How do I get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai on Public Transport?

by Abu Dhabi Travel Planner

Whilst Abu Dhabi has a huge array of exciting and beautiful places to visit, no trip to the UAE is complete without a day or two in glitzy and glamorous Dubai. It’s no wonder that one of the most frequently asked questions from visitors to the UAE is how can I get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai on Public Transport?

Here’s our guide on how to travel between the UAE’s two biggest cities.

What public transport options are there in the UAE?

Whilst Dubai has an excellent public transport system, there are currently no rail or metro links between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, although this is set to change.

You can take a taxi (details outlined below) or private hire car, or use the much cheaper public bus service.

How to catch the bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai

There are three Intercity bus routes between Abu Dhabi and Dubai:

  • Route 100 – Leaves Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station (in the Al Wahda area of the city) every 20 minutes. This service terminates at Al Ghubaiba Bus Station (Dubai Metro Green Line ) in Bur Dubai. The journey takes approximately 135 minutes.
  • Route 101 – Leaves Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station (Al Wahda) every 30 minutes. This service terminates at Ibn Battuta Mall (Ibn Battuta Metro Station Red Line) and takes around 90 minutes.
  • Route 102 – Leaves Mussafah Shabiya Bus Station every hour and terminates at Ibn Battuta Mall (Ibn Battuta Metro Station Red Line). The journey takes approximately 105 minutes.

At the time of writing only the 101 has resumed post pandemic but other services are set to resume later in the year. Here is the latest timetable for the 101 Route. Call or download the RTA app or call 800 90 90 for the most up to date information.

What does the bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai cost?

All bus fares are 25 AED one way.  Customers can use a NOL card or pay cash at the bus station before embarking on the bus.

What should I expect on board the Abu Dhabi to Dubai Bus?

These public buses are pretty luxurious on the scheme of things. They are all airconditioned, have information screens and priority seating for women, children and the disabled, as well as priority boarding lines.

Note that wearing face masks in still mandatory on all forms of public transport in the UAE. Failure to wear a face mask may result in a fine of 3000 AED.

Intercity buses parked at Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station

Bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

All of the above routes also run in reverse from Dubai back to Abu Dhabi.

Rule changes for entry into Abu Dhabi from 19 September 2021

What does the bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi cost?

All bus fares are 25 AED one way.  Customers can use a NOL card or pay cash as the bus terminal. Nol cards can be purchased at bus and metro stations, from RTA customer service centres or online.

There is no pre-booking, you turn up on the day and pay as you board.

Alternative ways to get between Abu Dhabi and Dubai

If you don’t fancy the long bus journey or it doesn’t fit your timings, then you can also consider these options to get between Abu Dhabi and Dubai:

Free airline buses

Both Etihad and Emirates offer services to get their customers between the two major cities and their home airports. Inconveniently, neither runs and airport to airport service, but they do take you from the airport to a fairly central spot in the neighbouring city.

You can see our complete guide here how the FREE airline buses work, including what codes to use when booking your flights and the pickup points.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Taxi

Travelling by public taxi is actually surprisingly more cost-effective than you might think, when compared to a booked car service. You can expect a public taxi from Abu Dhabi to Dubai to cost you around 350 AED.

To book a taxi in Abu Dhabi, you should call the Centre for Integrated Transport on 600 53 53 53, download the Abu Dhabi Taxi App, or simply flag down a taxi on the street.

In our experience, Uber and Careem cost more from Abu Dhabi to Dubai than a standard taxi, but it is always worth checking out pricing on these apps to see if you can get a better deal or don’t want to chance the meter running too high. You should note though, there is absolutely no problem using a metered taxi in the UAE, taxies are heavily regulated and correct use of the meter is a must.

Airport transfer service from Abu Dhabi AUH and Dubai DXB airports

Pre-booked transfer services are really handy if you are landing into one city but actually need to be in the other. They work really well when you are travelling in a group and can split the cost, as well as providing you with security and door to door service.

Note there is NO DIRECT public transport option between the UAE’s major airports, making transfer services all the more appealing, but the most expensive of all your Abu Dhabi to Dubai transport options.

What sort of power adapter do I need in Abu Dhabi?

Frequently asked questions on the Bus Service Abu Dhabi to Dubai

Can I eat and drink on public buses in the UAE?

The only thing that you can consume on public buses in the UAE is water. This rule also applies to public taxis.

Can I take my pet on the bus in the UAE?


Are taxis expensive in the UAE?

Compared to most other places in the world taxis are relatively cheap.

Do I need an Al Hosn Green Pass to travel on public buses in the UAE?

Passengers are not currently being asked to show their green passes when embarking on buses in the UAE. The removal of the border checkpoint between Dubai and Abu Dhabi means that you are no longer required to show a green pass or provide a negative PCR test result when entering the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

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

Take me back to the Abu Dhabi Travel Blog

Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.

Abu Dhabi Travel Planner

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