Known as city that’s designed for driving, Dubai has surprisingly many, high-quality, modern and convenient public transportation options, some of which you won’t easily find anywhere else in the world!
The public transportation network in Dubai is managed by the Roads & Transport Authority (fondly known locally as the RTA) and comprises buses, metro lines, the tram, the Palm monorail, water taxis, ferries and Dubai’s traditional abras found along the Dubai Creek.
There are many options to get around Dubai via public transport, and no matter which one you choose, you can conveniently pay cashless with one tap with a rechargeable ‘nol’ card, available at just about every station in Dubai. You can even pay for your public parking in Dubai and for groceries in some select stores with your nol card.
In this article we will give you an over of the main methods of public transportation in Dubai along with some practical tips, so you know exactly what to do and where to go when you’re next in town.
On the road
When it comes to ground transportation in Dubai there are several options. You can take one of the many official Dubai taxis, which are licensed by the government and managed by the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority, or travel by bus.
Dubai has an extensive bus network as part of its public transportation infrastructure with a fleet of over 1,500 buses that cover 87% of the urban are in the Emirate. There are a total of 119 bus routes of which many link to Dubai Metro stations, making it convenient to switch between transportation. There are also intercity bus routes that you can take to travel to other Emirates in the UAE.
On the rails
Dubai public transportation has several options when it comes to railways. You can take the Dubai Metro, use the Dubai Tram, or hop on the Palm Monorail to explore the world wonder that is Palm Jumeirah on a scenic trip from above the road.
As one of the most advanced and modern transportation systems with driverless trains, Dubai Metro currently has two lines that operate seven days a week, with a third line scheduled to open ahead of Dubai Expo 2020. The Red Line runs from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali, passing Dubai International Airport and then following Sheikh Zayed Road. The Green Line runs from Etisalat Metro Station in Al Qusais to Creek Metro Station in Al Jaddaf, serving the bustling areas of Deira and Bur Dubai where there is lots to explore including Dubai Creek and the city’s Gold and Spice Souks.
The electrical tram service links with the Dubai Metro and the Palm Monorail and services 11 stations along al Sufouh Road, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers.
On the water
Public transportation in Dubai includes several marine services including water taxis, the Dubai ferry and the traditional wooden abras, which are found all along Dubai Creek. Travelling by water gives you a unique perspective of the city and it’s a great way to admire Dubai’s mind-blowing skyline, whether around Downtown Dubai or alongside the coastline by Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence.
Did you know? Dubai’s Abras are the city’s most traditional mode of public transport. Used to cross the Dubai Creek, the small wooden boats are an important symbol of Dubai’s rich trading heritage. A not-to-be-missed experience, it only costs AED 1 per person per trip to take the abra, which is part of Dubai’s official public transportation network.
The RTA keeps the city moving
For easy and convenient use of Dubai’s public transportation network and to plan your journey in advance from your own smart phone, you can download the award-winning interactive RTA App which offers over 40 different services to users. You can also download the S’hail App on your phone, which is an all-in-one user-friendly app that helps you get around Dubai via public transport in the fastest and easiest way possible.