Know About Public Transportation in the UAE

A Guide to Transportation in UAE

Like most other places, it’s not necessary to own a car to travel around in the UAE. There are numerous ways to travel in the UAE by using public transportation such as by Dubai bus, taxi, or rental car. You can choose your method of transport based on cost, convenience, availability, and personal preferences. Here is a short guide to give you a detailed insight into transportation facilities in United Arab Emirates.

Public Transportation Facilities in UAE

  • Buses

Buses in dubai

Buses provide convenient and affordable travel options for residents and visitors. the bus system in the UAE is managed by the local authorities of each emirate, such as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, which operates a fleet of over 1,500 Dubai buses that cover more than 90 routes across Dubai. Similarly, large fleets of buses operate across various routes in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, etc. The buses operate from early morning until midnight, with some routes running 24 hours a day.

The buses in the UAE feature comfortable seating, air conditioning and availability of free Wi-Fi on most routes. They are also equipped with a range of safety features, including GPS tracking and CCTV cameras, to ensure the safety of passengers.

In addition to the regular bus services, there are also express buses that provide faster and more direct routes between major destinations. These buses have fewer stops and are ideal for commuters or travellers who need to get to their destinations quickly.

  • Metro

Metro in dubai

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a modern and efficient metro system that provides fast and convenient transportation options for residents and visitors. The metro system is managed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai and the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi.

    • Dubai Metro

The Dubai Metro is a fully automated driverless system that has two lines: the Red Line and the Green Line. The Red Line runs from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali, while the Green Line runs from Creek to Etisalat. The two lines intersect at two stations: Union Square and Bur Juman. There are also plans to add additional lines in the future.

The Dubai Metro has a total of 53 stations, including 35 on the Red Line and 18 on the Green Line. The stations are well equipped, with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and a range of other amenities. The metros are well designed as well, featuring ample seating and designated seats for women and children, among other things. 

The fares for the Dubai Metro are relatively affordable, with a standard fare depending on the length of the trip.

    • Abu Dhabi Metro

The Abu Dhabi Metro is currently under construction and is scheduled to start operating in a few years. The metro system is proposed to have four lines: Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue.

  • Dubai Tram

The Dubai Tram is another important public transportation option in the UAE, specifically in Dubai. It is a modern, electric tram system that connects important areas of Dubai, including Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, and Al Sufouh. The tram system is managed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai.

The Dubai Tram operates on a single track with 11 stations (19 planned) along its route, and it is integrated with the Dubai Metro and bus systems. The tram runs every 10 minutes, and the journey takes around 42 minutes from end to end. Passengers can purchase a Nol card, which is a smart card that can be used to pay for public transportation fares in the UAE, including the Dubai Tram.

The Dubai Tram is fully air-conditioned and features modern, comfortable carriages. The trams are also equipped with advanced safety features, such as an emergency brake system and CCTV cameras.

The fares for the Dubai Tram are relatively affordable. However, passengers can save money by purchasing a daily, weekly, or monthly pass. The tram operates from Saturday to Thursday, with reduced services on Fridays.

  • Cabs and Ride-Hailing Apps

Cabs and Ride-Hailing Apps

Travelling by taxi and using ride-hailing apps like Uber and Careem are popular and convenient transportation options in the UAE.

    • Taxis

Taxis are widely available in the UAE, and they can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. The taxis are metered, and the fares are regulated by the government to ensure that passengers are charged fair prices. The fares are relatively affordable, but they can vary during peak hours depending on traffic conditions and the distance to the destination.

    • Uber and Careem

Uber and Careem are ride-hailing apps that are available in the UAE. The apps allow passengers to book rides from their smartphones, and the fares are charged to their credit cards or through other payment options available in the app. The fares are competitive, and passengers can get a fare estimate before booking a ride.

Uber and Careem offer a range of ride options, including standard cars, luxury cars, and larger vehicles for group travel. The apps also provide other features, such as the ability to track the driver’s location and share ride details with friends and family.

