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From Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Bus, taxi or guided tour?

If you have taken the long journey to Dubai a short detour to Abu Dhabi (only 130km) is also recommended. Because the capital of the United Arab Emirates has just like Dubai many attractions to offer. Especially the terrific Sheikh Zayed Mosque should be a must for every tourist.

But what exactly is the best way to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi? By bus, cab or a guided day tour? What is the cheapest or most convenient alternative? I will now present you the different options for a trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in detail.

The most important questions and answers at a glance

The E100 bus departs from the central Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in the old district of Bur Dubai and arrives in Abu Dhabi at Al Wahda Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station. A one-way ticket costs about $7.

A one-way cab ride from Dubai to Abu Dhabi costs between $70 and $100. The ride takes about 1.5 hours.

Guided day tours from Dubai to Abu Dhabi start at about $85 per person.

By bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

By far the cheapest way to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is using public bus transportation. A one-way ticket costs only 25 AED, which is about $7. Since the bus hardly makes any stops along the way, the trip takes only 2 hours.

The bus is of course air-conditioned and equipped with comfortable seats, Wi-Fi and a toilet. The free of charge luggage transfer is also possible if you want to stay longer in Abu Dhabi.

There are two bus lines that run between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Bus E100

The E100 bus departs from the central Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in the old district of Bur Dubai. The station is located very close to the Creek and not far away from the Gold Souk. The easiest way to get there is to take the metro to Al Ghubaiba Metro Station. From here it is only a 5 minute walk to the bus terminal. However, the journey by cab is of course also possible.

Bus E101

Bus E101 departs from the Ibn Battuta Metro Bus Station, located next to the shopping mall of the same name. However, the station is located off the center of Dubai. This bus line is therefore only suitable if your hotel is located near the Dubai Marina or the Palm Jumeirah. For everyone else, Al Ghubaiba Bus Station will be easier to reach.

How often do the buses go from Dubai to Abu Dhabi?

Buses run from 5 a.m. to midnight throughout the week, every 10 to 20 minutes. Thus, you never really have to wait long. However, the bus line E101 runs somewhat less frequently than the E100, which is why the waiting times here can be longer. The times are also valid for the return journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai.

Where can I buy tickets for the bus?

Bus tickets can be bought easily at the ticket office. Easy peasy!

If you have already bought a Nol-Card in Dubai to use the metro, you can also use it for the bus. The ticket can be topped up at the machines at all metro stations. If you don’t have a Nol-Card yet, the bus ride will cost you 35 AED instead of 25 AED because of the issuance of the card; thus insignificantly more.

A little hint: Friday and Saturday is weekend in the Emirates. Due to this, buses may be more crowded than usual on these days. However, we also took the bus to Abu Dhabi on a Saturday and couldn’t complain about too many people.

Abu Dhabi terminus

The terminus of both bus lines E100 and E101 is Al Wahda Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station. Since there are no sights worth mentioning nearby, you have to take the nearest bus or a cab from here. However, the bus system in Abu Dhabi is well developed, so you can reach all the important sights.

If you want to go to Sheikh Zayed Mosque, take bus line 054. To get to the north of the city, where the Emirates Palace and Etihad Towers are located, you can take bus lines 011, 032 and 034. And you can take line 190 to Yas Island. However, the travel time to get there should not be underestimated. After all, that’s a distance of just under 40km. You can view the complete route network map here and print it out if required.

By cab, of course, getting around is even less complicated. Just like in Dubai, cabs in Abu Dhabi are extremely cheap – at least compared to Germany or the US.

Conclusion: I can only recommend the bus trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. It’s not really difficult and for a price of about $15 round trip, it’s a real bargain.

By taxi from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

The journey with a cab is even more comfortable and with a travel time of 1.5 hours also somewhat faster than with the regular bus, but much more expensive. Depending on the distance, a one-way cab ride from Dubai to Abu Dhabi costs between $70 and $100. So you pay at least $150 for the round trip.

This is absolutely not advisable for solo travelers. For couples, it’s worth considering if you’re desperate to save time. However, the cab ride only makes sense for at least 4 people. The price per person would be about $40. This is still more expensive than the bus ride, but is within decent limits. The great advantages are that you can be picked up from the hotel and taken directly to the desired location in Abu Dhabi.

By train from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Fast and easy by train from Dubai to Abu Dhabi – sounds great, but unfortunately this option does not yet exist. A Hyperloop project to connect the two cities is being planned, but is currently still a dream.

By rental car from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

This is a rather fancy idea for Dubai, but still an option. Just be aware that it can get very crowded and stressful, especially in the centers. Likewise, parking could cause problems.

If you still decide to rent a car, you will find most providers at the airport. A small car is available from about $25 per day. You can get an SUV from about $50 per day.

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Sheikh ZayEd Mosque, Emirates Palace, Etihad Towers, Qasr Al Watan
9 hours tour from $100 per person
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A guided day tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

A guided day tour is certainly the most convenient and uncomplicated way to explore Abu Dhabi. So you can book day tours, where several activities and sights are already included.

On Get your Guide, for example, there are several 9-hour tours that cover many of Abu Dhabi’s highlights – including the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace and Etihad Towers. This way, you can visit many sights in a relatively short time. A particularly popular and highly rated day tour is this one.

Such a guided tour is a great option for those who don’t like to spend a lot of time planning. You just get on the bus and let yourself be driven around. Another advantage is that you are picked up directly from the hotel, provided it is not too far from the center. In addition, there are often no waiting times at the sights, as the guided tours organize this accordingly.

The disadvantage, however, is the lack of individuality and that you have to stick to a prescribed pace. For whom this is secondary, will certainly have a lot of fun on the tour and take away some information.

Such day tours to Abu Dhabi are available from about $100 per person. For a 9-hour tour this is absolutely fine.

Final tips for your trip to Abu Dhabi

Take at least one full day to visit Abu Dhabi. The city has a lot to offer and the distances between attractions are not to be underestimated. If it is possible for you, plan even 2-3 nights in Abu Dhabi. This way you can also visit Yas Island, which is located off the beaten track, with its numerous attractions.

Any questions left? Then post it in the comments.

This may also interest you

Learn what you need to know before visiting the Sheikh Zayid Mosque.
Or read more about all attractions that await you in Abu Dhabi.

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