Whether you want to check out the Dubai skyline as you travel by Metro, or soak in the grandeur of the Palm Islands on the Monorail, or just take a relaxing bus ride to explore every inch of the city, here’s everything you need to know.
Travelling to Dubai for the first time may be daunting to many. Figuring out how to hail a taxi or use the Metro or tram may be overwhelming, especially if visitors have not used public transport previously. For those who would like to make use of public transport services in Dubai, or would like to rent a car, this is your ultimate guide to travel and transport in Dubai.
1. Which airlines fly to Dubai?
All major airlines fly into Dubai, United Arab Emirates. There are 7,000 weekly flights which are operated by 152 airlines from over 260 destinations. The UAE’s airlines offer direct connections to most cities in the world, including the continents of the Americas and Australia. UAE-based airlines offer online and mobile check-in to most destinations. When flying with UAE-based airlines, passengers can earn loyalty points that can be redeemed for rewards and benefits including worldwide flights and local shopping offers.
2. Is it possible to drive to Dubai?
It is possible to drive into the UAE from the neighbouring countries of the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Visitors driving into the UAE require an international driving permit and valid vehicle insurance. Residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can drive in the UAE with their driving license issued by the country they reside in.
Citizens of the following countries can drive with their driving licence issued by their home countries: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. There are several entry points along the borders. Some are reserved for GCC citizens.
3. Getting to Dubai by sea
Abu Dhabi and Dubai are common stops on the routes of large cruise lines. The UAE ports provide modern facilities and fast processing of entry/exit at immigration counters in terms of visa clearance. The ports provide easy transportation to the cities. Cruise ships as large as the Queen Mary 2 have visited the state-of-the-art Dubai Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid. Seaports in the UAE: Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, Zayed Port; Mina Rashid, Dubai; Port Khalid, Sharjah; Ras Al Khaimah Port.
4. How to hail a taxi in Dubai?
Hailing a taxi in Dubai is simple, and due to high demand there are many taxis in Dubai. There are several official taxi ranks all over the city of Dubai. You can find the main ones outside of the main shopping centres and transport hubs. There are also designated taxi waiting areas outside most hotels, making it convenient and accessible for tourists. There are many different taxi corporations in Dubai. Various companies have different colour roofs and there is also a designated ladies taxi which has a pink roof and female drivers.
5. Are taxis regulated or deregulated in Dubai?
Taxis in Dubai are all regulated by the Dubai Taxi Corporation, and all taxi drivers and vehicles must follow strict guidelines and rules. Customers can make a complaint should their service not be up to standard
6. Are taxis expensive in Dubai?
Taxis in Dubai don’t have set rate fees for journeys around the city. Instead, they use a taximeter based on the distance that is regulated by the government. The base price for taking a Dubai taxi changes depending on your location and time of day. However, the price per kilometre is always the same.
Rate per kilometre is always Dh1.82 AED; from 6am to 10pm, the base fare is Dh8; from 10pm to 6am, the base fare is Dh9.
If you choose to have your hotel concierge call a taxi for you, the base fare of the ride will increase to Dh12, but unlike most other major cities, the price per kilometre remains Dh1.82. If you keep your taxi waiting for one hour there will be an additional charge of Dh25. Should you take a taxi from the airport, the fare starts at Dh25.
7. Can I pay a taxi fare with a credit or debit card in Dubai?
Credit and debit card payments are accepted by all taxis in the UAE. However, if you have ordered an Uber or Careem and selected the cash option, you will not be able to pay using a card.
8. Are Uber services available in Dubai?
Yes, there is an Uber service as well as Careem in Dubai. Careem is a subsidiary of Uber, but is run as a separate operation.
9. Driving rules in Dubai
The UAE has a black points system that leads to the confiscation of the license of the driver, and in some cases even the vehicle. When traffic laws are violated the person will be charged with black points. Once the person reaches 24 black points within 12 months his/her licence will be seized.
Penalties are charged as follows: On the first violation, the driving licence is seized for 3 months; on the second violation, the driving licence is seized for 6 months; on the third violation, the driving licence is seized for a year and is returned when the driver passes the driving course signed by the traffic authorities.