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Roads and Transport Authority - RTA Dubai

Thursday 21 March 2019 (UAE)   

RTA Dubai, UAE

The RTA is the Dubai Government department responsible for roads and infrastructure, traffic, and transport in Dubai, including taxis, buses, the Dubai Metro, abras, water taxis and buses, driving licences, car registration, etc.

RTA public transport in Dubai

  • Abras on Dubai Creek - bargain traditional boats crisscrossing between Bur Dubai and Deira. No airconditioning.
  • Dubaibus - public buses in Dubai, and some intercity bus services.
  • Dubai Ferry - ferry boats in Dubai, different from Water Taxis and abras.
  • Dubai Metro - above ground subway train network.
  • Dubaitaxi - RTA franchised taxi companies in Dubai (the cream colored ones with different colored roofs).
  • School buses department.
  • WaterBus - cheap airconditioned public boat service with routes on Dubai Creek. Not the same as the Wonder Bus tourist boat-bus combination.
  • WaterTaxi - expensive boats running along Dubai Creek, the Dubai coast, and to the artificial island developments in Dubai.
RTA Public Transport Agency
  • CEO is Mohamed Obeid Al Mulla.
Dubai Ferry

The Dubai Ferry is a large catamaran used for scenic boat trips along the Dubai coast. It is not a communter service since it returns to its start point, except for the one-way trips between Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina.

  • Standard tickets cost AED 50 per person, a great deal compared to other scenic boat ride options. Gold Class tickets cost AED 75 - bigger seats, separate section at the front of the boat.

Dubai Ferry route updates starting 01 Nov 2013 (announced 31 Oct 2013, WAM)

  • The revamped Dubai Ferry line will shuttle between Dubai Marina and Dubai Creek. In
  • Dubai Creek to Dubai Marina - starts at Al Ghubaiba Station at 11am.
  • Dubai Creek trip - starts at Al Ghubaibah Station, towards the Floating Bridge, then the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the Deira Corniche, and return to Al Ghubaiba Station. Start times 10:30am and 3pm. Duration 1 hour. Coffee and tea included in fares.
  • Dubai Marina to Dubai Creek - starts at Dubai Marina Mall Station at 11am.
  • Dubai Marina trip - starts at Dubai Marina Mall station and travels within the Dubai Marina for 1 hour.
  • Dubai Marina to Jumeirah Palm trip - starts at 4pm from Dubai Marina Mall Station, passes Atlantis Hotel Resort and the Burj Al Arab. Trip duration 1-2 hrs (supplied information unclear).

Dubai Ferry routes (old information)

  • Dubai Marina - near the Dubai Marina Mall, a trip through the Dubai Marina, out to sea, past JBR, Jumeirah Palm Island, Atlantis Hotel resort, and back to Dubai Marina Mall station. Trip duration about 1 hour. Departure times 1100 and 1700. The 1700 trip is best for photography with the sunset, although photos get blurrier as it gets darker (a tripod is not useful on a boat). Originally the route went inside the Palm Jumeirah boundary but that has since changed and it stays outside the crescent.
  • Dubai Creek - from the Dubai Ferry station near Al Ghubaiba, to the head of the creek at Al Shindagha, out along the coast in Jebel Ali direction with views of the Burj Khalifa and the Jumeirah Coast, back to Dubai Creek. Duration about 1 hour.
  • Friday morning one-way trip - at 11am a boat goes from Dubai Marina to Dubai Creek, and at the same time another boat goes from Dubai Creek to Dubai Marina. Trip duration is about 90 minutes, a good opportunity to see most of the Dubai coast, although after about 40 minutes you feel like you've had enough. There is no return service, unless you want to wait a week.
RTA Dubai Taxis
RTA public bus services in Dubai
  • Feeder buses for Dubai Metro (route numbers start with the letter F, start and terminate at metro stations).
  • Intercity routes in the UAE to other emirates and the city of Al Ain (not operated by the RTA?).
  • Intercity routes to other countries, or international routes, not operated by the RTA?
  • Other routes start and terminate at bus stations, usually - some exceptions. Routes are numbers only, or prefixed with the letter C or X. X routes are express routes.
Wi-fi internet connection on buses in Dubai
  • 28 May 2012 (Gulf News) - the RTA is developing Wi-Fi connectivity on buses in Dubai, pilot project to be launched in 2012(?), all Dubai buses and inter-city buses could have wireless internet available by 2013.
RTA Water Bus routes

