How it works:
- Overview: taxis in Bahrain don’t enjoy the best reputation and one has to be alert when taking one.
- Version 1: the most common trick is to “forget” to turn on the meter or pretend that there is no meter by blocking it from your view with an object and then charge you an inflated fare at the end of your trip.
- Version 2: rigging the meter by clicking a button causing it jump faster or by adding an extra surcharge that should not be charged.
- Version 3: giving you Saudi Riyal in change instead of Bahraini Dinar. Note that 1 Bahraini Dinar is worth 10x Saudi Riyal.
Places to beware:
- Manama: tourist attractions, Khalifa Bin Salman Port
What to do:
- Photo: take a photo of the car plate and driver’s license. Threaten to call the police if you face any trouble.
- Overcharging: legally, all taxis have to use their meter or they cannot charge you for a trip. Confirm that the meter is on before embarking on your trip. Also, you can do some research to understand what a fair price is – check online fare estimators, your hotel/hostel staff or taxi booking apps (e.g. Uber, Careem, Bahrain Taxi).
- Rigged meter red flags: tampered/missing meter seal, only fare is displayed, driver clicking a hidden switch, driving slowly at a high speed area to prevent meter from jumping wildly.
- Change: make sure you get Bahraini Dinar or the correct amount of Saudi Riyal back in change.