A Guide to NOL Cards in Dubai


The Arabic term ‘Nol’ means ‘fare’. If you’ve ever been to Dubai, you surely have an idea of the Nol card and its importance! Whether you’re a resident or a tourist in Dubai, you’ll have to use this to access public transportation. 


Simply put, it’s like a pass you must carry while travelling by bus or metro. 


In this article, we’ve explained the Dubai Nol Car in detail. Here, you can understand how to get the card and use it. We’ve also covered the benefits you’ll get from the Nol card.


What is a Dubai Nol Card?

The Dubai Nol Card is a transit pass that is regulated by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA). You can use it on buses, water taxis, metros and all other public transport to pay the fare and get some special offers & discounts. 


The Nol Card can be used multiple times for trips. However, you need to top up the card when it runs out of credits, otherwise, you can’t pay the fare. Moreover, most NOL cards have a validity of 5 years, except the Red Card. 


The Nol Card was introduced in Dubai in August 2009 and was developed by a Hong Kong-based company, Octopus Cards Limited. Undoubtedly, it’s a great initiative by the Dubai government to make public transportation smooth and hassle-free.


Different Types of NOL Cards Explained

1. Silver Card

It is the most commonly used Nol card in Dubai. The Silver Nol Card is perfect for tourists and occasional riders. You can buy it for AED 25, which will give you AED 19 credit for use on buses, metros, and trams. 


A silver card doesn’t require user registration. When you pay the fare, the amount is automatically debited from your online wallet. However, you can make a maximum of 180 minutes of daily travel with the silver Nol card on all modes of transport. 


3. A gold card

The gold card has all the features of the silver card with the same price and credits. But, it has a slight edge. As the name says, the gold card allows you to access the gold cabins on metro and tram journeys. 


However, if there’s no availability of seats or gold-class cabins with a particular mode of transport, in that case, the cardholder will be charged a regular fare. 


3. Red Nol Card or Nol Ticket

The red ticket is the cheapest option for using public transport in Dubai. You can easily purchase it at only AED 2 at any ticket vending machine. It allows you to pay the exact amount for a particular trip. 


However, you should know that the Red Ticket has very limited use. You can’t reuse it or top it up with credits. It can give you a maximum of 10 journeys or 5 daily passes, as mentioned on the RTA website. Besides, the Red Ticket is limited to only buses, trams and metros.


4. Blue Card or Personal Card

It is an exclusive NOL card for residents, students, and senior citizens in Dubai. The Personal Nol Card is a huge money-saving option since it offers a 50% discount on all public transport fares. And like the silver and gold card, it also has 5 years of validity.


However, if you want a Blue card, you’ll have to apply at RTA. You can do it online through the official RTA website or you can visit any ticketing office in the metro station to fill out the application. 


Take a look at the table for a brief description; 


Nol Cards Price & Credit Validity Special Offers Suitable for
Silver Card AED 25 (AED 19 credit) 5 years None – Tourists, 

occasional riders

Gold Card AED 25 (AED 30 credit) 5 years Access to Gold Class cabins on metro & trams (subject to availability) Frequent riders, 

– Those who want occasional premium travel

Red Ticket AED 2 

(no credit included)

90 Days or 

10 Trips

None – One-time travellers, 

– Tourists

Blue Card (Personal Card) AED 70 

(AED 20 credit)

5 years 50% discount on all public transport fares. – Residents, 

Students (5-23 age), 

People of Determination,

Senior Emiratis & Expats (60+ age)


How to Top Up Your Nol Card

Except for the Red Nol card, you can top up all three Nol cards in Dubai, Silver, Gold and Personal. Here are three ways to recharge your Nol Card. 


  1. You can visit any of the Metro or Bus stations,
  2. Go to the top-up nol page on the RTA website and put your “nol tag ID” and “Email Address” to find your nol card. Then select the amount, pay the balance, and confirm. 
  3. Use the no-pay app.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disadvantages of a Nol Card?

Even though the Nol cards offer many benefits, we can’t ignore the disadvantages. 

For example; 


  • You can’t use the card if it has low credit.
  • You can’t reclaim refunds on your midway trip cancellation.
  • You can’t pay taxi or private transport vehicle fares with the NOL cards.
  • The cards are valid only in Dubai, not any other Emirates (except the Abu Dhabi-Dubai bus journey) 


Where can I buy a Nol card in Dubai?


You can easily buy a Nol card in Dubai from 

  • any bus stop, 
  • tram station or 
  • metro station kiosk or ticket vending machine.


However, make sure to top up your Nol card on time to avoid any travel issues. 


How can I use a NOL card on the bus?

Using a Nol Card on the bus is simple!  Just tap the card on the reader at the bus entrance when you board, and again when you exit.  The fare will be automatically deducted from your NOL balance.


Why should I use the Dubai Nol Card?

The Dubai Nol Card offers a convenient and affordable way to pay for all your public transport needs. You can get some discounts while using it on buses, metros, trams, and even parking!  It’s rechargeable, reusable, and saves you the hassle of carrying cash for every ride. 


How much credit do I need on my NOL card?

Make sure to have a minimum of AED 7.50 credits in your NOL balance to avoid any potential troubles with transportation. However, the fares are calculated based on the ticket you’re using and the zones in which you travel in Dubai.