Probably everyone who has read at least something about Dubai knows how perfect the local metro is, which does not even have machinists. However, there is more to learn about the public transportation system than that. The most primitive asphalt roads appeared here only in the 1960s. In 1968, the first public transportation system consisted only of four minibuses.


If you have agreed with the proposal made by developers or real estate agencies, if you are ready to invest, for example, in flats to buy in Dubai, you need to know more about the public transport system. Let's discuss!


Taxi in Dubai


The main transportation service in this emirate is state-owned. It's called RTA Taxi. It can be caught on the street or found in special parking lots. The S'hail app also works with it.


Other ways to call the driver to your overseas property:


  • by phone at +971-4-208-0808 (it is convenient for pensioners who are unfamiliar with the Internet);

  • if you are in a parking lot, send an SMS to 4774 with the number of this exact parking lot. In response, you will receive an SMS with information about a car, its colour, and number.


In addition to the state taxi, Hala Taxi is also available. You can use the Careem application to ask the driver.


Dubai Taxi Corporation or Uber are additional options in the United Arab Emirates. XXRide, WOW, Koi, and Wikiride are another services. The activities of carriers are strictly regulated by the government.


In Dubai, there is a taxi for women. These vehicles can be identified by their pink roofs. The drivers in these cars are women only. They also carry ladies and children under 10 years of age. A man can use this type of car only if he accompanies a woman. You can get this taxi in a parking lot or by using the DTC app.


Important fares for those who decide to relocate:


  • Night time (10:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m.) the meter starts from 5.5 AED. Km — 2.19 AED;

  • Day time (from 6:00 a.m. to 22:00 p.m.) the meter starts from 5 AED. Km — 2.19 AED;

  • Trips from the airport a a little pricey: the meter starts from 25 AED. Km — 2.33 AED.


Transport cards and how to use them


A NOL-card is used to pay for all types of public transportation in Dubai, including taxis. Sales are carried out at bus stops, metro stations, parking lots, airports, and shopping malls. Their prices are fixed in rubles, euros, dollars, and dirhams.


These cards vary in colour. There are red, gold, blue, and silver options.


Red is single-use. The other three function as virtual e-wallets. They are validated twice: at the entrance and at the exit. If any of them has less than 7.5 AED remaining, they all stop working.


Cards can be used to pay in over 2,000 stores, as well as for parking and admission to museums and parks.


By the way, the journey is free for children under 5 years old and with a height of less than 90 cm.


The emirate is divided into zones, and the cost differs from zone to zone (prices are in AED):







One zone





Between two zones





Between three or more zones








The metro has only 2 lines: the Red Line and Green Line, and 53 stations. Passenger traffic, however, is huge. More than 100 million passengers were transported in the first half of 2022.


From Monday to Saturday, the metro opens at 5:00 a.m. On Sunday, it opens at 8:00 a.m. The metro closes at midnight every day except Friday. It is open until 1:00 a.m. on this party day.


Local monorail


There is only one monorail in Dubai — on the Palm Jumeirah archipelago. The primary attractions may be seen from a height of 10 m, making it a popular tourist spot. The trip takes 10 minutes to complete from the starting point to the final destination (Atlantis Hotel). The monorail runs from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. every 15 minutes. The cost is 10 AED. You can buy a card at the monorail stops.


Water taxi


The oldest mode of transportation in the UAE. Today, it is again more of a tourist attraction. The water taxi has 44 stops, boats run on the Persian Gulf and the Dubai Water Canal, so you can see local villas and houses. Old wooden abra boats and ultra-modern, advanced boats with TVs and air conditioning can be found in the taxi park. Picturesque boats run on the Dubai Creek. NOL-card is used to pay for the boat as well.




This is the most common transport in Dubai. There are 119 routes and about 1,500 buses. They cover 80% of the city. Most likely, when purchasing local real estate, the bus schedule will come in handy. They are quite comfortable to move around even during summer. They have air conditioning inside. There are separate options for women and children. A NOL-card is used to pay for the trip.




Despite the fact that trams were one of the oldest means of transport in Europe, the UAE started to use them only in 2014. Trams were allowed along the tourist housing areas: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, and Al Sufouh. The tram line connects the metro and the monorail.


One tram has room for up to 400 people. There are special carriages for women and children only, where men are not allowed. The “Golden” carriages are for VIP passengers. You can also pay by card for a trip.


The tram route is small: there are only 11 stops.


Penalty for ticketless travel


  • Up to 100 AED if the passenger got into the wrong carriage (if he paid for a regular carriage but got into a “golden” one);

  • Up to 2,000 AED for using means of emergency stop without some serious reason;

  • Up to 100 AED for disturbing the peace: animal transport, garbage, noise, screams, quarrels, and singing songs;

  • Up to 100 AED if the passenger drinks, eats, smokes, or chews gum;

  • Up to 300 AED if the passenger fell asleep in the transport or at the bus stop;

  • Up to 100 AED for transportation of alcohol or if the passenger is intoxicated;

  • Up to 100 AED if the passenger sat in a seat reserved for the elderly, disabled, and pregnant.


The rules used on public transport are quite strict. As a result, public transport here is clean and safe, according to Emirates.Estate.