After a few delays over COVID, the Abu Dhabi toll gate system DARB was finally introduced in January 2021.
There can be some confusion about how the tolls work in Abu Dhabi, particularly for new visitors to the UAE and day trippers from Dubai who may not realise that there is a different toll system in the capital, nor when tolls apply.
Here to help cut any confusion, we’ll explain everything you need to know about DARB and road tolls in the capital.
- What Are DARB Toll Gates in Abu Dhabi
- What Do Road Tolls Cost in Abu Dhabi?
- How Do I Register My Car For Abu Dhabi Tolls?
What Are DARB Toll Gates in Abu Dhabi
Toll gates in Abu Dhabi operate during peak hours on 4 key designated routes into and out of the city. They automatically identify the registration plate of your vehicle to charge you a toll each time you cross a designated point.
Where are DARB toll gates in Abu Dhabi located?
Abu Dhabi’s toll gates are found in 4 locations, all bridges that lead onto the main Abu Dhabi island; you’ll find them on:
- Sheikh Zayed Bridge
- Mussafah Bridge
- Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Bridge
- Al Maqtaa Bridge
They operate in both directions, both on and off Abu Dhabi island.
When are DARB gates in Abu Dhabi operational?
Toll Gates in Abu Dhabi do not run 24 hours a day. Since the change to weekends in the UAE, the toll gates now operate only during peak periods, Monday through Saturday:
- Mornings 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM
- Evenings 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
No tolls are levied on Sundays or Public Holidays.
What Do Road Tolls Cost in Abu Dhabi?
Every time you pass under a DARB toll gate during operational hours, you are charged AED 4, up to a maximum of AED 16 per day.
For regular users, the cap on Abu Dhabi tolls is AED 200 per month for your first car, AED 150 for a second car, and AED 100 for subsequent vehicles.
Abu Dhabi Toll Gate Exemptions
There are exemptions for People of Determination, Senior Citizens, and low-income Emiratis. These exemptions must be applied for.
Automatically exempt are motorcycles, taxis, school buses, public transport buses, emergency services vehicles, and passenger buses greater than 26 passengers.
Fines For Using Toll Roads Unregistered
Unregistered vehicles passing under DARB tolls will be fined:
- AED 100 from the first day
- AED 200 from the second day
- AED 400 for the third day and beyond
Fines are also issued for vehicles with insufficient balance in their DARB account (without Abu Dhabi plates), after 5 working days at AED 50 per day.
How Do I Register My Car For Abu Dhabi Tolls?
Rental Vehicles in the UAE
The good news if you are only renting a car in Abu Dhabi or from anywhere in the UAE, including Dubai, your car rental company is obliged to register the vehicle; there is nothing further for you to do as the renter.
However, you must be aware when you have driven under the toll gates during operational hours, as your rental company will invoice you or debit your account at the conclusion of your rental (plus, most likely, an administrative fee).
Privately owned vehicles
If you own your own vehicle in any Emirate of the UAE, you will need to register your vehicle with DARB, or risk a fine.
You can register your vehicle on DARB here.
As part of the registration process, you must pe-load a balance on your account – your ewallet.
You will need to have a resident visa and Emirates ID in order to register (and own) a vehicle and provide a traffic file number.
You can manage your account through the DARB mobile App (Google | App Store)
More FAQs on Abu Dhabi Road Tolls
No, it’s very important to note that DARB is entirely separate from Salik in Dubai. You do not need a sticker or any sort of system in your car; it is all charged by pre-registration of your vehicle on the DARB system.
Any issues with registration should be directed to DARB customer service center 800 850 (English and Arabic)
Unlike Salik in Dubai, DARB tolls in Abu Dhabi do not need a physical sticker on your windscreen or any other device in your vehicle; it works automatically off number plate recognition.
This will depend on the road you are travelling on, either 100km/hr or 120km/hr as signposted.
Do not slow down to pass under the toll gates; there is no stopping you should maintain speed with the traffic, everything will happen automatically.
Yes, DARB now has the functionality to pay your MAWAQIF fees for parking in Abu Dhabi, using the available balance in your e-wallet.
We hope this Abu Dhabi toll guide will help you confidentially drive to the capital and understand what tolls you may be liable for if you’re traveling at peak times of the day.
Remember, if you time your trip to Abu Dhabi for the middle of the day and avoid peak-hour traffic in the capital, there will be nothing further to pay other than your vehicle rental and fuel – well worth considering if you’re hiring a car to day trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai.
You can learn more about all the different transport options in Abu Dhabi here
Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Check the most up-to-date COVID entry rules for Abu Dhabi.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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