Dubai public transportation: Discover the best means for you

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  • Using a Nol card, you can pay for Dubai Taxi, Dubai Metro, the bus, the tram, Abra and water taxi.
  • You can easily call Dubai Taxi to reserve a taxi any time, 24/7.
  • Dubai Metro Stations contain air-conditioned pedestrian overpass walkways.
  • Buses are inexpensive and can take you between Emirates.
  • Dubai Tram goes in a circle around Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence areas and connects them with Dubai Metro and the Palm Monorail.
  • The water taxis are safe and modern looking so you can avoid traffic while savoring the view of the waterfront.

Transportation in Dubai is highly efficient; if you are based in Dubai or visiting for a short period of time you will notice the variety of transportation means and ease of mobility around the city.

Choices of transportation include the RTA (major independent government Roads and Transport Authority) owned Dubai Taxi, metro, bus, tram, Abra (small motorized water taxi) and water taxi which you will be given more insights in this article.

Nol Cards

Before we introduce you to the numerous transportation means available in Dubai, it’s important to know about Nol cards; the smart cards offered by the RTA, to enable you to pay for various transportation means owned and operated by Dubai’s RTA using one card.
Using a Nol card you can pay for Dubai Taxi, Dubai Metro, the bus, the tram, Abra, water taxi and for paid parking in Dubai.
To know which type of Nol cards you should purchase, find out which one of the 3 types meets your individual needs.

You can buy Nol Cards from ticket offices located in all metro stations and some bus stations as well as ticket vending machines.

Taxi

Taxi in Dubai with sky scrapers behind

For short distances or when traveling at night, taxis might be the most convenient way to get around the town.
The largest taxi company in Dubai, Dubai Taxi is government owned and operated.
You can easily call Dubai Taxi at +971 4 208 0808 to reserve a taxi anytime, 24/7.
If you’re out on the street heading somewhere, simply hail any taxi with a red rooftop.
To plan longer trips, download the GPS based Wojhati app.

Metro

Dubai has the longest driverless, fully automated train system in the world. Dubai Metro is an efficient, clean and safe transportation mean that is affordable for everyone. Add to this comfort air-conditioned pedestrian overpass walkways. It’s also worthy of mention that Dubai Metro has dedicated special cabins for women and children only.

Opening hours:

Red Line:

  • 5 A.M. until Midnight Saturday to Wednesday
  • 5 A.M until 1 A.M. on Thursday
  • 10 A.M. until 1 A.M. on Friday.

Green Line:

  • 5.30 A.M. until Midnight Saturday to Wednesday,
  • 5.30 A.M. until 1 A.M. on Thursday,
  • 10 A.M. until 1 A.M. on Friday

Bus

The Dubai Metro doesn’t reach all the places you might want to travel to, this is when Dubai’s bus comes in handy.
Dubai’s bus has a good network of air-conditioned buses with more than 600 bus stops in and around Dubai. Many of the bus stops are also air-conditioned.
Taking the bus is a smart choice if you want to visit popular attractions in Dubai such as the fish market, the gold souk, spice souk and perfume souk as they are close to the Gold Souk Bus Station.
The issues you might face as a bus rider is the crowdedness of the buses during rush hours, the slow moving due to the traffic, and the difficulty to find a place to sit sometimes. Some of the bus stations are not easy to find too.
On the upside, buses are inexpensive and can take you between Emirates.

Stations and opening hours: 

Gold Souk, Al Ghubaibah:  5:00 A.M.12:00 Midnight.

Al Satwa, Al Qusais, Al Quoz Industrial, Jebel Ali: 5:00 A.M.11:00 P.M.
Jebel Ali: 6:00 A.M.10:10 P.M.

Al Rashidiya, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta, Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa, Abu Hail, Etisalat: 5:15 A.M.1:10 A.M.

Water taxi

Water taxi in DubaiA fleet of water taxis, owned and operated by the RTA aims to ease the congestion on Dubai’s most crowded streets. The modern looking and safe water taxis can help avoid traffic while savoring the view of the waterfront.
Dubai’s water taxi has 32 pick-up points around the city.

Opening hours: Daily from 10:00 A.M.10:00 P.M.

Tram

Dubai Tram goes in a circle around Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence areas and connects them with Dubai Metro and the Palm Monorail. It’s very convenient when you want to continue your journey by taking the metro or monorail to another destination.
The Dubai Tram runs for 19 hours a day:

Sat – Thu: from 6.30 A.M. until 1.30 A.M.

Friday: 9 A.M. until 1.30 A.M.

Abra

This special small motorized water taxi is an excellent way to cross over to another side of Dubai Creek escaping heavy traffic. Abras are cheap, quick and enjoyable but also much less modern than Water taxis mentioned above.

It takes 5 to 10 minutes to cross the creek using an abra and up to one hour using the Shindagha tunnel, Garhoud, or Maktoum bridge.
Manual Abra (steered by rowing) are also available in case you plan to fit a quick workout into your day.

Routes and opening hours:

  • Deira old souk Abra station [northern side of the creek]TO Bur Dubai Station [southern side of the creek]: 5 A.M. to Midnight.
  • Sabkha Abra Station [northern side of the creek]TO Dubai old souk Abra station [southern side of the creek]: 24 hours.

Palm Monorail

The Palm Monorail is a driverless, automated train that connects the Palm Jumeirah with Dubai Marina.

Currently, there are 3 stations:

  • The Palm Gateway station,
  • Al Ittihad Park station which gives direct access to the Galleria Mall,
  • Atlantis Aquaventure station at the Atlantis hotel.

A trip takes about 12 minutes and costs AED20 (AED30 for a round trip) cash payable only.

A train arrives at the station every 15 minutes from 9 A.M. to 10 P.M. The monorail links to the Dubai Tram at Palm Gateway and is planned to connect to Dubai Metro in the future.

With so many options for commuting around the city of Dubai, you need not worry about reaching your destination on time. Almost all means are air-conditioned, clean, safe and modern looking, ensuring the best traveling experience you can have whether for business or pleasure.

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