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Public Transportation in Abu Dhabi

As an expat moving to Abu Dhabi, you’ll experience a life full of variety in the second largest city of the UAE. However, before you rush to prepare for Abu Dhabi, read our InterNations Expat Guide to make sure you’ve done your homework concerning visa options, work permits, and transportation!
Not exactly the cheapest way of discovering Abu Dhabi: stick to taxis!

Public Transportation

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 5:00 to 24:00 and until 2:00 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 the main office of the Abu Dhabi bus station, as well as at Emirates Red Crescent branches. There are four different kinds of bus passes, ranging from weekly to monthly passes, as well as special tickets for students, senior citizens, and people with special needs.

Taking a Taxi in Abu Dhabi

Another very popular way to get around in Abu Dhabi is by taxi. Abu Dhabi’s taxi fleet is controlled by the Center 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 via the TransAD hotline or the Abu Dhabi Taxi App. 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

Often equipped with air conditioning, GPS and other luxuries, silver-colored taxis offer their passengers exceptional comfort. There are six 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

As of November 2013, taxi vans replaced silver taxis at the airport, slightly increasing the price of a trip from the airport. The fixed starting fee for use of these black Mercedes vans is 25 AED; however, the rate is the same – 1.6 AED per kilometer. All in all, visitors of the airport may pay up to 21 AED extra for their trip.

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 main bus station at the intersection of Al Muroor and Defense Road. The fare is determined by the meter.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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