The best way to get around Dubai

Dubai is one of the most popular tourist cities in the world. Some areas are located quite far from each other, so moving around the city is one of the most common issues. In this article we will consider all possible options: by car, by public and even water transport.

Public transport in Dubai

Buses - air-conditioned and comfortable buses travel through the main areas of the city, the main operating time is from 05:00 to 23:00. One of the problems is that they do not always adhere to the work schedule and you can wait quite a long time for the desired bus. Payment on the bus can only be made with a NOL card, i.e. cannot be paid in cash. To get off at your stop, it is better to warn the driver by pressing the STOP button.

Metro is a very convenient and fast mode of transport, with a large number of trains. It is important to keep in mind that drinking and eating on the subway is prohibited! The subway has a separate carriage for women and children, where men are not allowed. Most often it is located at the very end of the train. One of the drawbacks of the subway is that it gets very busy during rush hours, so it's hard to fit into the carriage. There are also long passages inside the metro, when it can take about 10 minutes to just walk from the street to the station itself. And unfortunately, metro stations are not available in all areas, only in the touristic ones.

The Dubai Tram is a tram that runs in certain areas of Dubai: Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai Marina. Opening hours from 06:00 to 01:00.

Waterbus - operates in two bays Dubai Creek (07:00 - 22:00) and Dubai Marina (10:00 - 22:00). You can also pay with NOL cards there.


Public travel fare in Dubai

NOL cards are used for travel by bus and metro can be single-use (from point A to point B), one-day, reusable (silver, gold). These cards can be purchased and topped up at metro stations, airports, and major malls. The fare depends on the distance of the trip, on how many zones you have crossed. Accordingly, the longer the travel distance, the more expensive the cost.

The purchase of a specific card depends on your needs, if you do not plan to use it often, then you can purchase single tickets. Otherwise, it will be better to purchase a reusable NOL silver card and top it up when necessary. Although silver and gold cards cost the same (about 25 dirhams with a balance on the card), the difference is that with a gold card you will have access to a privileged carriage (gold class) located at the very beginning of the metro, but the cost of travel will be almost twice as high. With a silver card, the fare itself is lower, but without access to this VIP carriage. Please note that traveling in this compartment without a NOL Gold Card may result in a fine.

Private transport in Dubai

Taxi - can be easily ordered through applications or just hailed on the street. A fixed cost is charged for boarding, which differs for different operators (about 7-10 dirhams). The trip is paid according to the meter. It is no coincidence that a taxi in Dubai is considered one of the most expensive in the world. If you travel during rush hour and get stuck in traffic, the amount can be very significant.

Car rental is one of the most common options for getting around Dubai. Numerous car rental companies offer a wide range of cars for any budget and for any period of time. You can rent an economical option suited for a family and a luxury supercar. If you have an International Driving Permit, there will be no problems with renting and you can easily move around the city on your own.

Hotel transfer - many hotels have a transfer service from / to the airport or around the city. The cost is higher than a regular taxi.

Useful apps for tourists in Dubai

Careem is a popular application for calling a taxi (Hala). You can also order delivery of food or groceries by courier.

Google Maps is an indispensable application for a tourist that helps to easily navigate the city.

2gis Dubai - in this application it is very convenient to navigate by maps, especially for auto drivers, because there is a voice navigator.

RTA Dubai (Dubai Transport Authority App) - Useful for information on public transport schedules and mParking.