Getting Around, Living, Travel

Public transport in Dubai


A good city can be judged by its transport network, and Dubai’s has grown exponentially in recent years. There are 170 double deckers, 945 standard and 346 articulated buses working across the city, with more than 600 air-conditioned bus stops. They service 111 lines across Dubai– or 87% of the urban area – and include 28 feeder services for the Metro. Services start from 4.25am and run until 1am in some parts.

The Metro

Launched in 2009, the Metro carries hundreds of thousand of passengers each week across the Red and Green Line, with 3 more lines planned for completion. In total, it covers 75km of Dubai with 47 underground and overground stations, and follows Sheikh Zayed Road until near Jebel Ali as well as covering Bur Dubai and Deira. The Metro runs daily from 5.30am (10am on Fridays) until midnight and until 1am on Thursday and Friday nights. It also links up with the airport, making it ideal for arrivals and departures.

Metro fares start from as little as AED 2, with all fares heavily subsidised by the UAE government.

NOL Card

The government issued a NOL card which allows you access to the Metro, bus services and water taxis, with tickets starting from AED 4 including an AED 2 balance. The smart card allows you to pay by simply swiping at the electronic gates, and can be re-charged online or at ticketing counters.

The cheapest water taxis are the Abras, which operate across the Dubai Creek and cost AED 1 per journey, while the new fleet of water buses service the Creek and Marina coastline and start from AED2 per trip.


The city has an extensive taxi system – the most frequently used means of public transport. Fares start from AED 5 when hailed from the street and AED 8 when booked in advance. Fares start from AED 1.75/km, and there are around 8,000 taxis operating in the city. Taxis are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with peak time pick up fares operating from 7-10am and 4-8pm.

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