Getting around Dubai

Over the years, Dubai has been growing leaps and bounds with developments all around. As amazing man-made structures mushroom everywhere, Dubai is also building transportation facilities that rival the world’s best. These remarkable amenities not only make going around Dubai convenient, they are also amazing tourist attractions themselves.

In celebration of the opening of the new Dubai Tram, here is a quick rundown of the different public and leisure transportation services that are available in this thriving emirate.

METRO TRAINS. The most popular among the land-based transport system is, of course, the Dubai Metro. The driverless, fully automated metro rail network was launched in September 2009. The trains and stations are air-conditioned running underground and on elevated viaducts across the city. Guinness World Records heralds the Dubai Metro as the longest fully automated metro network in the world.

BUSES. The Dubai Bus Network complements the Metro with its diverse routes. The fleet is made up of air-conditioned single and double-decker buses. The different bus types include: Airport buses providing 24-hour services from the airports to different points in the city; Public Transport Buses covering 85% of the urban districts; Night Buses operating between 11:30 PM and 6:00 AM; Feeder Buses offering connecting services to and from the Metro stations; and Inter-Emirates buses for trips from Dubai to the other 6 emirates and vice versa.

TRAMS. Open to the public on November 12, 2014, the Dubai Tram provides much-needed transit services around the dynamic leisure and business districts of New Dubai. Operating for 19 hours daily, it runs along Al Sufouh Road passing by Dubai Marina and Burj Al Arab in Jumeirah. It links with the Metro at the Damac and Jumeirah Lakes Towers stations, and connects to the Palm Monorail. The Dubai Tram is the first tram system outside of Europe that uses modern and safe ground power cable system eliminating those dangerous and unsightly overhead cables.

TAXIS. Taxis in Dubai are a safe, clearly marked, and relatively inexpensive way to get around. They are quite numerous that you can easily flag one off the street. You can also call the Dubai Taxi Corporation for pickup. The minimum fare is pegged at AED 10. Quite remarkable is the fleet of pink taxis. Identifiable by a pink roof, these taxis are driven by women, and exclusively serves women, children, and families.

PALM MONORAIL. Opened in April 2009, this is the first monorail in the Middle East. It runs along the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah island connecting the Gateway station at its base to Atlantis, The Palm hotel on the other end. Its elevated railway makes the Palm Monorail the perfect way to see the amazing Palm Jumeirah island. The driverless monorail intersects the Dubai Tram along Al Sufouh Road.

FERRIES. For a city teeming with marine life, traveling by sea is also quite popular. Introduced in 2011, the Dubai Ferry is the latest and largest marine transit mode in Dubai. It offers groups of tourists and residents express transit services to the Creek, the Dubai coastal strip, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, and other waterfront properties. The air-conditioned ferries can accommodate up to 100 passengers.

WATER TAXIS. The water taxis are ideal for those who wish to go on private customized trips across the waters of Dubai. Launched in 2010, these modern air-conditioned vessels can be rented to take passengers as far as Jebel Ali in the south and Al Mamzar up north. Its small size and twin 270-hp engines enable water taxis to traverse the narrow waterways of Dubai Creek as well as brave the waves of the Persian Gulf.

ABRAS.  Despite all the modern transportation in the city, the traditional wooden water taxis called abras are still favorites of those who wish to sail along the historic Dubai Creek. Considered one of the oldest modes of transportation in Dubai, abras can take up to 20 passengers crossing the creek from Deira to Bur Dubai and vice versa in a 5-minute ride for only AED 1 fare per person.

DHOWS. These traditional Arabian wooden dhows were used as trading vessels back in the early days when trade and commerce was centered in Dubai Creek. They used to sail to nearby countries like India and Africa to trade fishes, spices, and other goods. Now, dhows have a more recreational and tourism-related purpose. Lining up the creek in all their brightly lit glory, they provide sensational dhow dinner cruise to tourists and residents in Dubai. These cruises include a sumptuous dinner buffet and enjoyable entertainment as they take guests sailing down the creek for two hours.


YACHTS. Mainly for recreational purposes, sleek white yachts line the Dubai Marina, and are ready to take passengers around the Palm Jumeirah Island on exclusive and shared yacht charters. You can go for day or sunset cruising or deep sea fishing in Dubai onboard these pretty yachts. They range in size from 33-foot fishing boats to more than 85-foot royal yachts. Open-air catamarans are also available for fun parties in the high seas.