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Getting around Dubai by metro, bus, tram, Abras, rail. Info, tickets

Getting around Dubai

If you were to set foot in the city of the Arab Emirates for the first time, you might be surprised by the incredible efficiency of public transport. Between metro, tram, bus and even small boats, you are spoiled for choice for getting around Dubai


Fast, efficient, modern and extremely clean. The metro is one of the best ways for getting around Dubai, all year round, including Sundays and holidays.

Trains are extremely modern and technological, with no train driver. They have first class cabins, and exclusive areas for women and children, ideal if you are traveling with strollers. The trains also have large glass windows, from which you have a fantastic view of the City.

Dubai Metro Map

Photo ©, Balou46

Currently, the lines are two. Here, below, the detail:

  • Red Line, from Rashidiya to UAE Exchange. It allows you to reach the International airport, not far from the terminus. It runs from Saturday to Wednesday, from 05:00 to midnight; Thursday, from 05:00 to 01:00. Friday, from 10:00 to 01:00.
  • Green Line, from Etisalat to Creek. It runs from Saturday to Wednesday, from 05:30 to midnight; Thursday, from 05:30 to 01:00. Friday, from 10:00 to 01:00.


The tram is the last means of transport inaugurated in the city and represents the last piece of a process of deep modernization of the city. The line has seen the light in November 2014. It branches around Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence to continue, then, along many other areas such as Dubai Media City or Palm Jumeirah. In total, 11 are stops. It is an excellent way to move in the city, and reach the main points of interest.

The modern and recent trams consist of 5 carriages, and a maximum load capacity of 405 passengers. Like the metro, there is a first class cabin, and an area with exclusive access for women and children.

The trams are active every day, from Saturday to Thursday, from 06:00 to 01:00; Friday, from 09:00 to 01:00. The vehicles depart at regular intervals of 10 minutes. The full journey takes just over 30 minutes.

The ticket is the same as for bus and metro, to be purchased for one zone only. In fact, all 11 tram stops are located within ZONE 2.


A really impressive method to move around Dubai, crossing the Creek. Abras are motorized boats; a sort of taxi on the water, with a capacity of about twenty passengers.
They make a journey along the Creek, between Deira and Bur Dubai. In total, there are 4 stations, two in the southern part, and two in the north.

This vehicle is a sort of mini-cruise at a bargain price. The cost, in fact, is just 1AED per person, to be paid directly to the driver. Also for this reason, many inhabitants use these boats to move around Dubai along the Creek.

Here, below, the operational Abras lines:

  • 1 line, from Deira Old Souk Abra station (near the Spice Souk) to Bur Dubai Abra station (just west of Old Souk). It works every day, from 05: 00 to midnight.
  • Line 2, from Sabkha Abra station, to Dubai Old Souk Abra (at the old souk). It works every day, 24 hours on 24.

At peak times, the frequency touches the 2 minutes per ride!


The public bus service covers most areas of the city and allows you to reach the beaches and main points of interest. Bus routes and numbers are indicated in both Arabic and English.

The service is active every day, from Monday to Sunday, from 06:30 approximately.


This is not a real means of transport, to move around Dubai. The monorail runs through the artificial island of the same name, in a route of about 5 kilometers, from Palm Gateway to the Aquaventure water park.

The system has a different rate, and particularly expensive, depending on the distance. One-way ticket costs a minimum of 10 to a maximum of AED 20 (the full ride from Palm Gateway to Aquaventure). For a round trip, the price ranges from 15 to 30AED.

By purchasing the ticket for the Monorail you can park your car for FREE for the first 3 hours at the Palm Gateway car park.

The line is active every day from 09:00 to 21:45 from Palm Gateway, and from 09:15 to 22:00 from Atlantis Aquaventure.


Getting around Dubai

Getting around Dubai by public transport is not particularly expensive. Quite the contrary. Especially when compared to the big cities.

Generally, to travel on public transport, you must buy, OBLIGATORY, a special contactless card, called NOL CARD. The paper is available in different types and colors. The NOL RED CARD is ideal for tourists and occasional users. It can be loaded with up to 10 trips, or 5 daily passes. You can buy at the automatic machines and ticket offices, at the cost of 2AED (less than 0,50€).

The card must be purchased before embarking on the journey, and must be loaded for the relevant amount.

The transport system is divided into 7 zones. The rate varies depending on the number of areas crossed. The T1 fare is valid for a trip within the same area, and costs 8 AED. The Rate T2, for a journey that begins in an area and ends in the adjacent area, costs 12AED. The T3, for a journey that crosses more than two zones, costs 17AED.

The PASS for a day is very advantageous. It allows you to travel to all areas of Dubai for a whole day. It costs only 20AED beautiful standard version, and 40AED to travel in first class. It is loaded directly on the NOL CARD RED. You can also load multiple single day passes.

Please note that only children under the age of 5 are traveling free.

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