By Bus, Dubai
The Big Bus Company offers an open-top bus service around Dubai, providing a good opportunity to see much of the city in a short space of time.
The first time that I visited Dubai, I took one of these tours on my first day and it proved to be very useful in helping me find my bearings and deciding which parts of the city I wanted to see more of. I would only do the tour once, to familiarise yourself with the city, since it is very costly compared to taxis.
There are two tours - one of the city, and one of the beach district. The two tours connect at the Wafi City Centre, where you change buses, and the price of the ticket includes both tours (or at least it did when I was there, but it may have been a promotional offer).
Up-to-date prices can be found on the company's website, but in late 2003 the prices were as follows:
Children: (5-15) AED75
Family: (2 adults + 2 children) AED315
These prices are for 24 hours, during which time you can hop on and off the bus as often as you like.
The city tour covers many of the major sites, and the stops are as follows:
1. Wafi City shopping mall
2. Karama ("Little India")
3. Creek walk
4. Al Fahidi Fort (Dubai Museum)
5. Dubai Old Souk
6. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
7. Gold Souk
8. Abra station
9. Deira City Centre shopping mall
10. Al Boom Tourist Village and Wonderland
Included in the price is English commentary of the sights, entry to the Dubai Museum and Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House and a free Wafi City Advantage Card, offering a variety of discounts in the mall.
The Dubai airport buses operate 24 hours a day. They arrive and depart from the Dubai International Airport Terminal 1 (near the carpark) in 30 minutes intervals.
Two Dubai airport bus routes are currently in place: 401 and 402.
Rate is 3 AED per journey.
Dubai Airport Bus 401 transports passengers from the airport in Dubai to the Deira section of Dubai. Route: Dubai Airport- DNATA Airline Centre - Al Maktoum Road - Deira Taxi Station - Al Sabkha Bus Station
Dubai Airport Bus 402 transports passengers from the airport to the Dubai city area which is located on the other side of the Dubai Creek. Route 402: Dubai Airport - Deira City Centre - Al Karama - Golden Sands - Al Mankhool - Al Ghubaiba Bus Station
Our trip to Dubai from Sharjah was orginized by "Al Khaldiah Tourism" group of companies.
It costs $35 (December, 2008).
Every Monday, wednesday and Saturday.
Sharjah Grand Hotel where we lived offered Shattle service to Dubai City Center daily free of charge.
Departure from hotel to Dubai:
9.30, 12.00, 16.00, 19.30.
10.00, 12.30, 16.30, 20.00.
10.10, 12.40, 16.40, 20.10.
You can watch my 3 min 02 sec HD Video Dubai Along by bus part 2 out of my Youtube channel with Quadro - Turkish.
The Dubai Metro is the best way of transportation, where you can move from a place to another for 4 derhams = 2 dollars.
for example you can go from Mall of the Emirates to Dubai Mall or burj Khalifa in less than 15 mins.
NO food NO drinks are allowed in the metro. (you will get a ticket if you do it)
good choice if you have a baby and a stroller.
You can say it is a 5 star metro.
The Dubai Transport Buses are pretty cheap. Most routes are well serviced and the city is well connected. The fare ranges from Dh. 1.5 to 2.5.
When in the city you can dial their toll free number : 8004848 for queries regarding bus routes, fares and schedules.
Taxis are much, much faster than buses and not too expensive. The starting (minimum) fare is Dhs. 3.50. They run by meter.
The best way to get to the city from the airport is by bus. The starting fare for taxis is Dh. 20, whereas an airport bus will get you pretty much anywhere for Dhs. 3. These Buses have most major hotels on their routes. The 402 terminates at Al Ghubaiba bus station covering most of Bur Dubai. The 401 terminates at Al Sabkha covering most of Deira.
All bus drivers speak English and are very helpful.
Date of visit : February 18, 2010 :
We've just done this tour and thought it an absolute waste of time and money. I won't mention the lack of airconditioning, the iffy headsets with loose connections, and the absolute inability to hear anything on the Blue Route due to the sound of the wind whistling in ones ears, since other people have already mentioned some of these.
What really annoyed us the most was the "24 hour" spiel that was touted to us by the Big Bus Tour staff. The ticket may have a 24 hour validity, however this does not mean that you can actually use the ticket outside of 9am to 5pm/latest 6.15pm on the Red route. It's a bit longer on the Blue Route.
Therefore the TRUE validity of the ticket is only between 9am and latest 6.15 on the Red Route as we learned the hard way! So the 24 hour bit is really misleading.
They do not tell you that the last bus could be as early as 5.15 until after you've bought your ticket, whereupon you are stuck with it! We spent two hours on the bus with more than 40 minutes of it just sitting in the bus, stopped at Wafi mall. As a result we only arrived at the Gold Souk at 6.15 and were told it was the last bus back. We had no option therefore but to either forego the visit or take a taxi back, which we decided to do.
For the Dhs 440 ($ 120) we spent for 2 persons we could have hired a car for four days, plus we could have explored at leisure and actually got to see and do everything for a far longer time frame. In fact this is what we ended up doing since the Big Bus turned out to be such a washout.
