How to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi: taxi, bus and airport shuttle travel information

If you don't have a car, here are some easy ways to travel between the two emirates


Sheikh Zayed Road highway.

(Photo by Reem Mohammed/The National)

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Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UAE's two biggest cities, are close neighbours. Separated by the long, straight Sheikh Zayed Road, it's an hour-long journey thousands make every day, whether for a day trip or a commute to work.

For those who drive, it’s pretty straightforward (quite literally). But what about for those who want to travel between the two emirates without a car?

The good news is, there are a number of options. Below, find the best ways to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., July 11, 2018.  Stock photos of transportation - public buses, bus waiting sheds, taxis, passengers, bus ticket machines, mawaqif.   ---  An Abu Dhabi taxi goes Northbound along Sheikh Rasheed Bin Saeed Street.
Victor Besa / The National
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The simplest way to get between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is by taxi but, depending on how many people are travelling, it can be a costly option. A standard Abu Dhabi or Dubai taxi, flagged from the street, costs in the region of Dh250 to Dh300 one way, depending on the final destination in your chosen city.

Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi taxis work on a meter system, with a start rate of Dh5 (or Dh5.50 between 10pm and 6am), charged Dh1.82 per kilometer thereafter.

If you have a group travelling, this can work out as a affordable and easy way to travel, ensuring you are dropped to your exact location. However, for lone travellers, a taxi might not be your best option.

You can also use booking apps including Uber and Careem, although rates may vary.

DUBAI-AUGUST18,2008 - Dubai taxi in queue  at Al Ghubaiba in Dubai after RTA  launch a new taxi stand that helps commuters to easy access on transportation . ( Paulo Vecina/the National ) *** Local Caption ***  PV Taxi 3.JPGPV Taxi 3.JPG

Sharing taxi

Lone passengers wanting to travel by car do have the option of a sharing taxi. At the main bus stations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, taxi drivers offer single passengers the chance to share a taxi to the other emirate for between Dh40 and Dh60 each, depending on whether they have a four- or six-seater car.

Of course, it means sharing a taxi with strangers, and often the drop-off point at the other end is limited to the bus station, but if you are in a hurry and don’t mind sharing, it’s a cheaper way to get to your destination quickly.

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. .  December 25, 2018.  
Abub Dhabi Central Bus Station on Sultan Bin Zayed the First. Street.
Victor Besa / The National.
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The most affordable way to travel between the two emirates is by bus. There are two regular services that run: the E100 and E101.

Both services pick up from the same location in the capital – the Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station in Al Wahda – but in Dubai, each serves a different end of the city.

For those travelling to and from the Palm Jumeirah, Marina, JBR or JLT areas of Dubai, the E101 service is best. The bus will arrive and depart from Ibn Battuta, which has a taxi stand and metro station for anyone needing to make an onward journey.

For those in Downtown, the E100 serves Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Bur Dubai, and is the stop passengers would want to use for visiting The Dubai Mall, the Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah or the Dubai Creek area.

The services run multiple times an hour, although the E100 service is slightly more frequent than the E101. Still, you shouldn't have to wait longer than 30 minutes for a bus. A full timetable can be found here.

The cost of a one-way ticket between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is Dh25. In order to board, you’ll need to top up your RTA Nol card, which can be purchased for a one-off cost of Dh25.

The journey does take a little longer than a taxi, with the trip between Al Ghubaiba and Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station lasting around 1 hour 50 minutes, but at around a tenth of the cost of a taxi, it’s worth it if you have the time.

The coaches are also air-conditioned, and offer free Wi-Fi, making it a comfortable journey. There are also two request stops for Abu Dhabi – Samha and Samha Village.

FILE - In this April 20, 2017 file photo, Emirates planes are parked at the Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The airport said Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, that it remains the world's busiest for international travel and that it welcomed over 89 million passengers in 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

Airport coaches

For airline passengers needing to get to Dubai or Abu Dhabi airports, both Etihad and Emirates offer free transfer services for economy class passengers. For Etihad passengers, the pick-up and drop-off point is the Etihad Travel Mall in Downtown Dubai, while for Emirates passengers, the pick-up and drop-off point in the capital is the Emirates Downtown Office in Khalidiya.

Emirates passengers can find information on the shuttle service schedule here, while Etihad passengers can click here.

The Hyperloop capsule is capable of travelling at 1,230kph, drastically cutting travel times between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Courtesy HTT    

A look to the future

For passengers in the future, travelling between the two emirates should be a much simpler – and faster – exercise. A Hyperloop system is currently under development, which will eventually be able to transport passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 15 minutes, developers claim.

The system has been years in the making, and the first operational section of the track is set to open in Abu Dhabi later this year, although passengers will have to wait a few more years before inter-emirate travel.

Proposed Hyperloop routes in the UAE

The vacuum-pod system is capable of transporting passengers at speeds of up to 1,200km per hour, and is said to cost less than the current price of commercial rail.

You can read the latest on the UAE's Hyperloop plans here.