Getting Around Dubai

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Most Viewed Transportation in Dubai

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    Abras

    by sue_stone Written Jan 6, 2008

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    My favourite mode of transport that we used in Dubai was an Abra. An Abra is a small, traditional motorboat made from wood, that transports people from one side of Dubai Creek to the other. Kind of like a shared taxi, the abras don't operate to any sort of timetable, they depart when all the seats are full. They seat around 20 passengers, and they seemed to only take a few minutes to full up.

    At the time of our visit there were 3 abra stations on each side of the Creek, with abras from each station following a specific (individual) route. When you arrive at the station checked the sign to see which part of the dock for departures or arrivals, and head straight onto one of the boats in the departures area. You pay the fare direct to the driver - and at only 1 dirham (around 14 pence) it was a bargain.

    Getting out on the water gives you a good feel for day-to-day life in old Dubai, and offers great views along the Creek. You can also hire abras for private trips up and down the Creek.

    On the Deira side, the two main abra stations are up towards the Spice and Gold Souqs, with boats travelling across to Bur Dubai, stopping near to the Bur Dubai souq and the Dubai Museum.

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    Big Bus Company

    by sue_stone Written Jan 6, 2008

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    One familiar site that we saw in Dubai were some red open-topped double-decker buses, just like the ones in London. These are part of the Big Bus Company's Dubai city tours, one of those hop-on-hop-off type of tours, where your ticket is valid for 24 hours and you can travel around the city hopping off at any of the 23 stops that take your fancy.

    There are two routes - the red route, which stays more in the centre of town, and the blue route, which travels down to the beaches. The website has a map that shows you the route and all of the stops. Included in the ticket price is entry to places like the Dubai Museum, and also enables you to participate in a souq walking tour, and a tour on the Creek (there are details of this on the website too).

    We had planned to use the Big Bus Company during our visit to Dubai, but ran out of time. I wanted to include this tip though, as I thought it may be helpful to those researching a trip to Dubai.

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    Future Train link from Dubai to other Emirates

    by JessH Updated Mar 5, 2007

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    Finally!
    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:
    http://www.uaeinteract.com/news/default.asp?ID=145

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    DUBAI METRO Monorail - the first in the Gulf

    by JessH Updated Sep 30, 2010

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    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.

    I have used the metro a few times now and in general it's quite convenient. I have a NOL Card which you can either purchase for single trips, or re-charge and use whenever you travel with the 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

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    Abra, a Short Cruise at Dubai Creek

    by Rinjani Written Dec 19, 2004

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    It’s quite exciting to step into Abra. Enjoying the breeze wind touch your face and looking to the high rise building surrounds the creek, while slowly you cruise to cross the creek.

    Abra, a medium sized ship with motor boat engine, can accommodate around 10 people. If you fancy to enjoy five minute crossing, you can take Abra from Baniyas street (Deira) to Creek (Bur Dubai) and vice versa. The cost is less than one dirham per person. Worth to try!

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    Navigating Dubai and the Emirates

    by DesertRat Written Jan 12, 2003

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    Geographical references within Dubai and/or the UAE can be a bit confusing to the newcomer principally because the names of the main towns are the same as the names of the seven emirates. Therefore, there is the Emirate of Dubai or Abu Dhabi or Fujeirah, but there are also the cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Fujeirah (There are four more, too; I cite the three only as examples. Some of the Emirates, e.g., Dubai or Ajman are so small that they are really almost the same as the cities. However, if you take Abu Dhabi, you find that the emirate comprises well over half of the entire UAE, while the city of Abu Dhabi itself is quite a bit smaller than Dubai City….

    As for Dubai itself, the Creek is, of course, the single most important landmark in town. As a visitor, what you really need to keep straight are Deira and Bur Dubai. If you look at a map, Deira is above – I say “above� because the Creek doesn’t run straight east-west – or what seems to be north of the Creek. Bur Dubai is below it.
    You can get across three different ways: by using the Al-Garhoud and Al-Maktoum bridges, which are inland in the direction of the airport, the tunnel under the mouth of the Creek, or by taking a water-taxi – a.k.a. an abra – which is generally the fastest.

