Thursday 18 April 2024 (UAE)

Transport in Dubai

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Transport in Dubai and the UAE

This page under development.

Transport in Dubai - information about different ways to travel around Dubai, and costs. Guide to getting around by bicycle, car, public transport, metro, marine transport, taxi. Most of the comments in this table apply to other emirates in the UAE although there are some variations.

Public transport in Dubai and UAE - table of different public transport options by emirate and city, and public transport information.

Method Convenience Safety Cost Pros Cons
Abra Good if near stations Probably ok Cheap Cheap, convenient between congested areas of Dubai, frequent Hot in summer
Bicycle Good for short distances Ok off main roads Cheap Fitness, health, theft is rare, a few bicycle paths Too hot in summer, bicycle path obstacles (poles, cars, bus stops)
Big Bus Dubai Tourist attraction        
Bus (public) Ok if close to bus stop Good Cheap Cheap Long and inconsistent waiting times on some routes
Bus (private) Can be Random or poor Cheap Cheap, possibly convenient Minibuses might not be safe, bad drivers, questionable legality if not company provided transport
Car (private) Yes if parking available Generally ok Varies Convenient, cheap petrol Traffic jams, aggressive drivers, parking
Car (rental) Yes if parking available Generally ok Varies Cheaper than many expect, no servicing or maintenance costs Old cars might be unsafe, some dodgy rental car firms
Car pool Sort of Random Cheap Can be convenient Illegal unless registered, steep fines, RTA discourages carpooling
Drone Not for humans Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown, humans too heavy to carry?
Dubai Ferry Not really Good Medium Comfortable, good value sightseeing trip Sightseeing trip only
Helicopter Yes between helipads Good? Expensive Quick, avoid traffic jams Very expensive, need to arrange ground transport if not walking
Hovercraft Proposed between DXB and RAK       Not operating, plans abandoned?
Intercity bus Good for AUH, SHJ, less for other locations Good on RTA buses Cheap RTA buses comfortable, mostly clean, efficient Irregular and less comfortable service on non-RTA buses (Ajman, Al Ain, Fujairah, RAK, UAQ). Pickup only at start point.
Intercity waterbus          
Intercity watertaxi Proposed between Dubai and Ajman   Expensive   Not operating, plans abandoned?
Liftshare See carpooling        
Limousine Sort of, difficult to park Good Expensive Good for party in a car, showing off, luxury transport Expensive, slow going around corners
Metro Good if close to station Good Cheap Clean, comfortable, safe, quick in congested areas Friday late start, not 24 hours, crowded in peak hours
Minibus See Bus (private)        
Monorail No, only one monorail (not a pun) and two stations Good Expensive Clean, comfortable, not busy Limited service and stations on Palm Jumeirah, some improvement when connected with Dubai Tram.
Motorcycle Yes except for heat in summer Poor Cheap to medium Good for getting around traffic jams, easy to park Other road users have little respect for motorbikes, summer heat is like an inferno, airconditioned helmets not yet available.
Segway Not really except in localised areas - Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, inside shopping malls Unknown Medium Novelty factor, easy to park, quicker than walking Bumpy pavements, no pavements, stairs difficult, no airconditioning
Taxi Generally yes Generally ok Medium Convenient, don't worry about parking Some drivers smelly and bad navigators, taxi availability poor during shift changes
Tram1 Yes if on route Good Cheap Clean, comfortable, safe, no parking problems Limited service area
Walking2 Good for short distances, not in summer Usually safe2 Cheap Fitness, health, no parking problems Too hot in summer, roads unfriendly for pedestrians in some areas but improving
Water Bus Good if near station Good Cheap Cheap, airconditioned  
Water Taxi Only if near station Good Expensive Cooler than abra Expensive
Wonder Bus Tourist attraction        
  1. Not operational until November 2014.
  2. In many areas outside Abu Dhabi or Dubai cities, safety is a greater concern for women, especially late at night, and especially on their own, because there are many more more male pedestrians, even, or especially, in downtown Ajman, Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain. Shopping malls are fine however.

Private Cars, motorcycles and other vehicles

Many, if not most, residents earning more than a couple of thousand dirhams per month have their own car. Those on lower salaries such as labourers, maids etc are usually transported to their place of work in company buses or find their own way around using cheap private taxi share services, or public transport. Some will use bicycles.

Buy a vehicle - paying cash

How to buy or sell a car in Dubai - information page.

Buying a vehicle - using finance (car loan, personal loan, hire purchase)

Car finance and auto loans in Dubai - more information.

Renting a vehicle in Dubai

Car rentals in Dubai - more information.

Renting bicycles in Abu Dhabi

Fun Ride Sports, set up by Abu Baker Al Sakaf (January 2008?), will rent bicycles for you to use for pedalling up and down the Abu Dhabi Corniche. There are 3 rental stations - opposite the Hilton Hotel (from 8am-10pm weekdays), the Chamber of Commerce (2pm-10pm weekdays, 8am-10pm weekends), and one near the Sheraton Hotel (opening Feb 2008). For one hour, cost is Dh 20 for an adult and Dh 15. Additional 30 mins costs Dh 10. Mountain, road, and children's bikes available. Tandem bikes from March 2008. Child seats also available.

Leasing a vehicle in Dubai
Stealing a vehicle in Dubai (this is not a recommendation)

Public Transport

Taxi color codes

Emirates Today article Monday 14 May 2007

Trains and railway operations in Dubai
Dubai Metro (Underground, Subway)

Water transport services

RTA Marine Strategic Plan 2020

Add route map (water-routes-...gif)?

The RTA (Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai) will spend AED 1.5 billion on 210 km worth of water based transport routes by 2020. Marine transport will service the Dubai Creek (and extension), Dubai to Sharjah trips, and routes to the Palm Islands, Dubai Waterfront, and The World. Five main routes are planned. One between Deira and Sharjah, one along Dubai Creek, a tourist route along the Jumeirah coast, a route linking the major offshore developments, and one between Dubai Creek and Dubai Maritime City at Port Rashid.

Dubai Ferry

RTA Dubai Ferry Service starts 2009.

Dubai Ferry progress 26 January 2009 (press release)
Water Bus services starting July 2007

*Water Bus Dubai - main page.

Air services

Other headings


List of transport companies ... Dubai


Division into public and private transport services, infrastructure, organisations (RTA=Dubai Ministry of Transport), roads, waterways, air, underground.

Last update Saturday 13-Sep-2014.
Related pages
Related websites (new window)
Sponsored links (PDF and print version).

Abu Dhabi AUH ABD ADB, Ajman AJM, Al Ain AAN, Dubai DXB, Fujairah FUJ, Ras Al Khaimah RAK, Sharjah SHJ, Umm Al Quwain UAQ

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