How much does it cost to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by taxi, bus and airport shuttle?

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

The Sheikh Zayed Road connects Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National
Powered by automated translation

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
Section: NA
Flagging a taxi in Dubai or Abu Dhabi is the easiest way to travel. Victor Besa / The National


The simplest way to get between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is by taxi but, depending on how many people are travelling, it can be costly. A standard Abu Dhabi or Dubai taxi, flagged from the street, costs in the region of Dh250 to Dh300 ($68 to $81) one way, depending on the 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), charging Dh1.82 per kilometre thereafter.

If you have a group travelling, this can work out as affordable and easy, ensuring you are dropped at your exact location. However, for lone travellers a taxi might not be the 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
Single passengers can opt for sharing a taxi to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Paulo Vecina / The National

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 it is 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.
Section:  NA
The E100 and E101 bus travels regularly between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Victor Besa / The National


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, the E101 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, Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah or the Dubai Creek area.

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

The cost of a one-way ticket between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is Dh25. To board, you’ll need to top up your RTA Nol card, which can be bought 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 1 hour, 50 minutes, but at about 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)
Emirates and Etihad passengers can enjoy free travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. AP

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 can drastically cut travel time between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Photo: HTT    
The Hyperloop capsule can drastically cut travel time between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Photo: HTT    

Etihad Rail

For passengers in the future, travelling between the two emirates should be a much simpler – and faster – exercise. Etihad Rail, the UAE’s megaproject to link the country’s centres of trade, industry and population, will grow from running heavy goods services to carrying millions of passengers between the major cities by 2030.

The railway line between Abu Dhabi and Dubai was linked up in March 2022 and connected to Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah in October.

When complete, the network will stretch about 1,200km across the country and reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent.

Passenger trains can travel at speeds up to 200kph. Customers can expect travel time of 50 minutes between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and about 100 minutes from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah, cutting commutes significantly. A future extension of the service to Oman was announced previously.

There are also big targets. It is envisaged that the passenger service will carry more than 36 million passengers by 2030 while the freight service has a goal of 60 million tonnes a year by 2030.