A guide to transport and getting about in Dubai!
There are plenty of ways to get around the bustling metropolis of Dubai, from cheap and traditional methods to the spectacular that befit this most luxurious of destinations.
Dubai is an incredible destination and spread out over a vast area, so knowing the best way to get around can save you time and money as well as helping you see plenty of the city. Public transport is a relatively new phenomenon to the city, but is starting to establish itself as one of the best ways of getting around and helps to beat the staggering traffic on the massive highways. Here is a selection of the best ways you can find your way around…
Metros and monorails
For a city that boasts so many incredible feats of architectural brilliance, it is only right that we make our first stop at the futuristic monorails and metro systems.
Since opening back in 2009, the Dubai Metro has become one of the most popular and cheapest ways to get around. Ideal for shoppers, it stops off at the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall and Ibn Battuta Malls as well as having stops at the airport, making it great for when you first arrive. They even offer a ‘Gold class’ cabin if you want a little more comfort and space!
As well as the main Metro network, there is also a dedicated monorail that serves the Palm Jumeirah, taking guests to and from the Atlantis hotel and its amazing Aquaventure water park at the top of the palm.
Whilst not quite as futuristic as the monorail and metro networks, the bus network is increasing all the time and is a very affordable way of getting around. It is of course worth noting that the buses can still become embroiled with the hectic traffic, so if travelling around rush hour the metro may be a better option.
If you want to get your bearings quickly and see all the best sights, then one of the bus tours around Dubai is a great way to do it and can be pre-booked with us at a great price.
Still one of the best options for getting around if there are a couple of you and you want minimum fuss. Taxis in Dubai are extremely cheap and perfect for going straight from your hotel to your dinner reservation, shopping mall or anywhere else in the city.
One thing you will discover is that the drivers won’t always speak great English and their knowledge of the city sometimes isn’t quite as exhaustive as you would like. If you’re heading to a well-known landmark you’ll be fine, however if travelling somewhere a little off the beaten track, it is worth printing off the name and address in Arabic and English to hand them.
If getting a taxi at the airport, ignore anyone approaching you offering a ride and instead join the queue for an official taxi. Even if it is long, it will go down quickly due to the sheer volume of taxis and you can be sure of getting an officially registered taxi. If getting a taxi to your hotel, then it is worth following the advice to print the name and address in Arabic for them too, as many hotel chains have multiple locations in the city, so this means you’ll get to the right one!
There are plenty of car hire desks at Dubai airport, with a big selection of cars to hire should you wish to drive yourself. However, if you haven’t visited before or aren’t the most confident of drivers, then you should consider whether this is the best option. Whilst having a car of your own is a great way to get across to other emirates such as Abu Dhabi, the roads in Dubai can be chaotic, so perhaps grab the car from your hotel after getting a feel for the city and the roads. The traffic can be very heavy and the standard of driving can generally be pretty poor, so you will need to have your wits about you if you do drive.
Before the oil money saw Dubai turn into the gleaming 21st century mega city it is today, it was a small fishing port and you can still experience the ‘old Dubai’ down at the creek. Jump on a traditional boat and travel across the creek for next to no money.
This is a great way to experience the ‘real’ Dubai and get a feel for its history and whilst more glamorous – and expensive – options are available, hopping on a traditional style boat is by far the most fun.
The heat in Dubai means that walking any great distance can become exhausting and leave you sweating, especially in the peak summer months. It is possible to do, but the roads can be a bit chaotic and so crossing isn’t always that easy, plus with public transport and taxis being so cheap, you really are better off letting someone else take the strain. If you do decide to take a walk in Dubai, always use the footbridges available to cross major roads.
Something a bit more luxurious…
If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the ‘7-star’ Burj Al Arab for your stay in Dubai, then you can take advantage of some of the most spectacular transfers around.
The hotel boasts a huge fleet of luxurious Rolls Royce Phantoms that can pick you up from the airport and whisk you back to your spectacular hotel. If a Rolls Royce isn’t quite enough, then they also offer a private helicopter service for guests, landing on the spectacular helipad attached to the side of this beautiful building. As you’d expect, these don’t come cheap, but then if you can afford to stay there, then it may not be too much of a stretch to upgrade your transfers!
Take a look at the variety of tickets on offer at Attraction Tickets Direct, with a wide range of Dubai tours and experiences for your visit to this amazing destination.
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