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Safe And Easy Ways to Commute

Modern and Diverse Modes of Transportation in the UAE

The UAE boasts one of the most advanced transport and infrastructure facilities in the region. From roads to metro to marine transport, it is home to world-class amenities that support the growth of economy and development of business and tourism in the country. The state-of-the-art public transport network – that includes buses, metro, tram, taxis, and water transport – runs smoothly and offers seamless connectivity within the entire country. The facilities in each emirate are operated by respective government authorities, ensuring easy access and hassle-free travel for passengers.

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Smart Ways to Commute

Many smart phone applications guide tourists to cut travel time and find easy routes to reach their destinations. In addition to the Google Maps application, that can be used throughout the UAE, the Seniar application is a unified navigation system in the country providing easy-to-follow directions to help users. Other solutions include Darb website – which uses Geographical Information System (GIS) to help easy travel within Abu Dhabi. The Smart Drive – an on-board route planning app in Dubai; and Makani system – that helps search locations in Dubai through Google and HERE maps, allow planning trips and determining locations in Dubai without the need to connect to the Internet.

Facts and Figures

Transportation in the UAE

Transportation in the UAE

7th globally

in the road quality index in Global Competitiveness Report by World Economic Forum in 2019.

2nd globally

in the quality of air transportation index in IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020.

6th globally

in the satisfaction with public transport index by The Legatum Institute’s Prosperity.

Dubai Metro’s Red Line

is the world’s longest driverless single metro line at 52.1 kms.

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Metro

The UAE has one of the most advanced and modern rail systems in the world, which offers seamless connectivity across its emirate of Dubai. The 74.6 km-long fully automated Dubai Metro runs along its red and green lines, the former of which is the world’s longest driverless single metro line at 52.1 kms. Comprising various types of cabins, designated for specific groups of commuters including women and children, all the trains as well as the metro stations are air-conditioned, equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, CCTVs, integrated radio system, platform alerts, informative displays, and advanced accessibility services. Metro rail network in the emirates of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi are also on the cards.

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Dubai Tram

The Dubai Tram connects key locations in the city, including the Jumeriah Lakes Towers and DAMAC Properties stations of the Dubai Metro's Red Line, stretching along the Al Sufouh Road from Dubai Marina to the Palm Jumeirah. It also connects to the monorail of the Palm Jumeirah. Covering a distance of 10.6 kilometres and passing through 11 stations spread across many population locations, the fully automated rail system provides maximum convenience and safety to the passengers, with advanced facilities including Wi-Fi connectivity. Each tram consists of seven cabins distributed amongst gold and silver class. One silver class cabin compartment is reserved for women and children.

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Taxis

Taxis in the UAE are ubiquitous, clean, and metered with strictly regulated fares. They can be hailed on the streets, as long as the taxi sign is lit green, which means the cab is not occupied. You can also book a taxi via relevant smart apps. In the larger emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, taxis operate 24 hours a day. There are also special taxis for women passengers, driven by female chauffeurs, as well as airport taxis that transport passengers to and from the airports. If you are in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority also offers smart car rental service through which you can rent a car for not more than six hours. Uber services can also be availed.

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Public Buses

An efficient, safe, clean, and well-connected local bus network is the foundation of the UAE’s public transport. It offers widespread connectivity across all the seven emirates of the country, and is the cheapest and most popular form of public transport for inter- and intra-emirate travel. The buses as well as the bus stations are air-conditioned, equipped with disability-friendly features, audio-visual aids, CCTV monitoring, ease of payments, and specific areas for women and families. The fleet also includes ecological buses that run on rechargeable batteries.

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Marine Transport

Water transport in the UAE is accessible mainly in the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. They include water-taxis, water buses, ferries and abras. Water-taxis operate in Dubai between Al Mamzar and Dubai Marina via Dubai Creek, with 30 pick-up points all over the emirate. It can transport a maximum of 10 passengers at a time. There are water-bus cruises that can be found around Dubai Marina. Abu Dhabi has ferry services that operate daily between key locations of Delma Island and Mugharaq Port, and Marsa Jabal Al Dhanna, in the emirate’s mainland. In Dubai, services can be availed in areas of Bur Dubai, Deira, Jumeirah and Dubai Marina. The service also links it to Sharjah. An Abra – traditional Arabic boat made of wood, powered by a motor – is a means of water transport that plies across the Dubai Creek. The charges to reach from one end of shore to the other are minimal.

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Renting a Car

There are various car rental options available in the UAE, easily accessible to visitors and residents. The legal driving age is 18, while the minimum age to rent a car is 21. For some supercar rental companies, you need to be over 25 years old to be able to drive their cars. A UAE resident would require a valid UAE licence to rent a car, while visitors or tourists from the GCC nations can drive with the license issued by their home countries. Citizens of the following countries can also rent a car with the driving licence issued by their home countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. For all other nationalities, an international driving license is mandatory.

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Payment Modes

Passenger payments can be in cash or cashless depending on the mode of transport you choose and the emirate in which you commute. In Dubai, passengers have to use Nol card (electronic ticketing card) for metro, buses and water buses. The fare will be calculated and automatically deducted from your e-purse. You can choose from among four different types of NoI Card - Red, Silver, Gold and Blue - depending on the frequency of travel. The bus network offers 3 special cards classified as temporary, anonymous, and personalised cards. In Sharjah, bus passengers can use Sayer Card to travel, whereas buses in Abu Dhabi accept Hafilat smart card system. Payments for taxi rides can be made by cash or card.

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