All Articles How to Get to Dubai From Abu Dhabi

How to Get to Dubai From Abu Dhabi

How to drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai
Photo: Arthur Jumagdao/ Getty
Dina Malyana
By Dina Malyana12 Jul 2021 4 minutes read

A distance of 140km (87mi) lies between Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai, the region’s air travel hub and glitzy tourist destination. While there are currently no direct flights connecting the two cities, there are many ways to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai ⁠— from public buses to taxis, Uber, rental cars, and even helicopters. The Etihad Rail project, which will link Abu Dhabi and Dubai via train services, is currently in the works.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Airline Shuttle

  • Cost: Free

The Etihad Coach is a free shuttle service between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It’s catered exclusively for passengers flying with selected airlines such as Etihad Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Bangkok Airways and Vietnam Airlines.

The two-hour bus service operates throughout the day and departs from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Mazaya Centre in Dubai, which is a 10-minute walk to the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station. Book tickets 24 hours in advance.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Public Bus

  • Cost: AED25 (USD6) for a one-way ticket

There are three regular bus services to Abu Dhabi from Dubai and vice versa: E100, E101 and E102.

E100 and E101 depart from Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station in Al Wahda, while E102 departs from Mussafah Shabiya Bus Station. The final stop for E100 is Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, which is a convenient hop-off point to Downtown Dubai and areas such as Bur Dubai, Satwa, Karama and Deira. E101 and E102 stop at Battuta Metro Station in Dubai, which is close to the Marina, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Jumeirah Beach Residence areas.

These buses run from 6am to 11pm daily and take between 1.5 and 2 hours each way. A one-way bus fare costs AED25 (USD6). To pay for this ride, purchase a Nol Card from the ticket office or a vending machine and top it up with sufficient credit for the ride.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Shared Taxis

  • Cost: Approximately AED40 (USD11) for a six-seater; AED60 (USD16) for a four-seater

Apart from buses, shared taxis are available at the Central Bus Station in Abu Dhabi. These taxis gather commuters heading to the same destination and they depart when full. The shared taxi ride costs AED40 (USD11) for a six-seater and AED60 (USD16) for a four-seater. Haggling is allowed, particularly if you’re the final passenger to complete the ride. Do check the taxi’s destination before boarding; similar to the buses departing from the station, these shared taxis head to either Ibn Battuta Bus Station or Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Private Taxis

Taxi from Abu Dhabi to Dubai
Photo: Olya/ Unsplash
  • Cost: Approximately AED250 (USD68)

Private taxis offer convenient door-to-door services from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. To hire one, simply call 600-535-353 or use the Abu Dhabi Taxi mobile app. It’s also possible to wait at the taxi stand or flag a taxi down. However, don’t board before informing the driver that you’d like to travel to Dubai as some taxis don’t operate outside the limits of Abu Dhabi.

The 75-minute taxi ride costs approximately AED250 (USD68) and it’s customary to tip the taxi driver between AED5 (USD1) and AED10 (USD3).

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Careem or Uber

  • Cost: Approximately AED300 (USD82)

Popular in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, ride-hailing services like Careem and Uber offer the option of inter-city rides. While they are more expensive than taxis (around AED300 or USD82 per ride), the fee is fixed no matter the traffic. On top of that, you get to choose the size and type of car that best meet your needs through the Careem or Uber app.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Private Transfer

  • Cost: From AED253 (USD69)

A handful of transport and tour companies offer private transfers from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. They require advance booking and are typically more expensive than taxis or ride-hailing options due to their premium services. For example, Blacklane offers transfers in luxury vehicles and a free 60-minute wait time for airport pickups, while tour companies such as Abu Dhabi Private Tours and Dubai Private Tour promise great service on their chauffeur-driven vehicles.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Rental Car

  • Cost: From AED70 (USD19) per day

For travelers who love the freedom to drive, car rental can be a cost-effective choice. Car rental companies in Abu Dhabi include Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Thrifty, Fast, Payless, Dollar Rent a Car and Thrifty Car Rental. The rental offices can be found at the airport, in the Skypark Plaza opposite Terminal 3, as well as in Abu Dhabi city. The rental rate ranges between AED70 (USD19) and AED90 (USD25) per day depending on the vehicle model, and drop-offs in Dubai are possible.

For a straightforward drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, take Highway E 11. En route, you are likely to pass through toll gates that charge AED4 (USD1); these toll charges will be added to your car rental bill.

The minimum age to rent a car in the UAE is 21 years old. For selected nationalities, a local driver’s license issued in your country along with your passport will suffice, but for others, an international driving permit is required.

Want to know more about renting cars in Dubai? Here are 7 tips for renting a car in Dubai plus awesome scenic day trip ideas.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Group or Private Tours

A tour of the Dubai Creek is included in some Abu Dhabi to Dubai tour packages
Photo: Emilie Farris/ Unsplash
  • Cost: From AED316 (USD86) per person

If you’re flying in and out of Abu Dhabi but would like to see Dubai on a day trip, tours are the answer. A variety of tours takes you from Abu Dhabi to Dubai’s must-see landmarks such as Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab, and completes the experience with a dose of history, culture and shopping.

Orient Tours’ sightseeing tour includes a traditional Abra boat ride across the Dubai Creek, while Emirates Tours & Safari stops for a fountain show and some shopping at the Dubai Mall. The City Tour with Desert Rose Tourism, on the other hand, includes admission to Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort. These companies and more are happy to oblige with requests for private tours, so reach out to them to arrange a bespoke Dubai city itinerary.

Abu Dhabi to Dubai by Helicopter

View from helicopter transfer from Abu Dhabi to Dubai
Photo: Helidubai/ Tripadvisor
  • Cost: From AED14,900 (USD4,000) for a group of four or five

For a journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai like no other, opt for a helicopter ride. Yes, there are helicopter transit companies such as HeliDubai that offer private charters between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The 45-minute ride comes at a price tag of AED14,900 (USD4,000) and above for a group of four or five. More than a commute, the journey is an opportunity to marvel at the Persian Gulf and iconic sights such as the Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah Island from a lofty vantage point.

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Dina Malyana
Dina Malyana is a Singaporean writer and marketing specialist who’s living the good life in France. She’s also a travel addict who’s lost count of the number of countries she’s visited. When she’s not traveling, she’s probably planning her next trip.