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How To Check Your Nol Card Balance In 3 Simple Steps

Public transport is the most common way to get around in Dubai. This guide shows you how to check your Nol card balance in 3 simple steps.

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For many people living in Dubai, the Nol card is as essential as their government ID, allowing them to easily use all modes of public transport. If you’re a new user of the Nol card, then this article is just for you because it explains the card’s features and provides detailed instructions on how to check your Nol card balance online.

What Is A Nol Card?

The Nol card (the word Nol is an Arabic word نول for fare) is a stored-value smartcard that’s used for all types of public transport in Dubai. The card holds prepaid funds that must be added to it before you check in at a contactless terminal. When you complete your travel and check out at the gates of your metro station or bus entrance, the terminal automatically calculates the cost of your trip and deducts the appropriate amount of funds.

The Nol card was launched in August 2009, and it’s currently used for around 1.5 million transactions every day. Besides the main modes of public transport in Dubai (metro, tram, buses, and water taxis), the card can also be used to pay for taxi fares and to make small purchases at restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and other places.

Types Of Nol Cards

There are actually four different types of cards available:

  • Red Ticket: Intended for tourists and visitors, the Red ticket is a disposable paper card that’s valid for 90 days from the of purchase. It can be used only for up to 10 bus, metro, or tram journeys.
  • Silver: Dubbed as “the perfect starter card,” the Nol Silver card is great for all frequent travelers who would like to use all modes of transport in Dubai. The card is valid for 5 years from the date of purchase, and it can be loaded with up to AED 1000.
  • Gold: The Nol Gold card is basically a premium version of the Silver card, allowing you to use Gold Class cabins on the metro and tram. Interestingly, this card can be loaded up with only AED 500.
  • Blue: Finally, the Nol Blue card is required for concession fares, and it provides the ability to recover your balance if your card gets lost or stolen. You can top up your Nol Blue card with up to AED 5000, and there are great discounts for students, senior citizens, and people with disabilities to enjoy.

Regardless of which Nol card you choose, your fares will always be cheaper than the paper ticketed option, not to mention that Nol cards are far more convenient in just about every way.

How To Use A Nol Card

Using your Nol card to get around the city is easy.

To Check-In:

  1. Approach the terminal near your metro gate or bus entrance.
  2. Place your Nol card near the card reader.
  3. Wait for a confirmation beep and green light telling you that your check-in has been successful.
  4. Pass through the gate or entrance.

To Check-Out:

  1. Approach the terminal near your metro gate or bus entrance.
  2. Place your Nol card near the card reader.
  3. Wait for a confirmation beep and green light telling you that the check-out process has been successfully completed.
  4. Pass through the gate or entrance.
  5. Check your Nol card balance (optional).

As explained, the Nol card can also be used to pay for small purchases, such as breakfast or groceries, at over 2,000 outlets around metro stations and beyond. When used for this purpose, the card works basically just like a contactless debit card: you simply place it near the terminal and wait for the appropriate amount of money to be deducted from your balance.

How To Check Nol Card Balance

You should check your Nol card balance every time you check-in at a terminal, but what if you’re not near one? In that case, you can quickly and easily check it online:

  1. Go to the RTA website.
  2. Click the “Check Nol Balance” button.
  3. Enter the Nol card ID found on the backside of your card and click the “Search” button.

As you can see, learning how to check Nol card balance online is a matter of three simple steps, and all you need is a web browser and internet connection.

If you like to check your Nol card balance regularly, you should consider downloading the RTA Dubai app, which is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Huawei devices. After signing in with your RTA user ID and password, you can click the “Check Your Nol Balance” button and enter your card ID to view your balance.

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How-To

How To Start An Online Business In Dubai (2021 Guide)

From choosing a business name, to applying for your visa, this guide takes you through everything you need to know about starting an online business in Dubai.

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There has never been a better time to start an online business in Dubai than now.

Experts anticipate retail e-commerce sales to reach a new high by 2022, growing from $4.28 trillion in 2020 to $5.4 trillion. This massive growth is fueled by the always improving availability of electronic devices, new generations of mobile network technology, and more accessible online payment methods, just to name a few factors.