  • Rental Cars

Rental Cars

Rental cars are widely available in the UAE, and they can be a convenient and flexible transportation option for visitors or tourists.

There are several car rental agencies in the UAE, including international brands such as Avis, Hertz, and Europcar, as well as local agencies such as Thrifty, Budget, and Dollar.

The rental process is straightforward and similar to other countries. To rent a car, visitors must have government-issued identification. They may also need to provide a credit card for the rental deposit. The minimum age to rent a car in the UAE is typically 21 years old, although some rental agencies may require drivers to be 25 years old.

  • Private Transfer

Private Transfer

Private transfers are another transportation option available in the UAE, and they can provide a comfortable and convenient way to travel to and from airports, hotels, and other destinations.

Companies offer a range of transfer options, including private cars, vans, and limousines.

Visitors can book private transfers online through mobile apps. Visitors can choose the type of vehicle they want, the pickup location, and the destination.

  • Waterways

Travelling through waterways can provide a unique and enjoyable way to explore the country’s coastlines and waterways.

There are several water transportation options available in the UAE, including Dubai water buses, ferry services, and private yachts. The Dubai water buses and ferry services are operated by local government authorities, while private yachts can be rented from private companies.

The water taxi and ferry services operate in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, connecting various places along the coastlines and waterways. The water taxis and ferries feature comfortable seating and onboard amenities such as refreshments.

Public Transport Payment Methods Available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

The Nol Card and the Hafilat card are smart cards that can be used to pay for Dubai public transport and Abu Dhabi public transport, respectively. These cards can be topped up with credit and used to pay for bus, metro, tram, and water taxi fares. The cards can be purchased from ticket vending machines, customer service centres, and authorised retailers.

Cash payments are also accepted for almost all public transport facilities available across the UAE.

Disability Access in Public Transport in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah

The UAE is committed to providing accessible public transportation for individuals with disabilities.

    • Most buses are equipped with low floors and wheelchair ramps, making them accessible to individuals with mobility impairments. Priority seating is also available for individuals with disabilities.
    • Both Dubai public transport and Abu Dhabi public transport have a fleet of wheelchair-accessible taxis that can be booked through the RTA and TransAD, respectively.
    • The Dubai RTA and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport provide special needs services for individuals with disabilities, including door-to-door transportation services, personalised mobility training, and accessible bus routes.

To Sum Up

Overall, city transportation available in the UAE is excellent and improving every year. The various local authorities of each emirate are committed to providing the best possible city transportation services while maintaining affordability, convenience, and accessibility.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Can You Go from Sharjah to Dubai via Public Transportation?

You can go from Sharjah to Dubai using three public transport facilities: bus, taxi, or rental car. Each has its own pros and cons, while the most affordable is travelling by bus.

Can you go from Abu Dhabi to Dubai via public transportation?

There are three ways in which a person can go from Abu Dhabi to Dubai through public transportation: bus, taxi, or rental car. The most cost-effective option is using a public bus.

Is public transport free in UAE?

No, public transport is not free in the UAE.

What are the public transportation options available in the UAE?

The public transportation options available in the UAE are buses, metros, rental cars, waterways, trams, rental cars, taxis and private transfers.

Can I travel in the metro without Nol Card?

Yes, you can travel in the Dubai metro even if you don’t have a Nol card. You can use cash or other digital payment methods.

How do I pay for a bus in UAE?

You can pay for the bus in the UAE with cash. If you’re in Dubai, then you can use the Nol card.

How much does Public Transport cost in Dubai?

The cost of public transport in Dubai is quite affordable. The exact cost depends on the means of transport and the duration of the trip. The cost may also vary during peak hours, given the increased traffic congestion.

Krittika Barua
Krittika Barua Organized, vocal and everything in between. Krittika is an editor at Square Yards, passionate about weaving words with simplicity. She’s a dog lover obsessed with Microsoft Excel. Donuts cheer her up.
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