    The oldest sections of town are quite close to the water; indeed, the very oldest sections are around the tight curve of the Creek, which is near its outlet to the Gulf. It is in this area where you’ll find the Heritage Village, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s house, the Gold Suq and the Old Suq. It’s also useful to know that Deira is a bit more high-rise than Bur Dubai, though the very tallest buildings in town are on the Bur Dubai side of the Creek… I know that’s confusing, but them’s the breaks in Dubai.

    The truly fancy hotels are mostly located west of Dubai City along the beach going in the direction of Abu Dhabi. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the Burj Al-Arab are both out there, for example.

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    Avoid to overstay your visa

    by bzh Written Jan 20, 2003

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    Avoid to overstay your visa when in the UAE because it will cost you 100 dhiram per extra day at immigration when you want to leave. You need to be careful about dates because the UAE use the Hejira calendar, as opposed to the Gregorian one. The Hejira calendar is a lunar calendar where months are 29 or 30 days long. To be on the safe side, count 29 days a month to calculate the date when your visa expires.

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    My experience with Emirates

    by xuessium Written Feb 3, 2008

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    Flew 4 sectors with them, all Economy. Tried the airline as plenty of folks had sung their praises. SIN-DBX (Boeing 773), DBX-CMN (Airbus 332), CMN-DBX (Airbus 332) and DBX-SIN (Boeing 773). The airline certainly optimises the space on the planes, going for a 3-4-3 configuration on the 773 and a 2-4-2 on the A332. Packed to the brim with minimal seating space and leg room. Comfort for the passengers seems to be the last thing considered.

    Only had the chance to try the latest inflight entertainment system "ICE" on the last leg. Despite the bigger PTVs, the shows are not up to date compared to Emirates competitors.

    Food in Economy was average, hardly meeting the great stuff compliments I have heard.

    Service among FAs was uneven, despite having an impressive crew that can speak more than 7 languages on the last flight. Hardly see any FAs during the flight; most of them preferring to hide at the back chit-chatting. When asked for a blanket as my seat was missing one on 1 of the flights, the FA returned with one and a nonchalant stare plus "OK?". What happened to manners?

    Certainly did not leave up to its glittering image.

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    Dubai Metro

    by Doctor38 Updated Jun 22, 2009

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    Not yet. It is still work in progress. When you visit the city you'll run into lots of metro related work. Hopefully it will be ready in september 2009, a second line in 2010. lines 3, 4 and 5 are also in the planing. You can get more info from the web site below.

    On July 22 the fares were announced. the ride will cost you any where from 2.5 to 6.5 DH. It cane cheaper if you buy a subscribtion. Things will be more clear once it is up and running

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    Do not hesitate to take the metro

    by Penelope4 Written Sep 4, 2010

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    If you want to go shopping, take the metro. Be your destination be Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, City Centre - save money by taking the metro. Just remember that the first car is for female passengers and/with small kids. Men should take the other wagons/cars. Dress appropriately even when you are taking the public transportation - no plunging necklines, shorts or sleeveless.

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    Crossing Dubai creek traditional way

    by xty Written Sep 18, 2005

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    Forget about crossing Dubai creek using car. Try the traditional way by water using Abra, a small boat with capacity of about 20 passengers.

    You can find the stations in both side of the creek, Bur Dubai (the West side) and Deira (the East side). In Bur Dubai side, you can find the station behind Bur Dubai souk/market, between Al Ghubaiba bus station and Dubai museum (aka Al Fahidi Fort). While in Deira side, you can find the stations near Deira souk/market and in front of Twin Towers. New Abra stations in some other spots along the creek are currently being developed.

    As of September 2005, the fare for one trip per person is one Dirham.

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    Modern, clean, efficient metro

    by Durfun Written Jan 18, 2011

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    This means of transport is a blessing for Dubai. The city is quite sprawling, particularly on it's north-south axis, and without such a mass transit facility, getting around was a real struggle, especially during peak hours.