When choosing the best place to start an online business, Dubai should be high on your list. Not only does the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have the most advanced e-commerce market in the whole MENA region, but businesses that decide to incorporate in Dubai can look forward to many benefits, such as:

  • Minimal bureaucracy
  • 0% tax rate
  • 100% business ownership
  • Low operating expenses
  • No import/export duties

Best of all, starting an online business in Dubai is much easier than you might think, and we explain everything you need to know in this article.

Starting An Online Business In Dubai In A Few Simple Steps

The process of starting an online business in Dubai is deliberately straightforward to attract as much business activity as possible. Essentially, it involves filing an application for an e-commerce license, which then allows your online business to operate and sell products or services specified in the license.

Before you go ahead and file your online business application, there are some decisions that you need to make.

1- Choose Your Jurisdiction

The UAE consists of two main economic zones, or jurisdictions:

  • Mainland: Businesses incorporated in the UAE mainland are free to operate anywhere in the UAE market, meaning they can do business both inside and outside the UAE. They can also take on government contracts.
  • Free Zone: On the other hand, businesses incorporated in the UAE free zone are now allowed to conduct their operation in non-free zone without the support of a local agent. However, such businesses get to enjoy a special tax, customs, and imports regime.
2- Pick A Name For Your Company

If you haven’t done so already, now is the right time to pick a name for your online business. While this may seem like an easy decision, you need to keep in mind that the UAE has strict naming conventions, and you definitely want to avoid names that include:

  • Offensive language
  • References to Allah
  • Sectarian or political groups
  • Initials and abbreviations
  • Politically charged terms

If you’re having trouble picking a suitable name for your online business, then you may want to consider hiring a consulting firm with a deep understanding of the UAE, its culture, and customs.

3- Prepare Your Business License Application

You can now submit your business license application. The application process will take far less time if you have all basic documentation in order, including:

  • Properly filled out application form
  • Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
  • Two-color passport photos

Again, any inaccuracies in the application form can lead to unnecessary delays and complications, so we highly recommend you double-check everything before you submit your business license application. If everything goes right, your application should be approved in a week or so.

You can, of course, let a company formation expert take care of this step for you, but you need to be ready to pay a rather steep fee for the service.

4- Apply For Your Visa

Although your online business may not need physical premises like a brick-and-mortar store, you are required to have a legal address. In order to move to a Dubai-based office, you and your employees will need a valid visa.

All entrepreneurs who have set up a business of their own at some point in the past can apply for a business visa, which is part of the Golden Visa system under which foreigners can obtain a long-term visa for themselves and their dependents.

5- Open A Bank Account In Dubai

As a Dubai-based online business, you need a local bank account. The good news is that non-residents don’t have to jump through too many hoops to open a bank account in Dubai. As long as you have a password, your UAE identification card, a copy of your visa, and your business license, you should be good to go.

The largest banks in Dubai include:

While some banks cater specifically to online businesses, other banks are less accommodating, so make sure to do your research so that you get the best service possible.

Top 3 Online Business Ideas To Start In Dubai

If you’re reading this article because you’re just thinking about starting an online business in Dubai, then we have a few business ideas for you to consider:

  • Online Store: E-commerce has been booming in the UAE for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated its already rapid growth. If you have a product that people will want to purchase, then there’s nothing easier than setting up an online store and making it available to the entire world.
  • Online Teaching: Traditional learning, which can be defined as teacher-centered delivery of instruction to classes of students, doesn’t reflect our rapidly changing world. If you have any skill that’s in demand, you should consider starting an online teaching business or publishing video courses on the internet.
  • App Development: The number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to reach 3 billion by 2023, so there’s a huge opportunity to start an app development online business and publish mobile apps on major app marketplaces, such as the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Regardless of which business opportunity you decide to pursue, we hope the information provided in this article will help you achieve your business goals and grab your share of the e-commerce market.

Bonus: If you do happen to make it to Dubai, consider getting yourself a Nol card. This card gives you simple access to all public transportation options available in the city.

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