Getting around Dubai on public transport

Dubai has made heavy investments in public transport recently. Public transport in Dubai is facilitated by bus, road taxi, metro, and water taxi. The metro system is automated and is still developing.

This article gives direction on how you can move around Dubai without your own car.

  • On foot

If where you are going is close by, you may think that the best option is to walk there. However, it could prove trickier than you would expect because there are no pavements in Dubai. The roads do not have pedestrian crossings or traffic lights so if you can help it avoid the summer heat and take a taxi. People have been known to take them for distances as short as crossing a road.

  • By the local bus

The Roads and Transport Authority oversees public transport in Dubai. You can move around the city by water buses, the metro, Abras and land buses. You can get tickets and passes for any of them from the RTA.  They have packages such as the ‘One Day in Dubai’ transport package that allows you to use any of those means to the main sights in the city.

If you are planning a trip, any of this information can be obtained from their website. They also have a hotline that you can dial.

A Fare Card is a must have before you can be able to travel by metro or a local bus. It is usually rechargeable and can be bought at some of the bus stations or from the ticket offices in the Dubai Metro. There are some vending machines for tickets in those places too as well as at some malls, airports and bus stops.

The Nol Card can be a Red Card (for a low number of public transport needs) which can be recharged for 10 journeys and costs Dh 2. Of course, the fares will vary depending on the distance you are traveling. The range for the Red card is from Dh 2.50 to Dh 6.50 with day unlimited travel passes at Dh 14 and free travel for children under 5 years of age.

  • By monorail

Palm Jumeirah is connected with Dubai by the monorail which is driverless and elevated. To get aboard it, there are only 2 stations at the Aquaventure Park and at the Gateway Towers. The distance (5.45km) costs Dh 15 and takes 5 minutes.

  • By car

You can hire a car if you are above 21 years of age and if your credit card is valid. You need also to have an international driving license. A car would be an excellent option to travel between Palm Jumeirah and Dubai because it would be cheaper.

You can rent a car starting from a rate of Dh 200 per day. The car ideally, for this rate, should have an unlimited mileage and a comprehensive insurance. Airport rentals are more expensive but they offer options such as hire drivers. Most companies also offer special seats for children to ensure their safety.