I would not recommend this tour to anyone who really wants to see and experience Dubai by getting off the bus and exploring. The ONLY people who might benefit might be someone who just wanted to stay on the bus and complete the entire circuit in order to see from a distance the sights of Dubai due to a very short visit. No one else will benefit, as it is quite clear from the other reviewers.
The central bus station has buses departing in eiher direction of this very small desert place. The bus to the airport leaves from the down town bus station, 3 dirhams ( about a dollar ). Modern buses, very unfriendly filipino drivers. But the arab manager of the bus station was extraordinarily friendly and plied with all sorts of information. If you have a few hours to kill, it is good to take the bus
The local bus network is very good, linking most areas. Bus stops have a good map showing the various routes covered by the many bus numbers. And added bonus is that most stops are air-conditioned, with sliding doors.
One can get buses from the airport to the city. The financial districts further south are also covered, as is the beach area, and many of the big & popular shopping malls, eg ibn Battuta, etc.
Buses are air-conditioned too, and most have electronic card readers that require you to swipe your prepaid cards both as you aboard & alight, automatically charging you & deducting the appropriate fare. Unfortunately you cannot pay the driver in cash.
Inside, there are several buttons to press to indicate you want to get off at the next stop.
The forthcoming stops are announced verbally & also displayed on the electronic LCD screens.
Every time we arrive in Dubai we arrive at some ungodly time of the morning. With several hours to kill in the airport in the middle of the night before we could go to our hotel we had a good look around terminal 3 and discovered this sign about free shuttle buses to Al Ain and Abu Dahbi. I do not know what you have to show to use them i.e. do you need a flight to Dubai ticket, do you need a hotel booking in Abu Dahbi or Al ain, or can anyone use them? Sorry, too tired in the middle of the night to find out, but did take a photo of the schedule, though.
There are both city buses and private airport buses from the Dubai airport to Dubai. The airport buses are luxury buses with AC and baggage holds. Both city buses and airport buses leave from Terminals 1 and 2, and both have multiple drop-off points throughout the Dubai city center. The cost of a city bus is 3dhs.
Dubai Airport Buses
The major bus stations in dubai are Al Gubaiba (Bur Dubai), Gold Souk, Satwa. All the bus used by Road Transport Authority (RTA) are air-conditioned and of make Mercedes-Benz or Scania or Volvo. The bus route network covers most of the places in Dubai. The central bus station is Al Ghubaiba. Travelling time in bus is more than taxi as one has to pay to the driver first then enter the bus. This happens in all the stoppages hence the stoppage time is bit high which makes the time to reach destination higher. Traffic condition is Dubai are getting worse day by day due in increase in vehicular traffic and road block due to Metro rail project.
There are special seating arrangement for ladies.
A reasonably good bus service is available between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The bus departs from Abu Dhabi Municipality Bus Station to Al-Ghubaiba Bus Station in Bur Dubai, just near the Creek. The fare is Dh15. The frequency of the service is about every 40 mins. The journey takes 2 hours.
Wonder Bus Ride is a must activity you should try. We didn't do it the first days and then we just dropped.
Try to take the bus at the beginning of your holiday you get to know a part of the city and you get a wild ride!
The tour starts at Bur Juman Centre and at the ground floor you find a office where you can buy tickets.
not sure about the running of the hop on hop off tours but just some advice
i have been to dubai quite a few times and despite being a fan of hop on hop off in other cities i dont suggest doing it in dubai .the stops seem to be further away from each other and not as regular .also realy hot most of the year so not suitable to be on top if bus .if you do do it i dont think you would get real value for money on it .anyway just my thoughts
RTA Buses is the only public bus transportation in Dubai and is owned by the Dubai Government. they have more than 600 bus stops in and around Dubai that have air conditioned waiting sheds. the bus routes are divided into express bus routes, feeder bus routes, Intercity Bus Route, Local Bus Route and CBD Bus Route and there are a variety of the size of public buses and all are air conditioned.
if you are a tourist, you can buy a red NOL cards for AED 20 (with a 14 AED value) at any convenience stores, malls, some supermarkets and shops and use them as payment to ride the bus and the metro. standard prices of a bus ride is 2 AED for a bus ride less then 90 minutes, up to AED 6.50 for bus rides les than 180 minutes, depending on the route. Unlike the dubai metro, you cannot pay cash for a trip at the Public Buses.
if you are not scrimping on travel costs, then just use taxis.
according to their website:
The Dubai Bus fleet consist of 1574 buses (by the end of the 1st Quarter 2013) operating on 22 Dubai Metro Feeder routes out of the 86 inner routes covering 85% of Dubai’s urban districts. Dubai Bus fleet is cutting over 5,759,116 kilometers (as of February 2013). The bus transport infrastructure includes 17 well-attended bus stations, over 2033 bus stops, 636 of it are air conditioned passenger shelters. All stops has point timetables and route maps.