Your Holiday in Dubai: Everything You Need to Know about Public Transport

by Julia on December 4, 2019

With so many incredible places to visit and things to see when on holiday in Dubai, including the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, you will undoubtedly need help getting from point A to point B. So, what can you expect from public transport during your time there? Here is a brief overview.

What is the quality of public transport like in Dubai?

The local government has put a lot of effort into improving the city’s public transport system over the past few years, so it certainly isn’t something to shy away from. However, many travellers will agree that the quality of the public transport options is not consistent.

For instance, while the Dubai Metro is fast, clean, and highly impressive, it simply is not extensive enough and can only take you to specific areas within the city. However, there are plans in place to extend it with three more lines.

Dubai’s public transport options

When in Dubai, you will have a choice of the following public transportation options:

Driver and chauffeur services

Due to the fact that public transport in Dubai isn’t always reliable or convenient, many travellers opt to make use of a Dubai safe driver and chauffeur service. Many of these services operate around the clock, as well as offer numerous cost-effective short-term and long-term driving services to ensure that you are covered transport-wise for the duration of your stay in the UAE.

Dubai Metro

The Dubai Metro trains run every couple of minutes, so you can expect to get to your destination quickly. Having said that, there is almost always a long wait at the various ticket booths, which could extend the time of your journey more than expected.

The great news is that children under the age of five travel free, while adults will be required to purchase a NOL card in order to use the metro system.

Most tourists will do just fine with a Silver NOL card, although you may opt to purchase a Gold NOL card if you wish to travel in the first class carriages.

Both the Silver and Gold NOL cards are valid for a period of five years. If you will only be using the Metro on the rare occasion while you are in the region, then purchasing a ‘Red Ticket’ may be a better option for you. This ticket can be loaded with up to 10 trips or, alternatively, five daily passes.

Just remember that there is no eating or drinking allowed while on board the train. You are certain to incur a heavy fine if you are caught breaking this rule!


Travellers can use the same NOL cards that they use to travel via the metro in order to travel on Dubai trams. You will not have to pay anything extra. Unfortunately, though, tram lines are currently quite limited.


Are you going to be travelling to The Palm? If so, the Dubail Monorail will get you there quickly and efficiently. The Dubai Monorail connects to the tram line at Palm Jumeirah station. The only down side is the fact that the Monorail utilises a separate ticketing system to the Metro and the tram, so you will be unable to pay using your NOL card. Only cash is accepted and a single trip costs 15AED. You will pay 25AED for a return ticket.

Bottom Line

However you choose to travel through Dubai, be sure to enjoy your time spent in this incredible city/emirate. After all, there is a reason why it is fondly referred to as ‘The City of Gold’!

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