Credit

Courtesy of Basith Rahman Rahman / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

Getting Around Dubai

The best way to get around Dubai is by taxi or by metro. Although prices are high across the board in Dubai, a taxi here or there won't break the bank. Plus, they provide the freedom to move at your own pace without the hassle of navigating traffic. Dubai's metro system transports passengers to major areas of interest, including Burj Khalifa and the Dubai International Airport (DXB). The airport is about 10 miles from downtown Dubai. You can also rent a car at the airport, but be forewarned: driving here is not for the faint-hearted.

Taxi

Taxis are the most cost- and time-efficient means of getting around Dubai. You can easily spot cabs by their tan bodies and red roofs; the pink-topped cabs are designated for female and family passengers only (they are also driven by women). All taxis are metered, with rates starting at 12 dirhams (roughly $3.25) and increasing by about 2.82 dirhams (around $0.75) per mile. Because Dubai addresses do not include building numbers, you'll have to specify your destination based on an intersection or a nearby hotel or landmark. Taxis also service Dubai International Airport for a flat rate of 20 dirhams (roughly $5.50). Uber also operates in Dubai. 

Bus

The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) operates more than 100 routes in Dubai. Like the metro, bus fares range depending on which of the seven zones you plan to travel through.  You can pay using a Nol Card, which you can purchase at select bus stations, ticket vending machines and RTA service centers throughout the city. Although buses run frequently, you will need to factor traffic delays and frequent stops into your travel time. Bus no. 8 tends to be one of the most useful routes for travelers since it makes stops at some of the tourist hot spots, including the Burj Al Arab and the Dubai Marina.

Metro

Dubai's metro consists of two lines: the red line and the green line. Both lines together service nearly 50 stations, including the airport. The routes are divided into zones, and fares vary depending on which zones are traveled through. You can pay for your trip with a Nol Card, which is valid on Dubai's metro, buses and waterbuses. You can purchase a Nol Card in all metro stations. Hours of operation depend on the day and line, but they  usually start operating around 5 or 5:30 a.m. and run until midnight or 1 a.m. the following day. However, on Fridays it's important to note that metro trains don't start operating until 10 a.m. 

Boat

Boats have always played a primary role in Dubai transportation, and today, they are still frequently used by both locals and tourists who need to cross Dubai Creek. For 1 dirham (roughly $0.27) per trip, you can cross the creek via abra, the traditional wooden boat that has graced Dubai's waters for years and years. You'll find abras lining the creek in the downtown area. Just make sure to carry cash, as drivers don't accept cards. 

The Roads & Transport Authority also operates a boat service known as the Dubai Waterbus. These are more spacious and high-tech than abras (and provide air conditioning), and they service stations outside of the immediate downtown area. One-way trips cost 2 dirhams (roughly $0.54), and you can pay using your Nol Card.

Car

Dubai's roads are well maintained and clearly labeled; however, it can be difficult to maneuver through all the constant construction and traffic. You should also keep in mind that finding parking can be troublesome too. That being said, a car will come in handy should you want to venture outside of Dubai city. You can rent a car in town or at the Dubai airport. To drive here, you will need to obtain an international driver's license.

Explore More of Dubai

Recommended

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019