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Over 4,000 UAE drivers want manual licences over automatic

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has responded to applications from as many as 4,377 motorists who want to be able to get manual driving licences in replacement for automatic ones.

The new service has been launched to meet these requirements, and there have been 4,377 conversions so far this year, including 1,416 that were applied for last year, says the RTA’s director of drivers licensing Sultan Al Akraf.

Applicants are given testing without having to take RTA training lessons, with the focus of the test instead being on manual gear system handling.

If the applicant fails the test, they will be told which areas they need to improve upon, and they can choose an appropriate method for improvement before applying to retake the test, Al Akraf says.

There are certain skills that are required to deal with manual transmission, including attentiveness when shifting gears, the ability to change gears without being distracted, and the ability to cope with smooth shifting between gears during driving.

Those who hold automatic transmission driving licences are in a different situation – there is no need to test this as it requires no action during driving, according to Al Akraf.

The RTA is attempting to make every effort to ensure that the needs of drivers in Dubai are met via streamlined processes that are closely related to the security and safety of the roads in the emirate and their users.

These efforts ultimately translate into the ‘Safe & Smooth Transport for All’ vision of the RTA actually being realised, Al Akraf claims.

The RTA is intending to make use of big data that has been received via Customer Relations Management, call centre, digital media and website to screen the reviews and trends of customers in relation to its offered services.

The RTA says that the primary objective of the move is to increase customer happiness and therefore gain higher customer satisfaction ratings.

The chairman of the board of executive directors and director-general of the RTA, Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, told RTA Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector directors that the improvement of RTA services to customers was vital.

Al Tayer said that procedures should be simplified and that the processing time for RTA transactions should be reduced to ensure that it remains competitive with the top international practices.

Analysing the reviews and trends of customers is part of the digital strategy deliverables of the RTA to use big data to improve the satisfaction of customers.

The initial phase sees reviews and opinions received through Twitter and the CRM system being analysed, with the identification of geographical sources.

Later stages will see demographic analysis covered by the process and spread over every mass media channel.

The automation of customer requirements was also reviewed at the meeting.

Anyone who is driving a motor vehicle in the UAE is required by law to take out at least a basic form of third-party car insurance to ensure protection from financial liability in the event of accidents.