Gold Class Cabin waiting area in Dubai Metro
This part of metro platform is for passengers in Gold Class Cabin. The doors will open when the train arrives.
Photo: Sightseeing Guy

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.

Selected stations on Dubai Metro Red Line and nearby hotels (to UAE Exchange)
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

Premier Inn Dubai International Airport Hotel

Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport

Dubai International Hotel

Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre

Somewhere Hotel Apartments

Copthorne Hotel Dubai book a room

Flora Park Deluxe Hotel Apartments

City Seasons Suites Dubai

Hotel ibis Deira City Centre

Hotel Novotel Dubai Deira City Centre

Flora Creek Deluxe Hotel Apartments

Holiday Inn Dubai - Downtown Dubai

Al Sarab Hotel

Jood Palace Hotel Dubai

Emirates Concorde Hotel & Apartments

Avari Dubai Hotel

Avenue Hotel Dubai

J5 Rimal

Hotel ibis Dubai Al Rigga

Comfort Inn Hotel - Dubai

Landmark Grand Hotel

Jonrad Hotel

Al Ghurair Arjaan by Rotana

City Seasons Towers Hotel

Regent Palace Hotel

London Crown Hotel - Dubai

Raviz Center Point Hotel

Savoy Crest Hotel Apartments

Hotel President

Fortune Karama Hotel

Al Manar Grand Hotel Apartment

Baity Hotel Apartments

Belvedere Court Hotel Apartments

Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel

Fairmont Dubai

Conrad Dubai

Ascott Park Place Dubai

Nassima Royal Hotel

Hotel Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai

Jumeirah Living World Trade Centre Residence

Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai

The H Dubai

Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai

Jumeirah Emirates Towers

Crowne Plaza Dubai

Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre

Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

Warwick Dubai

Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai

Towers Rotana

Hotel Sofitel Dubai Downtown

Armani Hotel Dubai

Dusit Thani Hotel

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates

Flora Al Barsha Hotel

Auris Boutique Hotel Apartments

Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel

Citymax Hotel Al Barsha

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Residences Dubai - Al Barsha

Ivory Grand Hotel Apartments

Auris Plaza Hotel

Grand Midwest Tower

Grand Millennium Hotel Dubai

Yassat Gloria Hotel & Apartments

Home To Home

Auris Metro Central Hotel Apartments

Byblos Hotel

TIME Oak Hotel & Suites

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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.

Sunset view from the platform at Dubai Internet City Metro Station
The sunset view from platform at Dubai Internet City Metro Station. Photo: Sightseeing Guy

The trains have three classes of accommodation: Women and Children class, Gold Class, and regular Silver Class.

Fares

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.

Dubai Metro Fares
  Red Blue Silver Gold
1 Zone 4 AED 3 3 6
2 Zones 6 5 5 10
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.

Which card?

The Nol Card has four types: Red, Blue, Silver, and Gold.

Nol Gold Card
A Nol Gold card. Photo: Sightseeing Guy

Red ticket

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.

Blue Card

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.

Silver 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.

Gold Card

The Gold Class Cabin sign in Dubai Metro
The Gold class cabin sign in Dubai Metro. Photo: Sightseeing Guy

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.

Gold class

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

Inside the Gold Class Cabin
Inside the Gold class. Photo: Sightseeing Guy

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

The Women and Children Cabin sign in Dubai Metro
The Women and Children class sign in Dubai Metro. Photo: Sightseeing Guy

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.

Taxi

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).

Tipping

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.