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The Public Transportation System in Dubai


There is a selection of highly supervised and developed travel solutions offered by Dubai's Public Transport Network, which is operated by the Government Transport Authority (RTA):


The Metro

One of the most convenient and efficient public transportation systems in Dubai is the Dubai Metro. The train runs automatically (without a driver) and easily reaches all the city's attractions and points of interest. It is very easy to get around using the subway, and it is very fast, so it is an ideal method of transportation for tourists. The metro can be crowded and less pleasant during rush hour, so it is not recommended for families with young children during this time.

There is a carriage on each train for women and children only. Before boarding, make sure you are in the right carriage, since entering the wrong carriage will result in a fine.

Operating hours for the metro in Dubai are:

Monday through Thursday: 5am to 1.15am 

Friday and Saturday: 5am to 2.15am 

Sunday: 8am to 1.15am

Trains run frequently, and the average waiting time is between 3 and 5 minutes. A free wireless network is also available for passengers' convenience.

There are two travel lines in the metro: red and green.

»  For a PDF of the rail network map, click here


A taxi ride in Dubai

In Dubai, as in many other Western countries, taxis can be booked via an app, but they're also available at all major points in the city, so you can get one from anywhere, anytime. The majority of Dubai's taxis are well-groomed luxury vehicles that pamper passengers on a relaxing ride at a relatively low cost.

The cost of a taxi ride in Dubai starts at about 12 Dirhams and increases by about 1 Dirham per kilometer. If you choose this method of transportation, it is wise to consider whether it is during rush hours. In that case, the journey could be very expensive compared to other transportation solutions.

It's best to pick a supervised taxi, which is marked with a yellow cap. Supervised taxis are generally cheaper than regular taxis.

Apps such as Uber or Careem allow you to order a car for pick-up, pay in cash or by credit card, and confirm the order.

»For information on these apps and other recommended apps for travelers in Dubai.


The Palm Monorail

There is a public transportation system in Dubai dedicated specifically to the Jumeirah palm project area. From its base at Palm Gateway to the legendary Atlantis Hotel, the monorail traverses the palm.

A monorail has a route of about 5.5 kilometers, and it is the only public transport in the Palm Project area, which is in itself a great attraction and a unique way to see the project, the buildings, and the spectacular scenery around them.

With a fifth stop expected to open soon, there are currently four stops along the route. It includes the Palm Gateway, Al Ittihad Park, Nakheel Mall, Atlantis Aquaventure, and The Pointe, the huge attraction and leisure center at the top of the palm.

There is no cost for the first 3 hours of parking for Monorail passengers, and an additional 10 dirhams is charged for each hour after that.

It costs 10 dirhams for a one-way trip and 15 dirhams for a round-trip if you want to enjoy the Monorail ride.

  • Family ticket (for 8 people) for a round trip: 99 dirhams.
  • Daily ticket for unlimited travel: 35 dirhams.
  • Travel tickets are not required for children under 110 cm in height.

It is possible to purchase tickets online as well as at the monorail stations.

The hours of operation are 09:00-21:45. A monorail departs every 15 minutes.

»  To the monorail website


Getting around Dubai on a bus 

Both buses and trains provide easy access to all the city's tourist sites and attractions, and are very efficient and convenient for commuters. Bus service is fairly frequent, except on weekends.

The RTA Dubai app makes it easy to plan bus travel.

»  For details on the app and other recommended apps for travelers in Dubai

The bus system is extremely developed and has dozens of domestic lines and hundreds of active buses, as well as connections to metro stations and intercity lines. Air-conditioned and comfortable, the buses are a pleasure to ride. In accordance with local laws, women and men travel on different bus routes, with the front of the bus reserved for women and children, and the back reserved for men.

Open-air bus tours are a great way to see the city. The tour bus offers a variety of routes and explains the sights in many languages. As long as you have a valid ticket, you can get on the bus and get off at any of the stations during the tour and continue the tour on another bus (hop-on hop-off) afterwards.


Travel tickets:

Rechargeable travel cards are used to travel by train and bus. They cost about 20 dirhams and at the time of purchase contain 10 trips. Depending on the destination, an additional trip will cost between 2 and 6 dirhams.

