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Transportation in Dubai


Dubai has a very large bus system run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The bus system has 193 routes on weekdays and transports over 30 million people weekly. The Public Transport bus system is large and advanced but not large enough to accommodate the volume of people who use it. This means that in busy areas it is common that at the end of the day commuters may have to wait more than an hour before they can board a bus. Unfortunately the amount of buses does not increase with the same rate as the amount of passengers, which makes this problem worse as time progresses. The (RTA) has announced that Dubai roads will see 620 new buses costing more than one billion dirhams by next year; the new fleet includes 170 double decker buses.

Dubai also has an extensive taxi system, by far the most frequently used means of public transport within the Emirate. There are both government-operated and private cab companies. The Dubai Transport Corporation operates cream-coloured taxis. Some of the private cab companies are Cars Taxi, National Taxi, Cititaxi and Metro Taxi. The meter generally begins as Dhs. 3.80 and is generally charged by distance at 50 fils/km. There are approximately 7500 taxis located in the city.


There is currently a $3.89 billion Dubai Metro project under construction for the emirate. The Metro system is expected to be partially operational by 2009 and fully operational by 2012. The construction contract for the project was given to Dubai Rapid Link (DURL), a consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Also involved are two other Japanese corporations, Obayashi and Kajima, and a Turkish company, Yapi Merkezi. The metro will comprise two lines: the Green Line from Rashidiya to the main city center and the Red Line from the airport to Jebel Ali. The Dubai Metro (Green and Blue Lines) will have 70 kilometers of track and 43 stations, 33 above ground and ten underground. Trains are expected to run every 90 seconds when the project is completed. Recently, the Blue Line connecting Dubai International Airport to the new Jebel Ali Port and Dubai World Central International Airport was announced. The route will run 47 km through Dubailand, but the exact number of stations is unknown. Dubai is building this train system to ease congestion on its road network and to meet the transportation demands of its growing population. Seven monorails are also slated to be constructed to help feed the Metro system, connecting various places such as Dubailand, Palm Jumeirah, et al, to the main track.

Ports and water travel

Dubai is serviced by several commercial ports and Dubai Creek is still used by local traders in Dhows:

  • Mina' Rashid (Port Rashid)
  • Jebel Ali

One of the more traditional methods of getting across Bur Dubai to Deira is through abras, small boats that ferry passengers across the Dubai creek, between abra stations in Bastakiya and Bani Yas Road, for a nominal charge of 1 UAE-Dirhams. They can be rented, along with an operator, for 100 UAE-Dirhams, approximately 27 US-Dollars. Recently, the Marine Transport Agency, part of the Road and Transportation Agency, has began implementing the Dubai Water Bus System. The Water Bus will begin service on Dubai Creek's water in July 2007. [3]

Air travel

The Dubai International Airport is a hub for Emirates Airline and has a large duty-free shopping center. The airport has won numerous awards for its excellence in design and services.[citation needed] A third terminal is currently under construction and is due to open in 2007. The new terminal will be dedicated to Emirates Airline and will fully support the new Airbus A380. When completed this will double the capacity of the airport.

Dubai World Central International Airport, currently under construction, will make a new free trade area within Dubai and will be the centerpiece of the Jebel Ali Airport City. The airport was announced in 2004 and construction began in January 2005. The first part is expected to be completed by 2008. Although initially intended as a predominantly cargo airport, plans are afoot for the new Jebel Ali airport to handle some 120 million passengers per annum within 20 years, which would likely surpass Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as the world's busiest airport.

Dubai is investing heavily in developing the reach of its airline, Emirates. The hope is to develop Dubai's air transportation industry to the point that passengers from any city can fly direct to Dubai. When Emirates Airline receives the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft—part of its November 2005 order for forty-two 777s—it will be able to offer direct flights to nearly any major city in the world. The airline has also placed an order of 45 of Airbus' A380 'superjumbo' double decker aircraft, the largest of which has a capacity of 641 passengers. The A380 aircraft have already been charted to fly from late 2007 onwards.