Both Terminal 1 and 3 at Dubai International Airport are connected to the Dubai Metro Red Line. Taking the metro is an excellent way to travel between the airport and the city.
The Red Line is one of the two lines in the Dubai Metro network. With 29 stations, the Red Line reaches to major business districts and many landmarks, such as World Trade Centre, Financial Centre, Burj Khalifa, and Mall of the Emirates. If you are a tourist, very likely you will ride this line at some point.
From the Red Line, you can transfer to the Green Line via two transfer stations, Union and BurJuman. The Green Line has 20 stations.
|13 Airport Terminal-3||13 Airport Terminal-1||16 Deira City Centre||17 Al Rigga||18 Union Station||19 BurJuman||20 ADCB||22 World Trade Centre||23 Emirates Towers||24 Financial Centre||25 Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall||32 Mall of the Emirates||34 Dubai Internet City|
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|Change to Green line||Change to Green line|
The Dubai Metro is owned by Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The trains are driverless and the network is fully automated. All trains and stations are air conditioned.
The Red Line trains run every 7 minutes at off-peak times and 3 minutes 45 seconds during peak hours. On Fridays the metro is closed until 10 AM. On other days the Red and Green Lines start at 5:30 AM and 5:50 AM, respectively.
The trains have three classes of accommodation: Women and Children class, Gold Class, and regular Silver Class.
Dubai Metro fares are among the cheapest in the world. For example, a ride from the Terminal 1 station to the World Trade Centre station would cost 5 AED (1.36 USD) in the regular class and 10 AED (2.72 USD) in the more comfortable Gold class.
|1 Zone||4 AED||3||3||6|
|3 Zones and more||8.5||7.5||7.5||15|
Cash isn’t accepted as payment. A Nol Card is required. The smart card can be used in Dubai’s public transport network, including metro, buses, water buses, and trams.
You must check in at the departure gates and check out at the destination gates. The fare will be automatically deducted based on the number of zones traveled.
The Nol Card has four types: Red, Blue, Silver, and Gold.
The Nol Red ticket is a paper-based ticket. It can be loaded up to 10 Single Trips. The ticket can only be used on one transport mode at a time. For example, you can use a Red ticket on a metro trip or a bus trip, but not both.
You can buy a Red ticket from any ticket vending machines. The ticket itself costs only 2 AED. However, you pay more per trip compared to other cards.
Unlike the Red ticket, the Blue, Silver, and Gold card include an e-purse, allowing you to load up to 5,000 AED (1,361 USD). These cards are valid for five years. In addition, they can be used on all public transport modes in Dubai.
The Nol Blue Card is a personalized smart card for local transit users. You need a photo and a copy of National ID to obtain this card.
Unlike the Blue card, the Silver card is an anonymous card. You can get this card immediately from any ticket office.
The card costs 25 AED ($6.8 USD), with 19 AED already loaded in the card. The card is rechargeable.
The Gold card is also an anonymous card. It is the upgraded version of the Silver card. Charing a higher fare, this "first-class" card gives you access to the Gold class.
The premium fare doesn't apply if you are on a transport mode where the Gold class is unavailable. For example, you pay the regular fare when you are on the bus.
The Gold card also costs 25 AED, with 19 AED already loaded in the card. The card can be obtained only from Metro ticket offices near the entry gates.
If you are a tourist who don't mind to pay a bit more, I strongly recommend getting the Gold card.
A Gold card gives you access to the Gold class.
In Dubai Metro, the regular class can be very crowded during peak hours. Therefore, having access to a more spacious cabin is a great benefit.
The Gold class also have more comfortable seats
Nevertheless, the Gold class can also get jammed sometimes. Additionally, the Gold class has only one door. In case the train gets too crowded and you are pushed far away from the only exit door, you need to come up with a plan to get out quickly at your stop.
Women and Children class
Apart from the Gold and the regular Sliver classes, you will also find the Women and Children class in Dubai Metro.
The class is an option if you are a woman who prefers not to be around men. Women are not obligated to travel in this class.
This class can be helpful for women during rush hours, when the regular class is jammed.
If your destination is far from the closest metro station, you may want to take the taxi after exiting the metro. Dubai, after all, is not very pedestrian-friendly.
Local taxis are operated by Dubai Taxi, which is owned by RTA, the authority that also owns Dubai Metro. Drivers are usually courteous and able to communicate well in English.
The taxi fares are regulated. They are very affordable and priced according to the reading on the meter. The minimum fare is 12 AED (3.27 USD).
Because taxis in Dubai are cheap and plentiful, tipping the driver is a common practice. Usually, you tip the driver by rounding up to the nearest 5 AED. Alternatively, you can give a small tip of 5 to 10 AED.