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Local Transport in Dubai

Local transport in Dubai is well-planned and offers a number of options to move around locally in the city. Here are some of the best ways to travel locally so that you don’t miss out on seeing key attractions in the city.

Do note:

  • Avoid travelling during the peak traffic hours of 7 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm as far as possible as you will most likely be stuck in traffic and face a lot of delays.
  • Dubai is quite hot, so the heat might just dazzle you if you’re not used to it. Avoid walking around anywhere, especially on the roads. Unless there’s a zebra crossing, don’t cross any road because you could get heavy fines if you’re caught. 
  • If you’re planning to stay for a few days, it makes sense to buy a NoI card as it will make it easy for you to move around.
  • Weekends in Dubai are Fridays and Saturdays, so expect to see a fair bit of traffic on these days. 
  • Do make sure you follow the rules displayed in every form of transportation, such as no eating or drinking. You could be fined heavily if you are seen breaking these rules.

By Metro

One of the most popular and convenient ways to travel around the city is by Metro. Barely ten years since it started services, it has quickly replaced all other forms of transport for several residents and even tourists who understand the conveniences that it offers. The Metro connects the city across different lines and it’s fast and comfortable. However, the drawback is that you will probably need to take a taxi to the nearest Metro in order to make your journey. Metro lines are connected directly to some of the famed spots such as the Dubai Mall etc.

By Water Bus

People rely on the water buses to take them from Dubai to Deira or vice versa as it is safe, convenient and economical. These are air-conditioned, comfortable and safe but are also known to be quite noisy.

Palm Monorails

Palm Jumeirah has its own set of attractions like The Atlantis and if you want to have the best view of these, then take the Palm Monorails, which are elevated driverless trains that connect you from Dubai Marina to Palm Jumeirah. These are privately owned and thus, rather expensive than most other forms of transport.

By Taxi

Taxis can be found everywhere and are still the most convenient way to get around in the city. However, taxis tend to be expensive too. They are well-maintained and have polite and friendly drivers. The computerised system calculates the fare and do remember, you have to pay the fare using cash as you can’t use the NoI cards here. Taxis are safe and convenient even late at night, but the fares can be quite exorbitant.

By Bus

Buses in Dubai run every 15 minutes and connect travellers to most of the important landmarks and tourist spots of the city. They are comfortable and convenient, although you might need to remember that their frequency is lesser on Fridays. Buses are a great way to see the city and if you choose the special sightseeing buses, you’ll be able to visit several attractions and the live commentary makes it all the more interesting. Some of these include a free Dhow cruise or even admission to the Dubai Museum. The main bus stations are at Al Karama and Al Ghubaiba. 

Despite the popularity of other forms of public transport, buses remain popular because of their reach into deeper localities. A good idea would be to get a NoI card which can be used across metros, trams, waterbuses and buses. Some of these can even be used for intercity buses near Dubai. These are available at most major bus stations, online portals and RTA offices and can be purchased for a nominal amount and topped up accordingly. There are four classes for these cards, with varying prices based on your specific requirements. In fact, one can travel on buses only with NoI cards and cash is not allowed.

Dubai Abra

If you are adventurous enough and don’t have any water sickness, then you can try the Dubai Abra which traverses the Dubai creek in an open boat. It’s likely to be the cheapest transportation in Dubai with fares being as low as AED1.

By Trams

Relatively new on the public transport scene are the Dubai Trams which can be found in the Dubai Marina districts typically. The trams are slow and not really a good way to get around the city, but more of a way to enjoy the sights.