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How to Get From Abu Dhabi to Dubai

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Despite Abu Dhabi and Dubai being two of the most popular travel destinations in the United Arab Emirates, there are neither direct flights nor train services that connect the two cities. Thankfully, there are numerous other options available for you if you are looking to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai for a day. These two destinations lead the way in terms of the development of public transportation, but there are also taxis, car rentals, and even choppers at your disposal. 

Today we are going to take a look at the various modes of transport from Abu Dhabi to Dubai

But please note that due to the current ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the rules on transportation between these two destinations are subject to change regularly. As at the time of writing, a visitor is required to produce a negative Covid-19 test result within two days before crossing from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, but the same restrictions are not allowed when coming the Abu Dhabi to Dubai. So this will only affect you if you are planning on a two-way trip from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and back. 

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Abu Dhabi to Dubai

The distance between the two cities is around 160 kilometers, but it really depends where you are taking your measurements since both Abu Dhabi and Buda sprawl without any definitive end or city center. If you depart from the outskirts of both cities, the trip will take you approximately an hour. 

How much is a taxi from Abu Dhabi to Dubai?

Perhaps the simplest and quickest way to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai is by using a taxi, but depending on the demand, it can be quite pricy. Generally, when you flag a taxi from the street, it will cost you between Dh250 and Dh300 one way from Abu Dhabi to Dubai but it depends on your final destination. 

Taxis plying this route use a meter system, starting at Dh5 or Dh5.50 in the rush hour between 10 pm and 6 am and charging Dh1.82 per every kilometre thereafter. 

This could prove the most viable mode of transport if you have a family as it will ensure you get dropped at your precise location. Thus I can’t recommend a taxi for solo travellers between Abu Dhabi to Dubai. 

If you can’t or don’t want to flag a taxi from the street, you can use booking apps such as Careem and Uber. 

If you travel on your own, you can try sharing a cab with fellow passengers. At the main bus terminal in Abu Dhabi, you will find Dubai taxis offering lone travelers a chance to share the cab between Dh40 and Dh60 each depending on whether it is a four-seater or six-seater. 

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However, this also means that the final drop off at the other end is only limited to a bus terminal.

How much is the bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai?

The second option is traveling by bus between the two cities. It is also the most cost-effective way of getting to Dubai from Abu Dhabi and back, especially if you are a daily commuter. Riding a RTA bus is also a lot more comfortable than taxis. A bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai costs from AED 25. 

Is there a bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai? 

There are a lot of options when it comes to Abu Dhabi buses that travel to Dubai, and we are going to look at some of them below. 

  • Bus E100 
    • The E100 departs from Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station and makes its final stop at Al Ghubaiba bus station in Dubai. It is one of the oldest buses plying the Abu Dhabi – Dubai route and stops at Shahma Village and Samha before its final destination. 
    • The trip takes around an hour and fifty minutes.
  • Bus E101 
    • If you live around Central Abu Dhabi, bus E101 can be a great option for you for traveling to Dubai. It runs from Sunday to Friday departing from the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station and stopping at the Ibn Battuta bus terminal in Dubai. 
    • The bus makes several stops along the way, including Shahama Village and Samha. The journey takes around an hour and a half. 
    • In terms of timetable, the first bus departs Central Bus Station at 05:00 am while the last one leaves the station at 10:00 pm on weekdays and an hour late (11.15) on Weekends. 
  • Bus E102 
    • This bus is the newest in the list of buses plying the Abu Dhabi-Dubai route and it departs from Mussafah in Abu Dhabi to Ibn Battuta in Dubai
    • It makes numerous stops along the way including Mussafah Park, Al Najah Private School, Al Ain University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 1 and 3, and lastly, Ibn Battuta Metro Station. 
    • The bus takes approximately one hour and forty minutes. 
    • The first bus departs the station at 06:20 am and the last at 11:40 pm. 

