The Ultimate Guide to Getting Around Dubai in 2022 | Dubai Public Transport, Must-Have Travel Apps in Dubai, Travel Tips & More
Public transportation in Dubai is an expansive network allowing commuters like residents and non-residents to travel easily around Dubai. As Dubai is a haven for tourists, the availability of public transport at a reasonable rate is a blessing for pocket-friendly for them. The public transport modes in Dubai include buses, trams, abras, metros, monorails, and taxis. In fact, the Dubai metro is considered one of the world's most affordable and new-gen metros. The availability of various travel apps also helps people to navigate around easily with ease.
Getting Around Dubai
Airport Connectivity in Dubai
Metro: The Dubai International Airport (DBX) has two metro stations. The metro runs from DXB Terminals 1 and 3, operational at all times during the week, on the Red Line. The Red Line operates between 5 AM - midnight, Saturday to Wednesday; 5 AM -1 AM (the next day), and 10 AM - 1 AM (the next day) on Friday.
Bus: Buses depart and arrive from stands opposite terminals 1, 2, and 3. Make sure to buy a Nol card ahead of time as the driver won't take cash. There's also a shuttle bus service that connects Terminals 1 & 3 at any time of the week.
Taxi: You may either order a cab ahead of time (+971 (0) 4 208 0808), or hail a taxi on the street. Cream-colored Dubai taxis are identifiable by their distinctive hue whereas female drivers operate cars with a pink trim. There's an AED 25 flat fee from the airport with an additional charge of AED 1.96 per kilometer.
Driving in Dubai
Know Before Driving in Dubai
If you are a non-resident on a tourist visa, you can drive in the UAE on an international driving license. You can also hire a car in Dubai if you are at least 21 years old and have a current valid international driving permit and credit card.
- Road Rules In the United Arab Emirates and Dubai, you must drive on the right-hand side of the road. In Dubai, cars have a steering wheel on the left and they travel on the right-hand side of the road.
- Speed Limit: The speed limit in Dubai, just like any other country in the world, comes down to the road's classification and size. While residential streets have a speed limit of 25-40km/h (15-25mph), motorists may travel at up to 100km/h (62mph) on certain highways.
- Legal Driving age: To drive in the UAE, you must be at least 18 years old. To hire a car, you must be at least 21 years old.
Get Around Dubai With the Nol Card
Red Nol Card
Cost: AED 2
Valid For: 90 Days or 10 Trips
Red Nol Card can be purchased at any ticket vending machine and allows one to pay the exact amount for the trip. Tourists traveling to Dubai prefer Red Nol cards for their travel, and the card can be easily availed for water taxis, metro, trams, and buses in Dubai.
Personal Nol Card
Cost: AED 70
Valid For: 5 years
The Personal Nol Card is valid on all transport modes that are part of the Nol scheme in Dubai. It also includes public parks, more than 2000 shops across Dubai, and Etihad Museum. Students, senior citizens, or a person of determination can get special fares too. This card can be bought online as well as from metro stations and bus stops.
Gold Nol Card
Cost: AED 25
Valid For: 5 years
It works on the line of the silver card, with some additional benefits like giving access to gold cabins on metro and tram journeys. In case there are no gold class cabins with a particular mode of transport, one will be charged a regular fare.
Silver Nol Card
Cost: AED 25
Valid For: 5 years
One does not register themselves if they choose to go for a Silver Nol card. The amount of travel is calculated, and it is automatically debited from the e-purse. The maximum journey time that one can take during a day is 180 minutes, and the travel is permitted on all the modes of transport.
Must-Have Dubai Travel Apps
Do’s & Don’ts While Getting around Dubai
If you are an avid traveler and have traveled extensively, you might be used to the fact that every country has its own rules and regulations that must be complied with. As a tourist, it becomes your duty to respect the culture, laws, and rules of the country you are in.
- Witness state-of-the-art buildings and skyscrapers like Burj Khalifa
- Adventure sports like parasailing, bungee jumping, ziplining
- Get the hang of different cuisines in one place
- You can enjoy a desert safari and sandboarding like nowhere in the world.
- Beach lovers can bask in the sun and go yachting too
- Dubai is the shopping hub for people who love designer brands, eateries, and souks.
- Public kissing is an offense, and people have been arrested in the past for display of physical contact in public.
- Wearing inappropriate clothing is not allowed. Malls and religious places have a strict dress code that has to be followed.
- Eating, drinking, and smoking in public are not allowed during the daytime during the holy month of Ramadan.
- Do not take pictures of a stranger without permission.
- Making vulgar comments, flaunting homosexuality, or greeting someone with the left hand is not appreciated.
10 Handy Tips To Get Around Dubai
- One must take prior permission from strangers before clicking their pictures. Photography of airports, military buildings, and installations is generally not allowed.
- Taxi drivers are more aware of landmarks than the exact address you are traveling to (unless you are traveling by an online app).
- Always buy liquor from a licensed shop. Public drinking and driving is strictly prohibited.
- Until and unless you are a married couple, refrain from making any physical contact like holding the hands of your partner. Kissing in public is a big no.
- Try to accommodate your visit during the winter month of Dubai- October to April, when the weather is ideal.
- Women are expected to carry a headscarf at times of their visits to places of religious interest and wherever required.
- While one can wear bikinis on the private beaches of Dubai, the same is not preferred on the public beaches, as one has to be mindful of the other visitors too.
- Always carry sunscreens and hydrating creams with you while traveling out in Dubai.
- Carry appropriate documentation of the entire prescribed medication that you need while traveling to Dubai
- Tourists can reach out to 901, Dubai's toll-free number, in case of any emergency.
Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Dubai
Dubai has ample options for transportation, which include buses, cabs and taxis, the metro, and others. If you are a budget traveler, getting around Dubai is convenient using a public mode of transport. Otherwise, you can hire a taxi or cab for more hassle-free travel.
Dubai public transport has special services like dedicated compartments set aside for the safety of women and children.
The taxi service in Dubai is the most affordable and easy way of moving from one place to another. You can find a taxi service from anywhere in Dubai.
Yes, the metro travel in Dubai comes at a very pocket-friendly rate. Some of the cards for metro travel are specially curated for the use of occasional visitors or tourists.
Red Nol card is preferred by the tourists traveling to Dubai as the card deducts the exact amount for the trip taken.
You can purchase a Nol card from various public transport spots, physical counters, as well as on online mode.
Yes, there is a 24 x 7 connectivity of bus to the airport, along with the availability of taxis and cabs.
Abras have been reminiscent of the traditional local culture of Dubai and are still operational in different forms.
You must have S'hail, Uber, and RTA apps downloaded on your phone that can help you navigate the city with ease.