Dubai Fountain

Getting Around Dubai

By Bus

All over the city you'll see the air conditioned bus stops and an increasing number of public buses, but understanding where the buses go and the timetabling is likely to be a near impossibility unless you already know the city, its area names and indeed streets, well. At present, we don't recommend even attempting to use them, particularly as taxis are so cheap. 

Air conditioned bus stop

Hopefully before too long we'll see special Metro shuttle buses. Around 50 routes are being established just to take people to & from Metro stations (for the unmanned train system) from their nearby catchment areas.

You'll also see many 'industrial' buses used for ferrying building workers to and from the labour camps where they live in the desert. When you see them you'll know why these are not for you.

Many hotels run their own mini buses to ferry guests to and from beach resorts and the airport. These are fine, use them.

Local Bus

If you're flying Etihad to Abu Dhabi, you'll be offered the chance of a private taxi (1st or Business Class), or 'luxury, air-conditioned' coach (Economy), to Dubai. I've heard customers complain that what they got was nothing like the promised luxury, air-conditioned western style coach, but perhaps this has improved. I suggest you check the drop-off point(s) to see if they are convenient for you. These transfers run regularly, take about an hour and a half and are a most useful addition to Etihad's service. You can book when you book your Etihad flight and we think they're free, but check!

Before too long we hope to see proper European-style luxury, air-conditioned, 50+ seater coaches offering regular day trips to, for example, Abu Dhabi or in other directions Al Ain, Fujairah, Oman and the Musandam Peninsula. This would be a development to be welcomed. Check if any such trips are available at your hotel reception but also check the likely sort of vehicle to be used. You don't want to be expecting a luxury coach and end up in a seven seat 4x4 for six hours!

Walking the streets...Walk with water...Plenty of it...Stay hydrated...

For the present, we suggest the best way for getting from a to b is to grab a taxi, whilst we suggest the best way of actually 'seeing' Dubai as a tourist is to use either the Big Bus Tours or City Sightseeing Tours that use hop-on, hop-off double-decker sight-seeing buses. For more information on this and other alternatives have a look at our page on Best Way to See Dubai.

Whilist on holiday in Dubai why not learn more about Dubai Religions
Where to Stay and Places to Visit and Things to Do in Dubai
Important Information

3 Essentials - sunglasses, bottled water and sunscreen!

Discover Downtown Dubai by Tram/Trolley 

Normally 'Downtown' is likely to refer to the traditional centre of a city. In Dubai's case 'Downtown' is the name of a new area of development that encompasses the area that includes the (1) Dubai Mall, (2) The Address Downtown Dubai Hotel, (3) The Palace Hotel, Old Town & Souk al Bahar, (4) The Pavilion, a new (2011) art gallery/design centre/cafe, and (5) The Burj Khalifa and Armani Hotel.

In fact these five places are the stops on this trolley bus/tram ride, although we'd suggest that the best views of the Burj Khalifa are when approached via the lake and Dubai Fountain side of the Dubai Mall.

You'd be forgiven for thinking the term 'trolley bus' refers to a bus with overhead electric wires. That's not the case in Dubai. These 'trolley buses' are currently driven petrol vehicles made to look like old American style trolley buses, but these seem to be in the process of being replaced by stylish double decker trams on tracks.

The full tour only takes about half an hour, but is a restful way of seeing and getting around this new and very expensive area of Dubai, sometimes referred to as 'the new heart of the city'. For just a few dirhams, and tickets are said to last for the day which makes it a good idea for tourists, it's certainly easier than walking in the mid-day sun!

Operating from around 10am each day, there are four pick-ups an hour at each stop.

For more info ring toll free on 800 DUBAI MALL (0800 38224 6255).

Your first holiday in Dubai?...Drink plenty of bottled water!

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