Buses are a cheap and convenient way to travel around Dubai. Over 350,000 people use the city’s buses every day.
Municipal buses are operated by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). They boast air conditioning, facilities for the disabled, displays giving information about the journey, and designated seating areas for ladies and families.
There are well over 100 bus routes serving most areas of Dubai. Virtually all hotels, tourist attractions, shopping malls can be reached by bus.
Bus services are classified by the RTA as follows:
- Express services (Fast services across the city)
- Metro feeder services (Buses from Dubai Metro stations to surrounding neighbourhoods)
- Intercity (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman etc.)
- Central business district (Buses around Bur Dubai and Deira)
- Seasonal (Global Village and Miracle Garden)
A complete list of services can be found here.
The main bus stations in Dubai are Al Ghubaiba Bus Station and Gold Souk Bus Station. There are smaller bus stations near Metro stations and elsewhere in the city.
|Abu Hail||Metro Feeder||Hor Al Anz|
|Al Ghubaiba||Major||Al Shindagha|
|Al Karama||Sub||Al Karama|
|Al Quoz||Sub||Al Quoz|
|Al Satwa||Sub||Al Satwa|
|Deira City Centre||Sub||Deira|
|Ibn Battuta Bus Station||Metro Feeder||The Gardens|
|Jebel Ali Bus Station||Metro Feeder||Jebel Ali|
|Mall of the Emirates||Metro Feeder||Al Barsha|
Many bus stops are air conditioned shelters with seating. Information boards at stops offer timetables and route maps. Maps of the city’s transport network (Metro, Bus, Tram etc) are displayed inside the shelter.
Fares are reasonable and are determined by the number of zones passed.
Payment is by NOL card, a prepaid card used for public transportation in the city. Cards can be topped up at bus stations, Dubai Metro stations, authorised sales agents (Carrefour, Spinneys etc.) and online.
Passengers should ensure they have sufficient credit on their NOL card before travelling.
On boarding the bus, passengers should tap their NOL card on the card reader. A display on the machine acknowledges successful check-in and also shows the balance on the NOL card.
On alighting the bus, passengers should check out by tapping their NOL card on the card reader near the exit. The display shows the fare charged and remaining balance on the NOL card.
Failure to check out correctly will result in a incorrect (and higher) fare being charged.
Timings & Schedules
The quickest and most reliable way to check bus times and schedules is to install the RTA S’hail app on your mobile phone.