Travel tickets can be purchased at the airport and at public transportation stations.

More information regarding the location of the stations where tickets can be purchased and how to purchase tickets can be found here


Each type of travel card has its own advantages and disadvantages:

Red – This is a daily metro ticket that is valid for up to 10 trips. This card is valid for 90 days and costs 2 dirhams to use.

Silver – the most recommended ticket for tourists who are recharging their tickets. It is used to board and exit trains and buses and the remaining balance is automatically updated according to the boarding station and the drop-off station. It comes loaded with 10 trips upon purchase, and once these have been used, it can be topped up again. After purchase, the card is valid for 5 years.

Gold – This card type allows you to travel in first-class carriage on seats reserved exclusively for this type of card. Initially, it costs 40 dirhams and is equipped with 10 trips, but the cost of each trip is higher. It remains valid for five years after purchase and can be recharged.

Blue – Available only to residents of the state.

»  Up-to-date information on travel ticket prices can be found here


Taking the River Taxi

River taxis are mostly used for entertainment rather than for public transportation. A fun sailing experience, the river taxis are located in the Marina of Dubai and provide a spectacular view of the city's shores and buildings. The cost of a river taxi ride ranges from 3-11 dirhams, depending on how many stops you want to make.


Renting a private car

Renting a car is another option for those who aren't interested in public transportation. In order to avoid confusion and law enforcement representatives on the roads, or to avoid traffic jams during peak hours, it is advised to take public transportation.

»  Learn more about car rental in Dubai.


Getting to the City from the DXB Airport

Traveling from the airport into the city is simple, easy, and fast. The airport is located about 4.5 km from the city center, and public transportation can be used to reach the city: trains, buses, taxis, and shuttle services. Dubai's public transportation system is extremely straightforward and easy to understand when you first arrive.

The Waze app and Google Maps service can also be useful in getting directions from one place to another. It is easy and convenient to do so thanks to the wireless networks that are available throughout the city.

»  Learn more about Dubai Airport


A train that runs on electricity

Since there are only a limited number of stations on an electric train that is still being developed, it is not as efficient as a train for city travelers. Even so, the ride itself is a unique experience due to the design of the ride in the city as well as the enjoyment of the urban landscapes and sights. Stations are currently located at key locations, and on average, trains arrive at stations every 10 minutes during peak hours.

During the week, the electric train operates from 6:30 to 01:30 a.m. Weekend activities begin at 9:00 a.m.


Code of Conduct in public transport

When it comes to socially acceptable behavior in the field of public transportation, there are strict regulations. Dubai takes great care to ensure that all passengers on public transportation behave in an appropriate and respectful manner towards their surroundings, with utmost consideration for their comfort and the comfort of others.

Upon violating the rules, local inspectors impose penalties and fines, as per established regulations and laws, and do so with the utmost seriousness.

A list of offenses, as well as disturbing other passengers, are punishable by fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of Dirhams.

On buses, inspectors check tickets and fine anyone without a ticket 200 dirhams.

There are many signs and printed rules on the metro and trains. Eating, drinking, sitting on the seat with your feet up, smoking, and chewing gum are prohibited. In addition, men are not permitted to enter carriages intended for women and children.

Here are a few more rules of etiquette you should know before using public transportation:

  • Pushing other people is prohibited.
  • Passengers are required to allow each other space.
  • Allowing other people to pass.
  • Taking a seat at the end of the carriage is mandatory.
  • The obligation to allow passengers to exit a train before getting on it.

For violent offenses, vandalism, blatant disregard of public order, and forgery of travel cards, the fines are higher.

»  Familiarize yourself with the rules of conduct in Dubai

To conclude, traveling by public transport in Dubai is an integral part of the city's experience and allows you to travel between points of interest quickly, easily, and cheaply. Even though progress, innovation, and prestige of public transport can enhance the experience of traveling in a city, it is crucial to remember to adhere to the rules of public transportation travel, as well as to maintain respectful behavior in order to avoid unpleasantness at best, and fines at worst.