Although driving is the most convenient way of getting around Dubai, the government has vastly improved the public transport system over the last decade, and continues to invest in and expand the public transport network within the emirate.

As a new Dubai resident with no idea on how to navigate in the city, the primary forms of public transport are the Dubai Metro, taxis, buses, and water taxis, also known as abras. Here’s a full guide to helping you get around in Dubai, now that you work at Dubai.

1. DUBAI METRO: The Dubai Metro is a state-of-the-art, driverless, fully automated rail system that is clean, fast, and efficient.

Although it is not very extensive, there are planned extensions to the system, and it does connect to the Dubai Airport – and some of the major tourist destinations such as the Mall of the Emirates and the Burj Khalifa. Eating or drinking is highly prohibited on the metro and offenders can incur heavy fines.

2. TAXIS: Compared to other similar metropolitan cities, taxis in Dubai are relatively cheap, well maintained, and strictly regulated by the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA).

All taxis are metered so there is no ambiguity in paying for your trip. There are many different taxi companies in Dubai, and most of the drivers are courteous and speak Basic English.

3. ABRAS: Dubai’s quaint mix of new and old is nowhere more evident than in its simple, wooden water taxis that cruise along the 10-meter Creek, transporting people across.

These quaint aquatic taxis, also known as “abras”, are a great way to avoid traffic build-up, are amongst the cheapest forms of public transport, and are very quick, taking between 5-10 minutes to get to the other side – whereas other means of crossing the Creek by road (using the Shindagha tunnel, Garhoud, or Maktoum bridge) can take up to an hour! Abras may be manual (steered by rowing) or can be motorized.

4. Dubai Ferry: The Dubai Ferry is as much a tourist thing to do as it is a public transport system, allowing visitors and residents to view the city from the sea and get a glimpse of some of Dubai’s iconic buildings, such as the Burj Al Arab and the Palm Jumeirah with the majestic Atlantis Hotel.

Ferry timings change continually, so always check the website for updated information. The ferry has comfortable seating, and will only run if there is a minimum of 10 people on board.

5. NOL CARDS: In a bid to make public transport more efficient and convenient for the public, the The Roads and Transport Authority, introduced the Nol card, which is a smart card that can be used on the various RTA public transport forms such as buses, trams, water buses, and the metro system.

The Nol card has several advantages, the biggest being that there is no need to carry around cash to pay for transport – just top up your card and use it to pay for any of a variety of public transport systems.

There are four different types of cards with various value-added services.

WorkAtDubai, a recruitment and consultancy agency based in Dubai helping Africans around the world, find a deserving well-paying job in Dubai, provides you with advisory services to help with your smooth relocation in Dubai.

This includes sorting out the best way to transport yourself within the city. Have you found your dream job in Dubai?

Visit and we can help you with your job placement journey in the UAE.

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