Side view of the new AUH coach service

How to Book the AUH Express Abu Dhabi Airport to Dubai Shuttle

by Abu Dhabi Travel Planner Team

For two close neighbouring cities running huge international airlines, there’s one thing you think could be better organised in the UAE – that is connections between Zayed International Airport (Abu Dhabi Airport AUH) and Dubai – and vice versa!

A complimentary airline bus service operates between Dubai and AUH for Etihad customers if they have booked to start/end their journey with the correct airport code. However, its existence remains a bit of a mystery to travellers, and it’s only open to those flying with Etihad.

That’s why we were super excited in 2022 when Abu Dhabi Airports announced the new AUH Express shuttle service! Still running in 2024, with a much-expanded timetable, here’s what you need to know about using the Abu Dhabi Airport to Dubai bus in 2024.

Please not that many parts of the UAE were impacted by significant flooding on 16 April 2024. We understand the shuttle service is still running from AUH to Dubai, however, traffic diversions may still be in place which could impact the timing of your journey.

AUH Express – Abu Dhabi Airport Shuttle to/from Dubai

A newly launched service, AUH Express, connects passengers from Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport to Ibn Battuta Bus Station in Dubai.

Here’s what you need to know:

What does the Abu Dhabi Airport Shuttle Cost?

The Zayed International Airport shuttle service – known as AUH Express – costs passengers 35 AED ($8.20 USD/€7.68) each way.

New 2024! You can now pre-book your bus tickets online.

This will save you from needing to queue for tickets when you arrive (and sometimes, with exchange rates, it works out fractionally cheaper!)

This is a little bit more than the Intercity Bus service E101 that runs from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and vice versa (AED 25), but remember, you are getting a point-to-point service here, so much faster, there is no need to catch a local bus into Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station in Al Wadha.

A note for Wizz Air Passengers

Under an existing agreement with operator Capital Express, passengers holding a WizzAir ticket were initially allowed to use the AUH complimentary, but they are now being instructed to book a Wizz Transfer at a price of €9.99.

Honestly, skip this, and just use the Get Your Guide link above or pay cash for your ticket on arrival at AUH Zayed International Airport.

Where do I board the AUH Express?

You can buy tickets and board the service at Zayed International Airport (Terminal A arrivals; they have ceased serving the old Terminal 1 & 3) or Ibn Battuta Bus Station in Dubai.

Ibn Battuta Bus Station in Dubai is connected to the Red Line Metro, from where you can complete your journey in Dubai. Plentiful taxis and buses are also available from Ibn Battuta.

ibn batutta station in Dubai
Busy Ibn Battuta bus station connects directly with the Red Line Metro in Dubai
Where to board the AUH Express bus from Ibn Batutta station
Stand 11 at Ibn Batutta Bus Station, where you can also buy tickets

How long will the journey take on the Abu Dhabi Airport Shuttle?

The journey from AUH to Dubai will be (traffic-dependent), approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes (though we note the published timetable in Ibn Batutta says only 1 hour 15 minutes).

How often does AUH Express run?

The service has significantly expanded since the initial launch and now runs hourly from AUH and Dubai. The main stop is at AUH Terminal A (A few months after the new Terminal A opened, they’ve now dropped the additional stop at the Old Terminal 1/3 and Premier Inn).

AUH Express Timetable AUH to Ibn Battuta

Departs New Terminal AArrives Ibn Battuta
00:0001:30
01:0002:30
02:0003:30
03:0004:30
04:0005:30
05:0006:30
06:0007:30
07:0008:30
08:0009:30
09:0010:30
10:0011:30
11:0012:30
12:0013:30
13:0014:30
14:0014:30
15:0014:30
16:0014:30
17:0014:30
18:0014:30
19:0020:30
20:0021:30
21:0022:30
22:0023:30
23:0000:30
Subject to change. Information is taken from zayedinternationalairport.ae in March 2024

Timings to be aware of! Although Ibn Battuta has great connections, be aware that the Dubai Metro shuts at 1:15am during the week and 2:15am at weekends. Factor this into your onward connections.

Ibn Battuta to Abu Dhabi Airport Bus Timings

NB signage at the bus stop indicates arrival times at quarter past the hour. These times will be traffic dependent.

Departs Ibn BattutaArrives AUH Terminal A
00:0001:30
01:0002:30
02:0003:30
03:0004:30
04:0005:30
05:0006:30
06:0007:30
07:0008:30
08:0009:30
09:0010:30
10:0011:30
11:0012:30
12:0013:30
13:0014:30
14:0015:30
15:0016:30
16:0017:30
17:0018:30
18:0019:30
19:0020:30
20:0021:30
21:0022:30
22:0023:30
23:0000:30
Subject to change. Information is taken from zayedinterantionalairport.ae in March 2024

For international departures from AUH airport you should try to arrive at least 3 hours before your flight time – longer if you will be clearing US Customs in Abu Dhabi

Do I need to pre-book my AUH Express shuttle ticket?

