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The NOL Card Implementation Phase Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Aug 30th, 2019

NOL Card Implementation

The prevailing technologies and developments have transformed the globe and demanded the establishment of smart payment styles. The United Arabs Emirates is the only country where smart transformation has been implemented.

In a bid to fulfil this, McNabb (2012) argues that the Dubai government has initiated changes in the payment method of the transport industry from the use of cash money to NOL cards through the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

In regard to the theories of E and O, the NOL card implementation phase was as discussed below.


The goals of introducing the NOL cards were based on theory O, since they aimed at enlarging the operation and service of the RTA. They were to improve the capabilities of the organisation and transport services.

These goals involved making the transport in Dubai easier to use, enhancing the initiative of establishing a smart city, increasing the usage of public transport, and introducing services with some added value to the commuters (Libo-on 2014).

For instance, a person with the NOL card does not worry about the cash and currency present in the pocket, which makes it easier and convenient for the commuters, especially those picking taxis from the airports.

This transformation was also in line with the vision of Dubai government targeting to change the city in a smart way.


The theories of E and O were applied in the leadership of the initiative to change the transport payment model in Dubai. Therefore, the directions and orders of the transformation came from the government through the relevant agency.

It included the taxi and public transport operators within the lower categories of leadership and engaged them through participation in the transformation. This inclusion of all people indiscriminately showed a collective involvement in the change.

The implementation management of the new NOL cards is under the Roads and Transport Authority, which is the organisation giving an order on the activities to be performed. It provides the meters/devices for installation in the taxis, buses, and transport terminals (‘Roads and Transport Authority’ 2010).

The meters are devices where the NOL cards are swiped to make payments. In the public transport services, the employees and the taxi drivers take part in the implementation by assisting the commuters on using the new technology.


The approach of theory E emphasises on the structures and system as the changes, and it is being administered and used widely by the RTA of Dubai in implementation of the NOL card. This new smart technology facilitated the installation of meters in buses, public transport terminals, and taxis.

There was also a change within the system, since the transformation of the payment method does not force the commuters to attend the bus station and get tickets after paying the fare. Currently, a person pays in the bus or at the terminal when he or she boards the vehicle.

The theory O was also used in the implementation of the smart payment of fare in Dubai. Focus was directed on the culture of the transport sector and the people using the public transport. This change focused on transforming the commuters’ culture of paying fares by cash to the use of NOL cards (Ahmed 2009).


The approach of theory E to get a plan for the programme and establish it to enhance the change was used while implementing the transformation in Dubai’s transportation payment method.

It started when the government of UAE planned to transform its cities before 2020, and the Road Transport Authority of Dubai provided the plans to make payments using the new smart technology.

After introducing the plan, this organisation started to establish it through installing wireless meters where the NOL cards were swiped in buses, terminals and taxis.

In this light, the transport agency in conjunction with the RTA chose Network International to be the payment provider where the two organisations were networked.

The systems of RTA had to be connected with banks all over the world so as travellers from any part of the world could use their NOL cards to make payments.

At the beginning of 2014, forty taxi operators were trained to use the new payment system, since 1000 airport taxis were expected to install the system by the summer of 2015 (Libo-on 2014).

Reward System

This development came with various ways of rewarding the new technology and its implementers. The two theories were considered in appreciating this transformation, since commitments and financial offers were used as motivational tools in the programme.

The Dubai government declared its commitment in this programme and offered both administrative and financial support to its implementation (McNabb 2012). In this regard, the taxi drivers could be given tips by the other users leading to appreciations of this customised system.


The Dubai government had to get consultants to boost effective change of transport payments from the use of cash to NOL cards. Among the consultants were such experts as Network International, which empowered the stakeholders involved in this transformation (‘Roads and Transport Authority’ 2010).

This showed that the theories of E and O were significant in this case.


The following subtitles assessed some problems that were encountered in the implementation of this change within the transport payment processes.

Prior implementation

One great challenge that faced the transformation was the acquisition of resources needed for the new systems. High-quality wireless meters were needed for installation in the buses and terminals. The equipments were expensive and required a lot of finances to install.

During implementation

Networking data was another major problem when this change was being implemented, since it took a lot of time before the system could be put in use. The data of RTA was to be related to Network International, which was the payment provider of this system.

The transformation faced another challenge when RTA was connecting with banks worldwide. It was noted that some banks were slow, and their numbers caused congestions in the entire process (McNabb 2012).

After Implementation

There were some challenges faced after the transformation when the new payment method was in use. After implementation, some vending machines started to experience technical problems where the NOL cards were used and made them non-operational.

In this regard, commuters were sometimes left stranded at the bus terminals because they could not recharge their NOL cards.

The final challenge was overcharging the commuters. This happened due to the malfunctioning of reading machines used in buses. Sometimes, the NOL cards took a long time to complete the check-out after a person alighted, which made the individual pay an extra fare (Libo-on 2014).


Ahmed, A 2009, Traffic and Transport. Web.

Libo-on, L 2014, . Web.

McNabb, A 2012, . Web.

‘Roads and Transport Authority’ 2010, Almasar Roads and Transport Authority, vol. 3, p. 4-14.

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