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Dubai: Public Transport, Taxi or Car Rental?

Before you flight to Dubai, you should think properly about how you are going to move throughout the city. Dubai isn’t created for pedestrians, mainly because of the hot and exhausting weather and large size of the city itself. So, you will face the problem of choosing transportation way more suitable for you, which can be either a taxi, or public transport, or a car rental.

Let’s look at them in more details.

Public Transport

Buses in Dubai

Buses in Dubai are clean, modern, equipped with air conditioning system and are considered the cheapest way of transportation through the whole city.Bus stops will surprise you with its futuristic look and always comfortable air temperature due to the air conditioning system. Detailed timetables are inside each bus stop, so it shouldn’t be a problem for you to find a proper route.

Dubai Public Transport, Taxi or Car Rental

The ticket price depends on the distance. A short trip (up to 3km) will costs you 2 AED, when the longer one – 6.5 AED. In order to economize you can buy a special ticket for 14 AED, which allows you using buses the whole day.

But why buses aren’t popular among tourists? In fact, there are a few reasons:

  • Buses are the only transportation way the simple workers can afford. So during peak hours, buses are crowded with Pakistanis and Indians and it becomes a very tough trip.
  • Most tourists don’t know the city well enough to choose the proper route.
  • Buses don’t cover all districts of Dubai

Tram in Dubai

Nowadays, Dubai has only one tramway open on 11th of November 2014. As everything in Dubai, the tram is modern, shiny and whiteJ. Although, the tramway has a length of only 10.6 km and 11 stations, it is laid through the main tourist spots and connects Al Sufouh, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach residence.

Dubai Public Transport, Taxi or Car Rental1

Trams run each 10-12 min and will costs you 3 AED for ordinary class and 6 AED for gold class. By the way, the whole difference between two classes is that the gold one has only two columns of a little bit more comfortable seats.

Dubai Metro

Metro in Dubai is a real tourist attraction! It is even listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest driverless metro in the world!

Each from 47 metro stations is sparkling with clearness and look like some fantastic buildings from the future. Metro in Dubai is the best combination of price and comfort. In addition, it isn’t completely underground, so you’ll able to enjoy wonderful views of the city.

Advantages of metro:

  • Low costs (1.8 – 5.8 AED depending on the total distance)
  • It’s less crowded than buses and has separate carriage especially for women and kids.
  • It has a golden class carriage with comfortable leather seats and opportunity to visit driver’s cab. Since the subway is automatic there is no driver at all, but a large windshield through which you can admire wonderful views!


In Dubai, there are several taxi companies operating around the clock. Since the companies are different, the level of service and the prices also vary. Usually, it costs about 15 AED to get from one end of the city to the opposite one and about 30 AED to reach the city center from the airport.

It’s not a problem to catch a taxi, since there are a huge number of them. Especially common are the white cars with inscription of “Emirates Taxi” on it. It costs about 3 AED plus 1 AED for each 900 meters of driving.

You should never ask receptionist of your hotel to call a taxi for you. It automatically adds extra 6 AED to your receipt BILL.

When you decide to take a taxi, be prepared to rather eccentric manner of driving of local taxi drivers. They behave quite aggressive on the road, but the good news is they know city well and can drive you wherever you want.

Car Rental

 If you can confidently drive even in unfamiliar city, if you like to be independent of public transport schedules or just plan to drive throughout the city very often, then car rental is your choice!

Dubai: Public Transport, Taxi or Car Rental?

Another great advantage of renting car in Dubai that you can book it in advance and pick up right at the airport.

Average price for a middle-size vehicle is 45-60 USD per day. You might think it’s quite expensive, but you can find more affordable car rental deals, if you use special booking services

You should notice that not all drivers are allowed to rent a car. First of all driver must be older than 20 years and he needs to represent:

  • Valid driver’s license held for minimum 1 year
  • International driver’s license
  • Credit card necessarily in his name

When you decide what car provider to choose, it would be useful to check if obligatory insurance is included in the rate, otherwise you’ll need to pay additional money for it.

Useful Information for Female Tourists

UAE is a Muslim country with its unique traditions and behavior rules that especially concerns women.

While staying in Dubai and using public transport, female tourists should remember:

  • Each public transport has a special section for women and children only
  • When you are going to catch a taxi, remember that you should take a back seat.
  • First three rows of seats in all buses and the whole second carriage of metro are only for women and kids.

As you see, these rules are intended to provide more comfort and safety for women and kids. By the way, there even a special women taxi (with pink roofs) with female drivers. It has been operating since 2007 and can be found near hospitals and large shopping malls. You can also order it by phone.

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