If you are keen on navigating the city without driving your own vehicle, the city does have a reasonable choice of public transport that provides access to every part of the metropolitan area. The primary forms of public transport are the Dubai Metro, taxis, buses, and water taxis, also known as abras. Below are 9 key facts about public transport in Dubai:
1. Dubai Metro: The Dubai Metro is a state-of-the-art, driverless, fully automated rail system that is clean, fast, and efficient public transport in Dubai. Although it is not very extensive, there are planned extensions to the system, and it does connect to the Dubai Airport and some of the major tourist destinations such as the Mall of the Emirates and the Burj Khalifa. The red and green lines are currently operational, with the RTA planning three more lines. There is no eating or drinking allowed on the public transport in Dubai and offenders can incur heavy fines. Detailed information about stations, fares, and timings, as well as the latest updates on the Metro system, are available on the Dubai Metro website.
2. Taxis: Compared to other similar metropolitan cities, taxis in Dubai are relatively cheap, well maintained, and strictly regulated by the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA). All taxis are metered on public transport in Dubai so there is no ambiguity in paying for your trip. There are many different taxi companies in Dubai, and most of the drivers are courteous and speak Basic English. The RTA has also introduced a Smart Taxi App, which is very convenient, allowing a person to book the nearest taxi from their smart phones based on their location. The app is capable of instantly pinpointing a person’s location, and is great for booking a taxi even if you don’t know exactly where you are. The app is available for both Android as well as iOS devices.
3. Buses: Dubai’s network of buses is quite extensive and buses are a great connection point from the metro to your destination. They are very affordable, accept Nol cards as a form of payment, and can get you to destinations that the Metro does not reach such as Jumeriah Beach. Buses can also take you between emirates, which the Metro system is not currently designed to do, and is an affordable way to travel in a public transport in Dubai if you are on a budget.
· Nol cards: In a bid to make public transport in Dubai more efficient and convenient for the public, the RTA introduced the Nol card, which is a smart card that can be used on the various RTA public transport forms such as buses, trams, water buses, and the metro system. The Nol card has several advantages, the biggest being that there is no need to carry around cash to pay for transport — just top up your card and use it to pay for any of a variety of public transport systems. There are four different types of cards with various value-added services. More information on the card is available on its website.
4. Dubai Tram: The long awaited tram was launched in November of 2014, and is a rail system that is part of a modern integrated public transport system that provides efficient and quick access to the densely populated areas of Jumeriah Beach Residence, Dubai Marina, and the business areas along Al Sufouh Street. The tram connects to the Metro Station as well as the Palm Monorail.