will have to get through linguistic, psychological and behavioural tests as a pre-requisite for obtaining professional permits very soon.
The move comes as part of Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) strategy in forging partnerships to serve its objectives at world-class standards.
The RTA has recently signed an agreement with the British Council which puts potential cabbies for a second efficiency test besides an approved test run by Amidest Company, according to an agreement made last year.
Abdullah Yousef Al Ali, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency, and Claire Grundy, Deputy Director of the British Council, signed the agreement in the presence of Mark Elliott, Director of Business Development for South Asia at the British Council and RTA senior officials.
Al Ali said: "Based on the new amendments introduced to the taxi-drivers recruitment system, applicants must fulfill certain conditions such as the basic knowledge of English Language, in addition to the new standards where applicants are subjected to five tests as part of psychological and behavioral tests, which represent the core of the agreement."
"Taxi service in Dubai serves a broad spectrum of the community in Dubai including citizens, residents, visitors and tourists. The Emirate boasts of prestigious standing as a global hub for trade, exhibitions and business, which warrants providing highest levels of taxi service," Al Ali added.
Claire Grundy said that the British Council was honoured to sign this MoU with the RTA to support the UAE realise its vision.
"Adopted by the British Council, APTIS system is a modern and affordable English assessment tool to assess and improve the English language proficiency of public transport staff, which contributes to shaping Dubai into a really global city," added the deputy director of the British Council.
Bringing happiness to people
While introducing the new yardstick for cabbies, Abdullah Yousef Al Ali, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency, said that the new measures aim at "bringing happiness to people."
Al Ali said: "The new standards will contribute to realising RTA's objective of reducing customers' complaints from taxi drivers to 1 per cent per 100,000 km. The RTA has managed to reduce it from 2.7 per cent in the past to 1.4 per cent per 100,000km up to now.
He added: "The new standards, which would attract highly efficient taxi drivers, underline RTA's keenness to realise its third strategic goal of 'Bringing Happiness to People.'"