No, passengers are able to use this as a walk-up service. However, an online booking is possible.

There is a bus counter after you pass customs, where you collect your bags in the arrivals hall of AUH.

Coming from Ibn Batutta Bus Station, you’ll find the AUH Express coach at stand 11, where there is an adjacent ticket machine. As far as we’re aware, you CAN NOT use a Dubai Nol card to pay for the fare; you will need cash or a credit card if you don’t have a pre-paid ticket.

Bus from Ibn Batutta to Abu Dhbai the AUH express we passengers baording and a timetable
Where to catch the AUH express from at Ibn Battuta. There is a ticket machine adjacent.

Flying with Etihad – Free Coach to/from Dubai

The new shuttle service will not replace the Etihad complimentary coach service. Both services are due to continue running, servicing different passenger needs.

Passengers wanting to use the Etihad coach must bear in mind that the service MUST be pre-booked at least 24 hours before their flight to guarantee their seat. The airline does now take walk-up passengers, but they are charged 25 AED.

To use the free Etihad Coach service, you must hold an EY flight ticket or codeshare and complete the online form here (or if using a travel agent, they can do this for you).

There are 10 daily services running at present from Downtown Dubai to AUH.

Note that the departure point in Dubai has changed; the new Etihad Travel Mall is at Al Wasl Centre (not Mazaya Shopping Centre). You’ll find it just behind the Safestway Supermarket on Sheikh Zayed Road, near Business Bay Metro Station on the Red Line Metro.

Air Arabia AUH To Dubai

Another airline joining the complimentary bus connection service is AirArabia. They are offering a twice-daily service from AUH to their office in Dubai, located at Shop 6, Al Sharafi Building No1, Karama (Opposite Karama Post Office)

The AirArabia coach service will depart at:

  • 11:30 AM AUH to AirArabia Karama Office 2:00 PM
  • 11:30 PM AUH to AirArabia Karama Office 2:00 AM

Please contact AirArabia to confirm they are still offering this service +971 4 388 0788 / +971 2 815 3455

Emirates Abu Dhabi to Dubai

Emirates also offers passengers from Abu Dhabi a complimentary coach transfer to DXB, but it’s very important to note that this service does NOT depart from AUH.

The Emirates office is based on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, 30-40 minute drive FURTHER AWAY from Dubai!

If you landed at AUH and wanted to use the Emirates complimentary coach, you’d have to take a taxi or take local bus services to the Emirates office to connect. The coach then drives back the way you just came!

On the plus side, once you’re on the bus, you’ll get dropped at the door for DXB; no further connections are needed in Dubai.

The same service runs in return; you can board the Emirates free coach at DXB, and it will drop you back to the Abu Dhabi Corniche. Like Etihad, this service should be pre-booked in advance.

Emirates bus parked in Abu Dhabi takes passengers from Abu Dhabi corniche to Dubai International Airport
The Emirates service from Abu Dhabi to DXB departs from outside their office on the Corniche

Direct connection AUH to DXB

Unfortunately, as much as the AUH Express improves transport connections between the two cities, it still does not resolve the fact that there is no direct connection between the two major international airports of the United Arab Emirates.

You can continue your journey to DXB from Ibn Battuta on the Metro, but bear in mind that it will add at least another hour to your journey, plus train/bus station connections. The Metro from Ibn Batutta to DXB starts from AED 7.50 (Silver Nol) or AED 15 (Gold Nol)

If you plan connecting flights between the two cities, you should allow yourself a minimum of 6 hours in case there are any delays in connections.

More FAQs on Abu Dhabi Dubai Shuttles

Is there a free shuttle from Abu Dhabi to Dubai?

If you are flying with Emirates or Etihad, you can avail their free shuttle services. Etihad takes passengers from AUH to Etihad Travel Mall in Dubai, whilst Emirates takes passengers from Emirates’ office on the Corniche to DXB.

Is there a free shuttle in Abu Dhabi?

Transitting within Abu Dhabi, there is a free shuttle service to Yas Island destinations (albeit it’s not frequent), and you can avail the Visit Abu Dhabi free shuttle service to key tourist destinations. Learn more about the Visit Abu Dhabi bus here.

How much is the Abu Dhabi Dubai Shuttle?

The AUH Express shuttle service costs AED 35 per person one way.

Where to catch the bus Abu Dhabi to Dubai?

There are two choices to get between Abu Dhabi and Dubai by bus: The Abu Dhabi Airport Express, which departs from outside the arrivals hall at the new Zayed International Airport Terminal A. This bus terminates at Ibn Battuta.

Alternatively, there are Intercity buses that depart from the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station and arrive at Ibn Battuta or Al Ghubaiba in Bur Dubai.


We hope this guide has assisted you in making your onward travel arrangements in the UAE. Remember you can pop over her to see our complete Abu Dhabi transport guide which will help you with getting into the city centre of Abu Dhabi and onward to the regional cities.


Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi

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