Waterbus routes operate mostly between the Dubai Creek abra stations. The Water Bus service was launched in 2007 as a more comfortable public ferry service along Dubai Creek. Ticket prices about 4 dhs instead of 1 dh on the abras. The extra 3 dhs keeps you cool and dehumidified in summer, and your bottom splinter-free on the comfortable chairs, compared to the abra services.

Payment is by Nol Card - usually. Might be compulsory, i.e. cash no longer accepted, by the time you read this.

  • 31 Oct 2013 (WAM) - Water Bus new routes or updates:
    • Dubai Creek - from Al Seef station to Bani Yas on Deira side, Dubai Old Souk on Bur Dubai side, and return. Starts at 7am, runs every 15 minutes.
    • Dubai Marina route extended to include Marina Terrace station and Marina Promenade station.
  • 25 Feb 2013 - new route launched between Festival City Station (Dubai Festival City) and Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. A tourist route with the boat slowing down sometimes for photo opportunities. Duration 30 mins. Timings are:
    • Saturday to Thursday at 1000, 1100, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, last trip at 1800.
    • Fridays and public holidays 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, last trip at 1800. No morning services.
    • Ticket cost is AED 25 (round trip), buy on the boat.
  • 05 Feb 2013 - new route launched between Dubai Marina Mall and Dubai Marina Walk. Handy way to avoid expensive or difficult car parking at Marina Walk - the Dubai Marina Mall car park is free (at the time of the launch of the new waterbus route at least).
    • Ticket fare AED 2. Frequency every 15 mins, trip length 12 mins.
    • Operating times 10am-10pm Sat-Wed, 10am-12am midnight on Thu, 12pm-midnight on Fri and public holidays.

Water bus routes

  • Dubai Festival City to Ras Al Khor and return, no stops.
  • Dubai Creek - Al Seef station to Baniyas station, Dubai Old Souk (Bur Dubai) station, and back. Frequency every 15 mins, oeprates 0700-2200 Sat-Thu, 1000-2400 Fri and public holidays. Trip duration 45 minutes total.
  • Dubai Marina Mall to Dubai Marina Walk, stops at Marina Terrace and Marina Promenade.

Water bus routes Dubai Creek (old information?)

  • B1 - Bur Dubai Station to Al Sabkha Station (Deira).
  • B2 - Dubai Old Souk to Baniyas (Bani Yas) (Deira).
  • B3 - Al Sabkha (Deira) to Al Seef (Bur Dubai), stops at Baniyas.
  • B4 - Bur Dubai or Dubai Old Souq (information unclear) Creek Park Station (Floatin Bridge, Bur Dubai side), stops at Al Seef.
  • B5 - Al Shindagha (Al Shandaga) Station, Bur Dubai to Creek Park Station, Bur Dubai. Stops at the following stations in this order - Bur Dubai, Deira Old Souq, Al Seef. Skips Dubai Old Souk, Al Sabkha, and Bani Yas.

Al Seef Station also sometimes written as Al Saif Station.

