How to Get Around in Dubai
While much of Dubai has been designed for car journeys, the city’s traffic can be heavy and the distances long. Add to that the difficulty of walking in the heat, and here’s where the city’s metro trains, buses, and a wide range of tours step in—providing convenient and stress-free ways to get around. Check out your options here.
Dubai boasts plenty of modern public transport options, including metro trains, buses, and trams—with the metro and buses providing the most comprehensive coverage. To get around easily and hop between the modes of transit, buy a Nol card—it can be used to pay fares on each of the networks.
Taxis are often the quickest and easiest way from A to B. Hail them in the street or outside your hotel at any time, but be aware that fares—usually reasonable—can depend on the time of day.
Tours by Car
Dubai’s attractions extend across a huge area—Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina are 20 miles (33 kilometers) apart—so seeing the sights is easiest on a tour. Options include panoramic drives with photo stops; tours of specific areas, such as old Dubai, with visits to the attractions; and private tours by deluxe minivan or limousine.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours
Hop-on hop-off buses are one of the most convenient ways to get around Dubai—eliminating the need to juggle buses and metro trains. Tours typically follow routes around Dubai Creek, the main beachside drag, and Dubai Marina, and can include nighttime tours and entrance fees.
Dubai’s heat and long distances aren’t conducive to walking, although some historical areas are ideal for exploring on foot, and particularly on walking tours that uncover their backstories. Topping the list are the Al Fahidi neighborhood and Deira’s lanes and souks, which face each other across Dubai Creek. Many tours cover both areas and incorporate a ride across the creek aboard an abra, a traditional wooden boat.
Ferry, Water Taxis, and Sailing Tours
Boats often fill the gaps left by Dubai’s metro and bus routes. Abra water taxis offer cheap crossings of Dubai Creek, while amphibious-vehicle “duck” tours take you cruising along its waters. Other options include speedboat and yacht trips along the coast, sightseeing cruises on the Dubai Ferry, and dinner cruises along the creek and marina aboard dhows, traditional Arab sailboats.