Dubai Transportation Tips by JessH Top 5 Page for this destination
Dubai Transportation: 157 reviews and 224 photos
Dubai Airport Control Tower (from website)
Dubai International Airport is impressive, no doubt about it, and it has also grown and changed immensely since my initial arrival in 1998. It's huge, it's tacky, it's badly layed-out, it's designed to make you walk for miles in the hope that you'll buy something, and it's actually pretty cool if you don't have to stop-over too often. The initial wonder & amazement wears-off quickly, especially if you're waiting at passport control queues for over 1 hour!
Visit visas are issued to individuals intending to stay over 30 days in the United Arab Emirates. GCC nationals (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar & Saudi Arabia) do not need visas.
The list below contains further countries that automatically obtain a free 60-day visa on arrival at an airport:
1. Hong Kong
2. Ice land
3. South Korea
4. United States
8. New Zealand
11. United Kingdom
24. San Marion
>> All others must apply for a visit visa BEFORE you arrive at Dubai airport.
UPDATE JULY 2008: new visa laws have been implemented from 29th July onwards. Please check the local news for updates: http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/07/25/10231692.html
>> Check this link for essential regulations before travelling to the UAE: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/137842/
Click here for Flight Information Schedules: http://www.dubaiairport.com/DIA/English/MainMenu/Flight+Information/
Phone: +971-4-224 5555
Nighttime water taxi (Bur Dubai, UAE)
Dubai's waterfront epitomizes the city's personality, and a cruise along the 10km-long Creek is the best way to witness the clashing of the historically old & the new modernity.
It costs 1 Dhs (Dirham) to cross the creek, or you can hire the boat for only yourself/your group & pay Dhs 10.-
Many people use Abras to go to work, as they are cheaper than taxis or buses & avoid the ever-increasing traffic on the 2 bridges & 1 tunnel that enable you to cross the creek (Shindagha Tunnel, Maktoum Bridge & Garhoud Bridge).
The boats seat up to 30 people and fill up quickly. Be careful as you really do NOT want to fall into the creek... it is not the cleanest of waters! Crossing from to the other side takes about 5-10 minutes.
TIP: Most Abra drivers are now also cashing-in on the massive flow of tourists that want a more "private" experience during a creek cruise. They will take you up and down the creek for about 1 hour, a great opportunity for some gorgeous photographs of the city. The price for this should not exceed Dhs 80.- Anything more & you are being ripped-off.
(1 US Dollar = 3.67 Dirhams.)
There are several Abra stations along the creek,
but the main points are located near the Gold Souk (Deira), near the Rivoli Building (Deira) and near the Textile Souk/HSBC Building (Bur Dubai). There are very useful tourist maps (see picture) at the Abra stations, and the main stations have been rennovated for passenger safety. There is also a Tourist Information Counter near Bur Dubai Abra station.
MEN: Please try to not sit exactly next to a woman on a full Abra. Respect this gender-seperated society & let women sit next to women. You'll notice that even if the Abra is very full, men will try to leave a gap between themselves and a woman.
News Article: http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Traffic_and_Transport/10098380.html
--> There are also Water 'Buses' that are airconditioned & seat approx. 25 people. One crossing with the bus costs Dhs 4 (one-way).
From newspaper: Parking machines, Dubai
Dubai is expensive, and nothing comes for free (apart from drinks on Ladies Night!) so it's understandable that more & more parts of the city are subject to paid parking.
You are charged per hour, and prices vary from area to area. In general though, you have to feed the machine either Dhs 1.- or 2.- (Dirhams) for one hour and Dhs 5.- for two hours.
There are still a lot of free "plots" of sand throughout the city & many people use these future construction sites for free parking, but now the police is also cracking down on this practice and slapping hefty fines of up to Dhs 500.- on offenders.
Paid Parking Hours are:
Saturdays to Thursdays, from 08:00AM - 01:00pm & 04:00pm - 09:00pm.
Parking is free in those 3 hours in the afternoon,
as well as on Fridays (local weekend) & public holidays.
1 USD = 3.67 AED (United Arab Emirates Dirhams)
Road, Roads everywhere, but not a space to park... Dubai's traffic & parking problems are reaching breaking point, and the city is now considering some drastic changes: The study would look at the prospect of reducing the maximum parking time from 2 hours to 1 hour at some of the busiest shopping areas such as the Gold Souk, Deira Fish Market, Karama & Baniyas Square in order to help avoid double-parking in these areas and offer available parking space to the maximum number of people.
A lot of the shopping malls & hotels used to offer free underground parking to visitors but are now also introducing paid parking metres, much to the disgruntlement of residents.
So if you rent a car and travel around town, watch out for the big ORANGE SIGNS & orange machines that indicate paid parking lots.
