FAQs for getting the bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

After looking at several different options when planning our trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, we decided to opt for the bus. We found this option easy to use and very convenient, so thought it was worth sharing a few top tips if you are planning to use it on a future trip too…

Where does the bus depart from?

The bus leaves from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station (E100) which is useful if you are based in the Creek end of town.  Otherwise there’s another direct bus from Ibn Battuta station (E101). This is convenient for those in the Marina, JLT and Al Barsha. The bus stops are easy to find and are outside the metro stations.

How regularly do the buses run?

The buses leave at regular intervals from first thing in the morning (every 20 mins). A full schedule is available here and you can plan your journey in advance using this.  There’s also an RTA (Road Transport Authority) helpline to contact. They are really helpful if you are struggling with the website, although it should be straightforward.

How much is the bus?

AED 25 each way (so around £5).

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The must visit sight on a visit to Abu Dhabi – the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

How do I buy a ticket?

There’s a small ticket office near the bus stop where you need to go to purchase your tickets. We had an NOL cards (these are the cards you use on the Metro) so topped these up with enough money to pay on board. You can buy paper tickets too if you don’t have an NOL card.

Can I prebook my seat?

No, you cannot prebook the bus but we didn’t have any problem getting on. It was busy (especially if you were doing the reverse journey), but this is because it was a public holiday. The queue waiting for the bus is the most orderly I’ve ever seen in Dubai (and that’s saying something!!).

What’s the bus like?

The bus is more like a coach with comfy seats and is fully air conditioned so perfect for the journey. You might feel like the only tourist but it’s not a problem!

Saadiyat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi

One of the beach resorts on offer in Abu Dhabi – Saadiyat Beach Club

Where does the bus drop you off?

The bus goes to the central Abu Dhabi bus station so you then need to get a taxi from there to your first sight. Although there’s only officially this stop, the driver did ask if anyone wanted to go to Yas Island and stopped at an earlier bus stop to let two people off. I’m not sure if this is the norm or he was just a very nice driver though!

How do I get from the bus station?

As mentioned above, taxi is your best bet and expect a journey between sights. This is going to be the case in Abu Dhabi as the city is very spread out so you can’t walk from place to place. Appreciate that is can be a good 20-30 minutes between places and plan your time accordingly. Taxis are cheap however so you’ll be paying around AED 40 (around £8) for a good 20/25 minute ride. It’s not expensive to get places, but it takes time.

Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi

The luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi

What about other options?

You could opt for the hop on, hop off bus once you arrive in Abu Dhabi (around £46 pp) but this will be very dependent on timings. You’d still need to get a taxi to one of the hop on hop off bus stops (sadly it’s not linked up with the main bus station). If you are going to do this I’d choose one of the main sights such as the Mosque which you can then explore first. The hop on hop off only runs every hour from each stop so you don’t want to be waiting around.

If you’re doing this you’ll need to have a look at the timetable in advance to see if this works for you. Also if you are doing the hop on hop off it both Dubai and Abu Dhabi then get a two city ticket and you get a free transfer between the two anyway!

We decided it would just be easier (and probably cheaper) to get taxis between the key sights, but the bus could be option if you want the added benefit of tourist information and a proper tour.

What about the return journey to Dubai?

The return journey to Dubai using the RTA bus is also from the central bus station where you get dropped off and you buy your tickets inside the main bus terminal. This is straightforward and easy to do and the buses to Dubai are clearly signposted.


Guestbook’s message: “The bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is definitely recommended for a cheap, comfy and convenient way to get between the two cities”.

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