Very useful to travel around Dubai via Public Transport is RTA APP called S’hail it has all schedules of public services like Dubai Tram, Dubai Metro, RTA Taxi and RTA buses. It helps to navigate in Dubai.

Airport coaches 

If you want to connect Abu Dhabi Airport and Dubai airport, both the Emirates and Etihad offer free shuttle transfer services, but only for economy class passengers. In the case of Etihad Airlines, the pick-up and drop-off is at the Etihad Travel Mall located in downtown Dubai while Emirates picks and drops passengers at the Emirates Downtown Office in Khalidiya.

Is there a metro from Abu Dhabi to Dubai? 

Unfortunately, there is no metro from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and the only mode of public transportation is a bus. Most of the buses that ply this route departs from central Abu Dhabi and stop at Ibn Battuta in Dubai. 

Renting a Car 

You can also rent a car to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Just locate a car rental firm online such as Thrifty Rental, Dollar Rent A Car, and Hertz, among others. You can also ask a concierge in your hotel where you can find a car rental service, though most hotels offer it as part of the package. 

For you to rent a car in Abu Dhabi, you will have to provide both your local and international driver’s licenses and you will not be allowed to rent if you do not have both papers. 

Car rental is much more affordable than a taxi and is also flexible as it allows you to make as many stops along the way as you wish. 

Another thing that can come in handy when driving a rental car is GPS navigation. Also, just like any other long trip, make sure you fill the tank and use the restroom before leaving to avoid unnecessary stops along the way. 

The journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai is scenic as you drive along with the cost. However, make sure you observe the speed limit to avoid getting into trouble with the local authorities. 

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Sheik Zayed Road – 7 lanes highway in Dubai

Things to keep in mind when hiring a car in the United Arab Emirates:

  • The United Arab Emirate drive on the right-hand side of the road with the steering wheel on the left of the car. 
  • Traffic can go very fast in UAE can be hectic with roads changing from one way systems to 6 lane freeways instantly. 
  • Most cars are automatic transmission. 
  • The speed limit signs are different between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, the signposts refer to the actual speed limit, for instance, max 140km means you will be fined if you exceed that limit. But once you enter the Dubai zone, things change. The signposts in Dubai usually indicate a maximum speed limit with at least 20km/hr buffer before you can be fined. So instead of showing 140km/hr, it will show 120km/hr though don’t drive faster then 120km per hour.
  • Car seats in UAE are required to be no older than four years, so be sure to ask the owner of the car the last time they replaced their car seats.
  • Hiring a car one-way between Abu Dhabi and Dubai can cost you an additional one-way hire fee. 
  • Last but not least, make sure you are used to driving in desert conditions with extreme heat and wind. 

Helicopter 

If you want to travel in style, how about hiring a helicopter to fly you from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, just do a little internet search to find the right helicopter company that suits your needs.

Luckily, most of the companies that offer helicopter services have websites where you can browse the rates and timetable, such as Abu Dhabi Aviation and Helidubai. 

You will be required to deposit a specified amount before your trip. This is obviously the most costly way to travel between the two cities and it can cost up to 14,900 AED or USD 4,056. 

Some companies may offer a pick-up service to bring you to the point of departure while others may require that you meet them at a specified location. If this is your preferred method of transport, make sure you get your money’s worth by enjoying the scenery over the Persian Gulf Coast. The trip takes around 45 minutes and you are allowed to ask the pilot questions or take photos with your camera or phone. 

And in the future … Hyperloop 

In the near future, it will be very much convenient to travel between Abu Dhabi and Dubai thanks to the construction of the Hyperloop system. All you will need to do is enter a shuttle pod-like vehicle that moves at the speed of around 1200km/hr with no friction or air resistance. That would be the ultra fast shuttle service between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

This system will reduce the journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai to just 15 minutes!  

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Ania James

photographer, traveller, mother of twin girls, wife, worldschooler, rulebreaker

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