Dubai Airport Transport
Dubai airport transportation
Dubai airport transportation
Dubai airport transportation

Dubai Airport Transportation

All The Information You’ll Need About Dubai Airport Transportation

Attracting tourists from around the world, Dubai – the pioneering city with the largest population in the United Arab Emirates – offers everything imaginable, from unforgettable dining options to pristine beaches and warm waters, historic sites, exhilarating activities and much more.

Getting to the city has never been easier thanks to connections available from Dubai International Airport to countries across the globe. If you’re planning on flying here via the airport, which is also known by its International Air Transport Association code of DXB, then you should learn in advance about your options for getting from the airport into the city.

You can’t make the journey on foot because the distance from Dubai Airport to downtown is about 8 miles (or just under 13 kilometers). There are several choices available for making the trip – taking a taxi, riding on a bus, getting on the Metro train or renting your own car.

Whatever your budget for travel, you should be able to find an option that works for getting into Dubai, although the different methods vary in how long the overall journey can take.

Taking a taxi

Taxis from the airport use a meter to calculate rates that charge by distance, so the longer your journey, the more you will pay. The fare starts with a charge of 25 United Arab Emirates dirhams (AED) with a further charge of 1.97 AED for every kilometer that the taxi travels.

Once your flight has landed and you have been processed through passport control and then collected your belongings, the next step is to look for signage within the terminal pointing you toward the taxi waiting area. You shouldn’t have to wait very long for a taxi at the pickup area because they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – so even if your flight gets delayed and lands early in the morning or late at night, you’ll be able to find a taxi.

With a Dubai airport taxi, your bags will be safely locked in the vehicle’s trunk, and you also won’t have to share the car with anyone except the people you are traveling with. And the driver will take you directly from the airport to wherever your accommodation is located in Dubai.

The journey time should be about 15 minutes but could be longer depending on how long you have to wait before getting a taxi at the pickup location. It can be a speedier journey if the roads are quiet, for example late at night, or take longer if it’s busy, such as during rush hour.

Riding on a bus

By far the slowest way to get to the city from Dubai Airport is getting on a bus because there is no direct route to downtown and you will need to transfer to a second bus. There are a few routes available, so check in advance to see which one you’d like to use. Combined with the fact that buses make several stops along the way, the journey could take up to 1.5 hours.

Another potential negative aspect of riding a bus is that you will have to share the journey with other travelers, and therefore the amount of luggage space could end up being limited.

Despite the drawback of the long travel time, taking a bus is one of the cheapest ways to make the trip between the airport and Dubai. You’ll pay under 10 AED for a one-way ride, with the exact price varying depending on the route – although children aged under 5 travel for free.

Before getting on the bus, you will need to buy what’s known as a Nol Card from one of the ticket vending machines located in the arrival section of all three airport terminals. You’ll need to choose from a red, silver or gold card that have different costs and benefits.

Red cards cost 2 AED and you can pay to add a 6 AED fare for taking the bus from the airport to the city. Silver cards are priced at 25 AED, with 19 AED being credits that you can use on future bus rides, with the trip from the airport to the city costing just 5 AED. Gold cards also cost 25 AED and they give you access to the Gold Class section of the Metro train system.

Getting on the Metro train

Dubai’s Metro system is a rail network that includes a direct connection between the airport and the city. There are stations available in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, and you can either ask an airport representative to guide you there, or simply look for the signs directing you to the Metro.

The airport station is on the Metro’s Red Line, which operates starting at 5am and runs until midnight every Monday through Thursday, and from 5am until 1am on Friday, from 5am until midnight every Saturday and from 8am until midnight every Sunday. These exact times can be altered if there is a public holiday occurring, when trains may operate for more hours.

Typically, it will take about 25 minutes to get from the station into the center of Dubai, but this travel time could be longer if you have to wait for a few minutes to board the train.

It’s a fairly convenient way to travel because you’ll find that many of the top tourist sites and most popular hotels are situated within close proximity to a Metro station, or they will have taxi and bus pickup areas where you can get off the train and transfer to finish your trip.

Similar to the approach for buying tickets for a bus from the airport, you’ll need to purchase a Nol card and fund it to cover your Dubai airport Metro ride into the city and any future journeys on the system during your stay. Families with young children should consider buying the Gold Nol card because this gives you access to the first class section with a view out of the train’s front.

You can only have two items of baggage when taking the Metro, and one of these must be hand luggage, so if you’re traveling with more suitcases, you should consider other options.

Renting your own car

There are several well-known car rental companies available throughout the terminals: Yelo, Autostrad, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrift.

Dubai Airport Car rental is available at all three of the airport’s terminals, and the simplest way to find the companies is by looking for signs in the terminal directing you to the rental car area or asking one of the airport staff members to help you. If your flight lands at Terminal 2, it’s advised that you pre-book your car if you’re using Hertz, Autostrad, National, Sixt or Europcar.

Renting your own car is the best choice for maximum privacy because you will only be sharing the vehicle with any travel companions, and your luggage will be safe in the trunk.

Another benefit of renting a car is that you’ll be able to drive straight to your hotel, and the ride should take under 15 minutes. Just beware that the driving time could increase at rush hour or other busy times, and it might be faster when the roads have less traffic on them.

But this is also the most expensive of the four methods for making the trip from the airport to the city. The precise cost for your rental car will depend on a number of factors unique to your situation, including the size and model of the car and length of the rental.

Dubai Airport Transportation FAQ

The airport is situated roughly 8 miles (or about 13 kilometers) from the city center, and the time it takes to travel this route will depend on the transportation option you use. Taxis and cars should take about 15 minutes, the Metro takes 25 minutes and a bus can take 1.5 hours.

You are not expected to tip taxi drivers when riding around Dubai, because there will be a service charge already included in your final rule. But in very specific circumstances where you think you received a first-rate service you can give your driver a small tip in cash.

Taxis service the airport every day and every hour, so you’ll be able to get a ride into the city regardless of the time that your flight lands and you request a ride.

Yes, Dubai is covered by the Uber ride-sharing network. To use it at the airport, simply open the Uber app on your smartphone or similar device, type in the address of your hotel or other destination, and you’ll be shown vehicle options along with the estimated fare.

There are bus stops located outside of all three airport terminals, with signs inside the airport directing you where to go to find them. If you’re having any problems with finding the bus pickup area, you can just ask one of the airport representatives to provide guidance.

The cheapest way to get to Dubai is taking either a bus or Metro train, because this should only cost a few United Arab Emirates dirhams, with the exact price depending on the station where your journey ends. Taking a taxi is more expensive for a starting rate of 25 AED, and renting a car is the priciest choice, with cost based on the car and duration that you have it.

Dubai’s Metro rail system has two stations available for you to board a train at the airport, located in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, so if you land at Terminal 2 you’ll need to transfer to either of the other terminals in order to board the Red Line train into the city.

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