Abu Dhabi at a Glance
Public Transportation in Abu DhabiiStockphoto
Not exactly the cheapest way of discovering Abu Dhabi: stick to taxis!
In 2008, public buses entered the roads of Abu Dhabi. The Department of Public Transportation offers commuters new, modern buses with air-conditioning and access for passengers with disabilities. The buses serve the city of Abu Dhabi with its suburbs as well as Al Ain and Madinat Zayed.
Expats can download comprehensive maps of all the bus routes on the homepage of the Department of Transport. Apart from the designated main stations on each route, buses also stop at lay-bys between the main stops to let passengers board or step off the bus. Bus services run daily from 5am to midnight and until 2am on weekends.
The fares vary, depending on frequency and distance of travel. Passengers have to purchase a so-called Ojra bus pass before they get on the bus. It is available at all bus stands as well as at the Red Crescent kiosks on Abu Dhabi Island. There are five different kinds of bus passes, ranging from single-trip tickets to day and month passes, as well as special tickets for senior citizens and people with special needs.
Taking the Taxi
Another very popular way to get around in Abu Dhabi is by taxi. Abu Dhabi’s taxi fleet is controlled by the Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars (TransAD), a government organization established in 2006.
Taxi stands are only available at shopping centers. However, passengers can always hail a taxi on the street or book one in advance. Most of the drivers speak Arabic as well as English, Urdu, and Filipino, making taxis the perfect mode of transportation for expats from all over the world.
Types of Taxis
Older (gold and white) taxis are still owned by individuals. They have a meter, but the passenger can also negotiate the fare in advance. However, newer taxis, in a modern silver color, are slowly replacing the old models. Often equipped with air conditioning, GPS and other luxuries, they offer their passengers exceptional comfort. There are seven authorized national companies which have the permission to run the new silver taxi models:
- Al Ghazal Transport
- Arabia Taxi
- CARS Taxi
- Emirates Taxis
- National Taxi
- Tawasul Taxi
In the cities of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, passengers can also order pink taxis. These come with a female driver and ensure safe transportation for women and children younger than 10 years of age. They operate for the usual fare.
Long-distance taxis which travel to other emirates are available as well. You will find them at the bus station at the intersection of Al Muroor and Defense Road. The fare is determined by the meter.