Our Top Tips and guides for navigating your way across Dubai
Dubai is a large city to navigate but there are plenty of public and private transport methods perfect for tourists. On this page you can learn more about:
- Public Transport in Dubai
- Dubai Taxis
- Metro, Buses, Trams & Monorail
- Nol Public Transport Cards
- Water transportation in Dubai
- Airport Transfers
- Beyond Dubai – how to get to other parts of the UAE
Dubai Public Transport
The Government-owned RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority) manages the public transport network in Dubai.
- Further Reading: Dubai Nol Card for Public transport explained.
Taxis are one of the easiest ways to get around in Dubai. Relative to other countries, they are not overly expensive per km and they are in plentiful supply at hotels and attractions across the city.
Taxies can easily be hailed off the street if they’re light is yellow, (red means they are occupied or booked), pre-booked by phone (04 208 0808) or booked on the DTC app (soon to be replaced by Careem)
The minimum Dubai taxi fare is 12 AED. A 5 AED flagfall applies if they are pre-booked.
We have a much more detailed guide on how Dubai Taxi’s work here.
One of the fastest and most efficient ways of getting between many of Dubai’s major attractions is the Metro. There are two Metro lines at present:
- The Red Line that runs along the length of the city and Sheikh Zayed Road.
- The Green Line which serves the east of Dubai and DXB Airport.
Before your first ride on any Dubai public transport, you will need to buy a Nol Card for all passengers over 5 years old. You can pre-load it with an amount if you want to avoid queuing every time or just pay per ride.
We have more detailed guide on how Nol cards work here.
The Metro can be very busy at peak times in the morning and evening so it is best for tourists to try and travel off-peak. Every Metro train comes with a special carriage set aside for women and children.
The Dubai Tram can be really useful if you are staying around Dubai Marina. It runs just a single line from Al Souf to JBR. If you are transfering from the Metro to the tram, there is no extra charge.
The Dubai Tram operates using Nol only, no cash.
There is an extensive network of buses that criss-cross the city. Tourists are less likely to use the bus system, but of, course, are welcome to do so with their Nol card.
Use the RTA’s Public Transport App to best plan your journey.
Palm Jumeirah Monorail
The Palm Jumeirah Monorail connects the mainland to Palm Jumeirah and has three stops:
- Gateway Station (connected via an underpass to Palm Jumeirah Tram Station)
- Ittihad Park Station
- Atlantis Aquaventure Station
Two more stations at The Pointe and Nakheel Mall are “coming soon”
The Palm Monorail runs every 11 minutes, from 9am until 10.30pm daily and the journey from one end of the Plam to the other takes about 10 minutes.
The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is privately operated and NOT on the Nol public transport system. You need to pay in cash at the Monorail Station. A single trip costs 20 AED and a return trip 30AED per person – pretty pricey for the distance you cover. Once the Monorail interchanges with Nakheel this may be a much more user-friendly option.
Water Transport in Dubai
Dubai Water Bus – Dubai Marina
Within Dubai Marina, an RTA water bus operates with 4 routes:
- Dubai Marina Walk to Marina Terrace – 3 AED
- Dubai Marina Mall to Marian Promenade – 3 AED
- Dubai Marina Walk to Dubai Marina Mall – 5 AED
- Marina Promenade to Marina Terrace 11 AED
The Dubai Water Bus also work on the Nol system.
Dubai Water Bus – Dubai Marina to Dubai Canal
Since the opening of a man-made canal, Downtown Dubai can now connect to Dubai Marina by water. The RTA runs a water bus that stops at:
- Dubai Canal
- Sheikh Zayed Road
- Al Wajeha Al Maeyah
- Dubai Design District
- Dubai Marina
Covered on your Nol card, the cost depends on how many stops you make:
- 1 stop – 2 AED
- 2 stops 4 AED
- 3 stops 6 AED
- 4 stops 8 AED
This can make a great value way with a fabulous unique view of the city to get between areas of Dubai, though at present the service only operates three times per afternoon/evening in each direction.
Water taxis and Abras
If you are looking to cross the Dubai Creek from Bur Dubai to Deira, you can :
- Take a water taxi or sightseeing waterbus
- A traditional abra.
At only 1AED per person per crossing, abras are a bargain and a lot of fun.
Dubai Airport Transportation
- We have more coming on this section soon.
Beyond Dubai – How to get to Abu Dhabi from Dubai
We have a great detailed guide here for transportation options between Dubai and the capital Abu Dhabi.
- Guides to the other Emirates coming soon.