    The metro is very efficient. The red line starts from Rashiiya (east of the airport), then it connects both of the airport terminals, passes through Deira (north of Dubai Creek), next there are two underground interchanges on either side of the Creek (Union, and Khalid bin Al Waleed) for connections to the currently under construction green line.

    The red line then heads south through Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa), the financial district, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta, all the way to Jebel Ali.

    Stations and carriages are air-conditioned. Ticket desk officials are very helpful, and there are many leaflets expalining how the network is set-up, time-tables, and zonal charging structure.

    You buy Nol cards and add credit on it, swiping it every time you enter and exit a station.

    There are separate carriages for Gold Class, Women, and then the regular Silver Class.

    The station design is unique & quite cool. They are quite distinctive when viewed from outside, and can be identified against the heavily developed highway & buildings if you look carefully.

    A large part of the metro runs parallel to the Shaikh Zayed highway bearing north to south.

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    DUBAI METRO GOES EVERYWHERE !

    by sdq Written Jul 22, 2012

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    The United Arab Emirate’s Dubai Metro is a fully automated driverless metro network. While multiple lines are planned, the Red and Green Lines are currently under construction and will run underground in the city centre and on elevated viaducts elsewhere. The Dubai Metro will be the longest fully automated rail system in the world when it opens on 09-09-09!

    The trains and stations will be air conditioned with platform edge doors to make this possible.

    Planning of the Dubai Metro began under the directive of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who expected other projects to attract 15 million visitors to Dubai by 2010. The combination of a rapidly-growing population (expected to reach 3 million by 2017) and severe traffic congestion necessitated the building of an urban rail system to provide additional public transportation capacity, relieve motor traffic, and provide infrastructure for additional development.

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    Abra: The passenger ferry shuttle

    by Quero Written Nov 15, 2004

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    This is less a tip for getting around than for getting back and forth... across the Dubai Creek. Abras are little passenger ferries that are quick, reliable, and the right price. They carry about 20 passengers. Simply cue up at the abra stop, wait for the next boat (they pull up continuously) and step aboard. The boat may rock, and the deck may be a bit slippery, so take care when boarding. When all of the seating is taken, or there is nobody else waiting to get on, the pilot will push off and cross the creek. At this point you will be asked to pay your fare of 50 fils (about 14¢ USD). Interestingly, you can arrange to hire one of these boats for the price of 30 dirhams an hour (a little over USD $8) to ply the waters up and down the creek. It may not be the most comfortable boat trip you've ever taken, but it certainly is picturesque!

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    Dubai International Airport [DXB]

    by xuessium Updated Feb 6, 2008

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    One of the most messiest airport I have ever been to. Yes, it's glitzy as befitting a country with money to burn but aside from that, it's really quite jaw dropping, in a not so kind way.

    Terminal 1 is home to all the International Airlines, including Emirates.

    Arrival meant a L...O...N...G walk towards customs and baggage claim. There were confusions among passengers with regard to visas and many a times, custom officers had to turn back passengers who were not clear on arriving procedures. Passengers from certain countries (I shan't name them) were cutting queues at will, irking other passengers and the custom officers were turning a blind eye to these antics. Officers wore very stern expressions; almost military like. I know we aren't allowed to abuse airport personnel these days but really, a smile wouldn't hurt!

    In Departure, check in counters are behind baggage checks stations so imagine the queue clogging each entry point as everyone submits their baggage, big & small, for X-ray checks. The security is not doing enough to keep non-passengers out. Stern stares and heated shouting seemed to be about the only ways security was employing to keep non-passengers out as hordes of families and friends seemed determine to accompany passengers in.

    Checking-in is another round of waiting though less painful. Then it was another round of security checks before you enter the DFS and gate areas. And you thought that would be the end of the nightmare. Wrong. I have never seen so many people literally littering the pathways, sleeping, chatting and smoking away. It felt like a refugee camp rather than an International Airport. I was half expecting to see folks cooking their meals right there and the UN coming in with relief packages.

    Cafeterias and eateries were tucked into inconvenient corners. Money changers were actually more centralised than them.

    If DXB's aim is to pack as many passengers into a terminal, then I must applaud that they are doing a great job.

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