--> UPDATE 2008: TIP: Most hotels & even shopping malls now offer free valet parking. Just have your ticket stamped at one of the restaurants or shops, and take advantage of this convenient service (this is great especially in summertime!)
--> UPDATE Aug. 2009: Some malls will soon start charging visitors for their parking in order to try and deter park-and-ride Metro users who may use the malls' parking facilities as Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre Metro Stations are close by.
Phone: Dubai Police: 999
Type: Car/Motor Home
Sanddunes on Emirates Road (April 2008)
Traffic in Dubai has increased to nearly unbearable levels... and the faulty street planning & crazy drivers only add to the problem, on top of bottlenecks due to major construction. The UAE has the highest road death rate per capita in the world, with an average of 1 accident every 4 minutes & 1 death every day.
There are 3 ways of getting around:
I recomment options 1 or 3:
The bus system in Dubai is (because of heavy traffic) very irregular and is used by (without wanting to offend anyone) mainly 'low-income workers'. Men taking the bus are alright (if you can fight for a seat!) but women may feel uncomfortable being mentally undressed by 50 pairs of eyes...!
If you feel confident enough (or feel brave enough!) to drive yourself in Dubai, the Bur Dubai-side is well laid-out with plenty of road signs, Deira-side is a bit more confusing.
Either way, taxis are relatively cheap. There are many different taxi-companies, but they all have a taxi-sign on the roof, and are mostly cream or white in colour.
TOURIST TIP: Try to MEMORISE the general area & direction of your hotel, as some taxi drivers will try and take you 'the long way around' as soon as they realise you are a tourist...
Also, try to organise the timing for your plans according to traffic & rush hours - e.g. I wouldn't advise trying to go from Deira side to Jebel Ali Beach at 9am, when rush-hour from Sharjah hits Dubai. Equally bad would be trying to get to Deira City Centre (or even the airport) across Garhoud Bridge around 6pm. It will take you hours!
DUBAI IS NOT A PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY CITY. Many roads do not have sidewalks & there aren't sufficient road crossings.
Also: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES try to cycle around Dubai... you can cycle within the city's parks, but there are no cycle paths around the city & trying to cycle on the main roads is suicide!
Sand storms & flooding in winter can also cause chaos (see photos!)
Phone: Police: 999
Me at Burj Khalifa (June 2010)
Dubai's Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is to launch a travel pass for tourists in a bid to boost the number of visitors using public transport in the emirate.
The Dubai Travel Pass (Terhaal) will be marketed to tourists during their trips, to encourage them to use the metro and buses to get around.
The Dubai Travel Pass includes two Nol Cards (for Dubai Metro), each with a credit of AED 14 (US$3.81), booklets about the integrated public transport systems, maps, information of interest to visitors, places to visit and how to get to those places using public transport, as well as other general information such as telephone numbers of emergency service, police, embassies and ambulance.
The pack also includes value-added offers for use in Dubai on the trip.
The Dubai Travel Pass will be distributed across DNATA outlets, Duty Free shops of the Dubai airports, hotel and malls. The cards will also eventually be sold on Emirates aircrafts.
: I will keep you updated as and when more information becomes available.
Happy passengers on Dubai Metro (from Gulfnews)
Finally! A cheer of joy from us road-raged, stressed & tired Dubai residents: after years of nightmarish traffic gridlock and seemingly endless construction the Dubai Metro (driverless mono rail) is here! This is the Gulf's first mass transport system and was openend to the public on Sept. 10th 2009 after 4 years of construction. For now, only 10 stations along the "red line" are open, with the remaining stations (delayed due to the global financial crisis) set to be completed sometime in 2010.
Dubai's major traffic issues are, and always have been:
> Rush hour seems to merge into a consistent back & forth of commuters coming from Jebel Ali or Sharjah.
> Public transport is nowhere near sufficient. Busses are old, outdated and overcrowded. They too are delayed by the heavy traffic.
> There are thousands of taxis in Dubai, but the heavy traffic has made the drivers quite uncooperative.
Facts about Dubai Metro:
--Once in full operation, the Dubai Metro System is projected to carry approximately 1.2 million passengers on an average day, and 355 million passengers per year.
--The Dubai Metro System has top-of-the-class, air-conditioned modern trains. Each train is approximately 75m long, consisting of 5 cars.
--The trains offer a standard class, affordable to all, a women and children only section as well as an exclusive 1st Class.
Passengers can purchase one-way single fare tickets or more adviseable are the NOL Cards, which are valid for a certain number of trips in one or more "Zones" and can be re-charged when needed.
Visit the below Wojhati website to plan your trip, or click on this link for all information on the Dubai Metro (constantly updates): http://www.arabianbusiness.com/specialreports/dubai-metro.
Please note that eating and drinking is not allowed aboard the trains or on the platform itself.
