How to Travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by Bus

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It lies just west of the emirate of Dubai.

Abu Dhabi (the capital city of the emirate of Abu Dhabi) and Dubai (the capital city of the emirate of Dubai) are connected by the E11 road (Dubai – Abu Dhabi Highway).

The road is straight and runs roughly parallel to the coastline.

RTA Bus Services

There are two bus services from Dubai to Abu Dhabi; the E100 service and the E101 service. Both are operated by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The E100 bus service departs from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station. Al Ghubaiba Bus Station is situated in the Bur Dubai area of the city, near the Dubai Creek. This service is convenient for those travelling from areas in ‘Old Dubai’ (Bur Dubai, Deira, etc.).

The E101 bus service leaves from Ibn Battuta Bus Station (adjacent to the Ibn Battuta Mall). Ibn Battuta Bus Station is convenient for those travelling from areas in ‘New Dubai’ (Jebel Ali, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Marina, Al Barsha, Palm Jumeirah, etc.).

E101 bus at Ibn Battuta Bus Station
E101 bus at Ibn Battuta Bus Station

Both routes to go Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station.

Al Ghubaiba Bus Station and Ibn Battuta Bus Station can easily be reached by travelling on the Dubai Metro.

Al Ghubaiba Bus Station is near Al Ghubaiba Metro Station (Green Line of the Dubai Metro).

Al Ghubaiba Bus Station
Al Ghubaiba Bus Station

Ibn Battuta Bus Station is next to Ibn Battuta Metro Station (Red Line of the Dubai Metro).

The bus services between Dubai and Abu Dhabi were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic. The E101 service resumed in September 2021 and the E100 service resumed in May 2022.

The resumption of these services has been a relief for commuters who had to rely on other means of transport, such as private cars or taxis, to travel between the two emirates. The intercity bus routes offer a convenient and the cheapest option for those who need to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on a regular basis.

Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station
Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station

RTA Bus Timings

Bus timings from Dubai to Abu Dhabi are frequent. Services run from early morning to the early hours. In 2022 bus timetables are:

E100 Bus Timings – Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, Dubai to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station

Timings for the E100 bus service to Abu Dhabi are shown in the table below.

DaysFirst BusLast Bus
Monday to Friday04:2023:50
Saturday and Sunday04:2000:20

The E100 bus departs every 20 minutes or so.

The distance from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Dubai to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station is around 150 km (93 miles). The journey takes around 2 hours.

E101 Bus Timings – Ibn Battuta Bus Station, Dubai to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station

Timings for the E101 bus route to Abu Dhabi are shown in the table below.

DaysFirst BusLast Bus
Monday to Friday04:3001:00
Saturday and Sunday05:2004:30

The E101 bus leaves every 20 minutes or so.

The distance from Ibn Battuta Bus Station in Dubai to Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station is approximately 115 km (71 miles). The travel time is around 1.5 hours.

Timings for all services may vary during Ramadan and on public holidays.

Bus Fares

Travelling by RTA bus is the cheapest way to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. A one-way ticket costs just 25 AED in 2022 (£6.1, €6.94, $6.81).

The ticket price is the same for all bus services from Dubai to Abu Dhabi (E100 and E101).

You can get on the bus to Abu Dhabi using a NOL card (contactless public transport payment card). NOL cards can be purchased and topped up at many locations (Dubai Metro stations, bus stations, etc.).

Ticket office at Ibn Battuta Bus Station
Ticket office at Ibn Battuta Bus Station

It is not possible to book tickets in advance for buses between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, this is not generally a problem as buses are frequent and queues are usually not too long.  As a result, passengers typically have no difficulty securing a seat on the bus they wish to take.

The lack of advanced booking options may even be seen as a positive, as it allows passengers to be more flexible with their travel plans.

Passengers should not encounter any major difficulties when travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by bus. The worst that can happen is that you might have to wait for 20 minutes or so for the next bus. So overall, it’s not an issue. Just plan your trip accordingly and factor in a bit of extra time in case there’s a queue.

Passengers queuing for the E101 bus at Ibn Battuta Bus Station
Passengers queuing for the E101 bus at Ibn Battuta Bus Station

Other Transport Options – Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Please note there are no commercial flights between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The Dubai Metro only runs as far as UAE Exchange Metro Station. This is only 20 km from the Dubai/Abu Dhabi border but around 100 km from Abu Dhabi city.

Aside from the RTA buses, options for travelling to Abu Dhabi include:

Taxi

Taxis from Dubai to Abu Dhabi are offered by both Uber and Careem. The metered taxi fare will be considerably higher than the RTA public bus.

Car Hire

For those visitors wishing to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, renting a car is an option. Although it is more expensive, it offers flexibility that public transport does not.

Driving in an unfamiliar city can be daunting for those who are inexperienced. There are large highways and heavy traffic. If you do decide to hire a car, be sure to familiarise yourself with the local traffic laws, speed limits, and conditions before hitting the road.

Car rentals are readily available throughout Dubai.

Airport

Emirates passengers can fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB) and take a free shuttle bus to Abu Dhabi.

Details of the shuttle bus service can be found on the Emirates website here. Prior booking is required. When booking your airline ticket on the Emirates website, please ensure to enter Abu Dhabi as the final destination to obtain the transfer ticket.

There are limited shuttle bus services and the bus journey is taken on the first bus after the flight lands.

Etihad also operates a coach service between Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai. Details can be found on the Etihad website here.

Organised Tours

If you are travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to visit one of the major tourist attractions (Louvre, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, etc.) it may be more convenient to book an organised tour from Dubai.

Organised tours generally include transport, a professional guide, and entrance tickets.

Free Shuttle Bus to Yas Island (Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World)

Those not wishing to book an organised tour to Yas Waterworld or Ferrari World can purchase entrance tickets themselves and take advantage of free shuttle buses from Dubai to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

Buses depart from various locations in Dubai (Mall of the Emirates, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Mall, City Centre Deira, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Burjuman, Dubai Marina Mall etc.) and go directly to Yas Island.

Details can be found on the Yas Waterworld website here and the Ferrari World website here.

Buses leave in the morning and return in the evening. Schedules are limited and passengers need to present an e-ticket to the driver. Services also operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Other Intercity Bus Routes

We also offer information about other intercity bus services:

Photo Credit: Pajor Pawel/Shutterstock

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