The UAE has six international airports in the cities of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ra’s al-Khaimah and Fujairah. A seventh, Dubai World Central
, is under construction. The major airports in Abu Dhabi and Dhabi not only service the ever-increasing local tourist market, they have also established themselves as major international hubs for flights connecting the Middle East, the Far East and the West.
Taxis are reasonably priced and plentiful and can either be flagged down at the roadside or booked by phone through companies such as Al Ghazal
and the National Transport Company (NTC). Street taxis are easily recognised by their white and gold livery and by the green roof sign, or by their silver livery and yellow roof sign. Daytime (06:00 to 22:00) metered fares in the city start at Dhs.3 and increase by abn additional Dhs.1 for every subsequent kilometre. Night-time fares are slightly more, with the starting far at Dhs.3.60 and increasing by Dhs.1.20 per kilometre.
There are two classes of taxi: the Standard Taxi (Toyota Corolla or Nissan Sunny) and the Premium Taxi (Toyota Camry or Nissan Altima), with premium taxis costing slightly more. A tip is not expected but always welcome. As soon as you leave Abu Dhabi island (to go to Mussafah for instance) the drivers will often turn off their meters and negotiate a price, or ask for double the fare on their meter. This is now illegal, and long-distance travel is rated at Dhs.1 per kilometre for the first 50km, and Dhs1.5 per kilometre thereafter.
Most Taxi drivers do not speak very good English and are not always familiar with street names, so it helps to know exactly where you are going. It’s helpful to take the phone number of you destination with you in case you get lost. All taxi companies service the airport and there are also specially registered airport taxis; the journey into town from the airport costs Dhs.70 to Dhs.80.
|Al Arabia Taxi
|Al Ghazal Taxi Abu Dhabi
| Al Ghazal Taxi Al Ain
| CARS Taxi
| National Taxi
| National Transport
| Q-Link Taxi
| Tawasul Taxi Abu Dhabi
| Tawasul Taxi Al Ain
The Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars
(TransAD) is regulating the taxi service and establishing an internationally recognised public transportation system in Abu Dhabi. It regularly fines taxi drivers who commit offences such as demanding a fare higher than the meter says, or refusing to use the metre, or even refusing to stop when hailed ~(all Dhs.500 fines). If you have any problem with a taxi driver call 600535353.
You will find all the major car rental companies in Abu Dhabi, plus a few extra, and it’s worth remembering that the larger, more reputable firms generally have more reliable vehicles and a greater capacity to help in an emergency (an important factor when handling the trying times following an accident). All services are provided inclusive of registration, maintenance, replacement, 24 hour assistance and insurance (comprehensive insurance with personal accident cover is advisable).
For short term rental many companies offer daily rates – there are booths at the airport and most of the major hotels, and there are numerous shops dotted throughout the city. For a list of rental companies, see the table below. It’s worth ringing around for rates, although usually the most competitive rates can be found online. To hire any vehicle you will need to provide a passport copy, credit card and a valid driving licence from your home country, or a valid international driving licence. However, if you have been issued with a residence visa, you will need to have a valid UAE driving licence.
Car Hire Companies
Getting Around Dubai
An efficient network of roads and a smooth traffic system make driving a car in Dubai
a real pleasure. It is essential that drivers possess a valid UAE/ international driving license, and understand the traffic laws and the road toll (Salik) rules. The Salik toll locations include the Al Garhoud Gate, Al Maktoum Gate, Al Safa gate and Al Barsha Gate.
Road signage in green is used for the main locations within Dubai, blue signage shows the directions to other emirates, while brown is used to indicate landmarks, and white is used to indicate street names.
Parking fees can be paid by mobile phone (mParking Service
) at all paid parking zones in the emirate.
Note that most petrol stations in Dubai do not accept credit cards, so keep your cash ready.
Most of the large car hire firms are represented at airports and hotels. Some local firms also operate car hire services. Click here
for information on hiring a car from Dubai Airport
Dubai has a modern, convenient and comfortable network of public transport which includes metro, buses, taxis and water taxis. For detailed information, visit the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA)
public transport portal.
The Dubai Metro
offers passengers state-of-the-art travel on two lines: the Red Line and the Green Line. Metro stations are equipped with customer service counters, cafes, restaurants, book stores and other retail services. There are special cabins for women and children and for passengers with special needs.
for a guide to using the Metro.
Passengers pay using a “Nol Card
” - a smart card that can also be used to pay for buses, waterbuses and RTA paid parking. It has a 'touch & go’ function which means you simply tap it on the entry point of any of the above services and the system will then automatically deduct the correct fare. It’s quick and easy to use and means you no longer need to carry cash to get around Dubai.
are readily available in Dubai. They can be flagged down on the street, pre-booked online or by telephone, or picked up outside your hotel. Taxi drivers are usually familiar with the main souqs, shopping centres, hotels and major landmarks.
You can order ‘pink taxis’ with female drivers, catering to women and families. Special taxis for the handicapped are also readily available.
for more information about taxi services and fares.
Dubai has 79 bus routes that span the length and breadth of the emirate. Buses are comfortable and air-conditioned. Passengers can obtain bus timetables, fares and connecting services either from bus stops, which are also air conditioned, or by calling the toll free phone 8009090.
For more information about travelling by bus, please visit RTA
One of the nicest things to do in Dubai is to take a motorized water taxi or abra.
Abras are traditional wooden boats with motors and cost AED 1 per passenger to cross the Dubai Creek (paid in cash to the driver). A one hour Abra cruise on the Dubai Creek costs about AED 100. A cheaper option is to hire a non-motorized Abra for about AED 30 per hour.
The water bus
is a modern, air-conditioned Abra service providing luxury and comfort to its passengers. It runs from 6 am till 11 pm every 10 to 15 minutes and costs AED 4 per ticket.
A “hop on, hop off” tourist water bus operates along Dubai Creek between Al Shindagha, Bur Dubai, Deira Old Souk, Al Seef and Creek Park. Tickets are available at marine stations along Dubai Creek and cost AED 50 for adults and AED 25 for juniors (up to 6 years), with tickets valid for the entire day from 9 am to 11 pm.
For more information about travelling by water bus in Dubai click here