RTA other services and departments

Channels for new and renewal of RTA driving licence and vehicle registration in Dubai
Service Driving Licence Vehicle Registration¹ Traffic Fine Payment Number Plate Auctions
RTA branches and centers Yes Some Yes  
RTA website Confusion Confusion Confusion  
Telephone RTA 8009090 (24/7) 01 Nov 2010 01 Nov 2010 01 Nov 2010  
Insurance Companies² Some Some Some  
  1. Vehicles still need to be taken to a testing center for roadworthiness checks, where you might as well complete the registration or renewal process while you're there, so until you can drive your car into a telephone or a computer, the telephone and online facilities are a bit redundant.
  2. RTA approved insurance companies can perform some services according to the 23 October 2010 press release.
  • H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Head of the RTA said in a press release 23 October 2010: "It is now possible for the public to process the renewal of vehicle registration/ driving licenses and effect payment of fines through four channels: RTA website (www.rta.ae), RTA customer service centers spread all over Dubai, RTA-approved insurance companies, and now through phone calls to RTA Call Center. ... this service ... through the Call Center will be on offer 24/7"
  • Driving Licence and Vehicle Registration issue and renewal by phone is paid for by credit card, then a copy is sent by email to the customer to keep until original arrives by express mail. Press release also said RTA has coordinated with the Dubai Police General HQ to accept the temporary copy pending receipt of the original registration or driving license card. But no information supplied about whether police departments in other emirates will accept a copy.
RTA Licensing Agency
  • CEO of the RTA Licensing Agency is Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan (August 2010 information)
RTA driver's licence and vehicle registration renewal online
  • The RTA is planning to introduce online renewal of the driving licence, online renewal of vehicle registration, electronic scheduling of driving tests, online payment of fines, electronic eye testing, online allocation of distinguished numbers plates, and online open distinguished number plate auctions (Emirates Business 24-7 report 11 October 2010). Which is funny because we thought it was already possible to do renewal of some of those services online.
  • See also Dubai driver's licence and Dubai vehicle registration information.
RTA Driving Centers
  • Jebel Ali - Investment Park 2, the 6th driving center in Dubai, named "Drive Dubai". Services offered include driving school for all types of light or heavy vehicles and buses, motorcycles, mechanical equipment. Also driver testing, eyesight testing, and knowledge testing.
Map of RTA locations
  • Dubai Digital Map of RTA locations announced 04 October 2007 as being available online on the RTA website but good luck trying to find it. Press release is on the RTA website but no obvious link to the map. A search of the RTA's site for Dubai Digital Map returns the message "No results found for: dubai digital map".
  • 65 RTA Subsidiary Customer Service Centers in Dubai, locations usually at EPPCO petrol stations, Emarat Shamil Stations, bus & abra stations, social centers in the Al Tawar (Al Twar) and Al Karama Municipality Centers.
  • Seasonal parking cards and bus boarding cards are available in the Municipality Centers, and you can pay fines there also.
  • Director of Customer Service Centers Department is Laila Hareb.
RTA road projects in Dubai

See also roads in Dubai and roads in the UAE.

  • Al Yalayes Road (Al Yalayis Rd, new Lihbab Rd, Libab Rd) - between Emirates Road and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, roundabouts at Dubai Academic City Road, and Dubai Investment Park, dual carriageway with 4 lanes in each direction, project value AED 164, construction start date Dec 2013, completion May 2015 (18 months) (WAM 22 Dec 2013).
  • Defense roundabout - interchange 1 on Sheikh Zayed Road.
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road Expansion Project from Arabian Ranches Interchange to Al Houdh roundabout completed in 2013?
  • Al Khail Road Improvement Project - freeflow interchanges all completed in 2013?
  • Trade Center bypass road or flyover, open to traffic Dec 2013? Connects from behind DIFC, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai Exhibition Center to Wafi Center.
RTA contact details and locations
Last update Saturday 02-Aug-2014. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
Related pages
Related websites (new window)
  • www.dalili.ae - map and traffic congestion information for Dubai from the RTA. Not available when checked August 2010.
  • www.rta.ae - RTA official website
  • wojhati.rta.ae - RTA journey planner for Dubai


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