Getting Around Dubai On Public Transportation

Published on: Feb 18, 2021
Alyce Gibson
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Discover the best of Dubai using the city’s world-class public transport network. Whether you want to travel between the Emirate’s famous skyscrapers, shop until you drop at the world’s largest mall or are heading to the waterpark for a day on the rides, it’s easy to get around Dubai. Here’s how...

Getting to Dubai 

Dubai is served by two international airports:

Dubai International Airport (DXB)

This large, modern airport offers excellent links to more than 240 destinations worldwide.

Get from DXB to Dubai using:

  • Metro – there are stations for the Red Line in terminals 1 and 3.
  • Taxi – there is a taxi rank in each terminal.
  • Bus – buses start from stops opposite terminals 1, 2 and 3. There’s also a free shuttle bus between terminals 1 and 3.

Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC)

The newer of the two airports, DWC is part of a sprawling development comprising the Dubai Logistics City, Commercial City, Residential City, Aviation City and the Golf City.

  • Taxi – the airport has its own fleet of taxis, run by the Dubai Taxi Corporation.
  • Bus – there are two routes from DWC, one running to Satwa Bus Station, the other to Abu Hail Metro Station.

Dubai Cruise Terminal

You might also be one of the half-million people who travel to and from Dubai by cruise ship every year.

Dubai Cruise Terminal 1 is based in Mina Rashid, while Cruise Terminal 2 is in Port Rashid. Both are within eight miles of Dubai International Airport.

How to get around Dubai 

There are lots of ways to explore Dubai – the city boasts a wide range of transport options, from private cars to public buses. Take your pick from the options below.


Taxis are a convenient and affordable way of travelling around the city and can either be pre-booked or simply hailed down on the street.

  • All Dubai taxis are metered – fares typically start at AED5 (£1.02) and rise by around AED2 (41p) per kilometre.
  • Taxis with pink roofs are driven by females and were originally intended to only transport other females and women with young children, but will now take all family members.
  • Getting to and from the airport is both easy and affordable, with large numbers of taxis easily accessible outside the terminals. Alternatively, we can arrange private, luxury airport transfers - so you can travel in both comfort and style, without any hassle. 
  • You’ll find taxi ranks outside hotels, shopping centres and all the famous landmarks – it’s worth noting there can be long queues, especially around rush hour, which is between 3.30pm and 5.30pm.
  • Apps, such as Uber, can be used in Dubai.


Not only is Dubai’s metro system one of the most popular ways to travel around the city, it’s the largest driverless train system in the world.

  • The Red Line starts at Rashidiya Station, just south of Dubai International Airport, and terminates south-west of the city at the UAE Exchange. It runs close to the coast, with stations near the city’s top attractions, including the Palm Jumeirah.
  • The Green Line starts at Etisalat Station, north-east of Dubai International Airport, and loops round to Al Jaddaf to terminate at Creek Station.
  • Buy a Nol card if you think you will be travelling on the Dubai Metro a few times during your trip – it’s similar to London’s Oyster card.
  • Trains leave at least every 10 minutes, usually more often, especially during rush hour. 


One of the most recent additions to Dubai’s public transport system, the Dubai tram can take you to major hotspots throughout the city.

One of the cheapest ways to travel around the city, it runs at street level and has 11 stations. 

Key attractions along the way include:

  • Dubai Marina
  • Jumeirah Beach Residence
  • Palm Jumeirah
  • Dubai Media City

The Palm Monorail 

For Palm Island and Atlantis, The Palm, step aboard the Palm Jumeirah Monorail.

Join it by leaving the metro at Palm Jumeirah Tram Station and following the footbridge to Gateway Station.

The four-stop, three-mile route runs up the trunk of the island, stopping off Al Ittihad Park Station, Nakheel Mall Station, and terminating at Atlantis Aquaventure Station.

It’s AED20 (£4.09) one way and AED30 (£6.13) for a return, departing every 15 minutes between 9am and 10pm.


There are two types of bus to know about in Dubai – the public transport bus and the Big Bus Hop On and Hop Off Tour.

Here’s what you need to know about the public buses:

  • Dubai buses run 24 hours a day, with many departing every 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Buy a Nol card – journey prices start from AED2 (41p).
  • Buses depart from every airport terminal and will take you through the city’s main neighbourhoods, to all landmarks and tourist attractions.

The Big Bus Hop On Hop Off Tour is a sightseeing bus and is a great way to get your bearings, see all the main attractions in one go and learn more about the city thanks to the live commentary.

As the name would suggest you can hop off – and then back on – at any point. This means you can stop to get a closer look at Dubai Fountain or Atlantis, The Palm, and then continue the tour with your camera at the ready.


Public transport isn’t limited to land – you can also travel by water in Dubai.

  • The Dubai Ferry takes you along the coastline with various stops along the way, including Dubai Marina.
  • Prices start from AED15 (£3.06) and ferries depart from Al Jaddaf station at 10am, 12pm and 5.30pm every day.
  • The abra – a traditional wooden boat – will take you across Dubai Creek for AED1 (20p).


If you want to see Dubai while riding on two wheels, you’ll find an extensive network of urban bike paths and plenty of places to rent a bike from.

There are BYKY stations on curbsides around the city where you can collect one for the day – or a few hours if you prefer – and you can also rent them on Jumeirah Beach.

There’s also the Al Qudra cycling track just outside the city – it’s 53 miles long and boasts views of the desert that are so impressive you'll need to stop pedalling to take it all in.

You can rent a bike for this journey from the shop at the end of Al Qudra Road. 

Now you know how you are going to travel around Dubai when you get there you can start planning your trip and decide what attractions you’ll want to see. Check out our Dubai holidays on our website and find the best deal for you.

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