Dubai is not a city for pedestrians. In this post we give some tips on how to move in Dubai with public transport.
Dubai transport network includes: bus, metro, tram. Here, we will explain how to move in Dubai and where possible we give some general information about transport fares and try to make some comparison on the route between Dubai Marina and the airport. For detailed information about bus stops and time table, it is better to have a look at the public transport website RTA .
In order to get access to the public transport network, passengers need to purchase a pre-paid card, which is supposed to be swiped to the reader at the check in point and also at check-out. A certain amount will be deducted, equivalent to the distance covered or better the area crossed, until the entire amount has been used up. On the bus it is not possible to buy tickets or load the card with the amount needed. Therefore, you need to pay attention before getting on a bus or metro and have enough credit in your card.
Cards can be recharged at all Metro stations and in tram it is possible to buy single ride tickets
There are different types of cards. Red, Blue, Silver and Gold, depending on the travel class chosen and the tier you buy.
Tram and Metro trains have special wagons where only people holding Gold card are allowed to use, the cost of which are nearly the double.
In almost all the public means of transport there are compartments for women and children.
The bus network is widespread, but during rush hours it may require more than two hours to get from one part of the city to another, due to the long distances to be covered, the traffic jam and the numerous stops.
Time to wait for the bus ranges between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the day, the bus number etc.
The Metro network was inaugurated in the iconic date of 9 September 2009 (9-9-9) after 6 months of testing.
The driving system is completely automated (driverless) and was designed by an Italian firm.
With no doubt, the Metro system is more efficient in terms of speed and frequency. There are two lines, the green and the red. The first one goes to the old part of the city, the second one along the sea and E11 Highway (Sheikh Zayed road).
One of the problems of the Metro is that it does not cover all Dubai areas, especially those very far from the city centre. Therefore, one needs to take another means of transport to reach the final destination.
The Metro arrives also to Dubai airport both to Terminal 1 (International airlines) and Terminal 3 (Emirates airline).
The tram can be compared in terms of frequency of rides and speed to the metro, but it is limited to the area of Dubai Marina.There are various interchange stations between the tram (which also arrives at JBR, then the beachfront area) and the metro (which remains more interior).
Taxis in Dubai are plentiful and the services they offer can be compared to those of other big cities in the world. They are all metered and are a convenient way to move around the city. However, taxis become an expensive way of traveling around if used very often. Therefore, a good solution could be to combine the metro with taxi, in order to reach the desired place or to hire a car.
Now, let’s have a look at how to get to the airport and compare the price with different means of transport.
The Silver Class Metro ticket from Dubai Marina up to Airport Terminal 3 costs 10,50 AED, while a taxi will cost 100 AED. The ticket from the airport to Dubai Marina will have an extra charge cost of 20 AED.
Although Dubai is an absolutely safe city, women travelling alone can choose to take a taxi reserved for them. These taxis can be easily recognized by the pink roof of the car and are operated by women.
Finally, there are two other means of public transport, which however are almost more a tourist attraction and never used by residents:
- the monorail connecting the mainland with Palm Jumeirah (at the moment are open the stations are at the beginning and at the half of La Palma, the one at Atlantis.
- the trolley downtown
- the boat: Water taxis are perhaps the most illogical and least economic way to move in Dubai: high fares and lack of stops make it an unattractive vehicle for a resident
It makes sense to take an “abra”, a small traditional boat that connects the two sides of Dubai Creek with a flat rate of 1 AED per person.