-->UPDATE 2010: The RTA (Roads & Transport Authority) have started a website for planning your journey on the Metro: http://www.rta.ae/dubai_metro/english/home.html
Phone: Hotline 800 9090
Postcard of Dubai Airport (from website)
IMPORTANT UPDATE October 2008: The brand new Terminal 3 (known under its nickname "the baguette") is opening on 14th October, and will handly Emirates Airlines flight exclusively.
If you will be travelling on Emirates Airlines, remember that you will be arriving/leaving from Emirates' very own new TERMINAL 3.
You can store your bags at Dubai International Airport, Terminal 1.
Go to the "Arrivals" area, next to the taxi stand. There you will see an office called "DNATA Baggage Services". Price is 10 Dirhams (approx. 3 US Dollars) per bag for 12 hours.
For more information, call this number & ask for "Baggage Service":
Tel: +971 - 4 - 224 5555.
WHILST YOU'RE WAITING...
TIP: sit closely to any of the first class lounges (on the floor if you have to) and take advantage of the lounge's WiFi Internet ;-)
--> News Article, Gulf News Aug. 2006:
"Dubai's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) launched free wireless Internet service at Dubai Int'l Airport. The service allows passengers free access to internet on their laptops, PDAs & smart phones. Passenger can assess the system in select areas in both the Arrivals and Departures areas. The service is being expanded, and should be available through the entire airport by the end of the year 2006 & beginning 2007."
TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR FLIGHT INQUERIES:
Call +971-4-206 6666 to find-out about scheduled departures & arrivals.
UPDATE 2008: Short-Term PARKING now costs a ridiculous Dhs 20 per hour!
Most of you will probably be looking for the infamous Duty Free area. Others maybe for the Irish Pub (at Gate 23). Prepare before your trip & have a look at the website's virtual airport map:
They also have some pretty useful "Travel Tips" to first-time visitors to the United Arab Emirates (i.e. distances, currency, emergency numbers, etc.) Click here: http://www.dubaiairport.com/DIA/English/MainMenu/Traveler+Tools/Travel+Tips/
Phone: +971-4-216 2525
Ladies Taxi in Dubai (from website)
> Taxis are relatively cheap (base charge Dhs 3.50 and then Dhs 1.60 per km) If the metre is broken, your trip is free.
> Base charge from the airport is a ridiculous Dhs 25.- What a way to rip you off as soon as you step into the country.
> If you have any complaints or forgot something in the car, call the company's number on the rear doors & report the cab number.
> Many taxi drivers have poor English, so if you are not sure if the driver has understood you, don't get in! You could end-up having to pay a big bill for a trip to a wrong place.
> It's normal to round-up the fare. If you were happy with the driver please tip generously - these guys work 12-hour shifts & earn peanuts, so every extra 5 or 10 Dhs really help.
Due to this, unfortunately many drivers speed like lunatics just to squeeze as many passengers into a day as possible. To slow them down say "Shwaye Shwaye!" (slower / patience!)
> Unfortunately, Dubai's taxi drivers are overworked and underpaid, and in the city's notorious traffic jams they have become rather "racist" and very often prefer Westerners and don't stop for Arabs or Asians. FULL STORY HERE: http://www.xpress4me.com/news/uae/dubai/20008259.html
Try to MEMORISE the general area & direction of your hotel. As in most major cities, some drivers will try & take you "the long way around".
DUBAI IS NOT A PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY CITY. Many roads do not have sidewalks & not sufficient road crossings.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES try to cycle around Dubai... you can cycle within the city's parks, but trying to cycle on roads is suicide!
There are many different taxi-companies, but they all have a sign & are mostly cream or white with a different coloured roof.
Emirates Taxi: +971 - 4 - 3394455.
Metro Taxi: +971 - 4 - 2673222.
National Taxi: +971 - 4 - 3390002.
UPDATE: There are also LADIES TAXIS for women only. They are cream-coloured with pink roof.
Phone: Dubai Transport: +971-4-2080808
The future: train through the UAE desert
After the announcement that Dubai will build an inner-city monorail system, plans are now also underway to build a railway that will connect Dubai with the other emirates. It will be more than 700 km-long and will link Dubai with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah in the east with Ruwais and Ghowaifat in the west.
The move follows Dubai's effort to establish the region's first urban light rail system & comes at a time when the feasibility of a GCC-wide rail network is being studied by governments of the 6-nation block that is planning to integrate the economies by 2010. It looks like in particular, the Emirate of Ajman will also soon commence construction on its own Metro system, which will link-up with that of Dubai in the future.
This should make travelling between the emirates much faster, easier and also safer! Some of these desert-highways are so straight and monotonous that many drivers have fallen asleep, or cause accident due to high-speed driving.
Read interesting articles & updates here:
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